Industry Trends6 min

What is Sheathing Tape and Why Do I Need It?

Sheathing tape is a relatively new asset to the homebuilder's toolbox. But like most innovations, it's hard to imagine any professional today trying to build a home without it.

Look at the exterior of the typical house under construction prior to the installation of finished siding, brickwork or stucco. What you see is basically a patchwork of strong, rigid and waterproof OSB panels of different sizes. Yet there are a lot of seams where the panels meet.

That’s not enough for today’s professional homebuilder, who knows the importance of creating a high-performance building envelope.

It’s All About the Building Envelope

The concept of the building envelope isn’t complicated. 

Essentially, it's the exterior (or shell) of a house, including all of its building components-such as roofing, insulation, sheathing systems, windows, doors and more-that work together to keep the elements from negatively affecting the interior and overall structure of the house. The building envelope needs to provide both strength and protection against external loads and forces while also delivering critical control of energy efficiency and interior comfort.

A "loose" envelope lets air and moisture move easily from exterior to interior while a "tight" envelope prevents undesired air and moisture transmission. A "tight" envelope is typically the goal in North America's climate, resulting in a high level of control over indoor air quality, temperature, energy consumption and humidity levels.

This begs the question: what’s the role of sheathing tape in the building envelope and why is it important?

Why You Should Use Sheathing Tape 

Sheathing tape creates a water-resistant seal over the gaps between OSB panels as well as around all window and door frames. It's the final and most crucial step in creating a continuous exterior air barrier, helping safeguard homes by blocking cold air and preventing water intrusion but allowing interior moisture vapor to escape.

Sheathing tape is not a version of duct tape. It is typically designed with an aggressive acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive to exceed most building code requirements and can be used for new construction as well as repair on all vapor barrier materials. It also performs well over a wide temperature range.

Without sheathing tape, all of those gaps between the exterior OSB panels destroy the integrity and efficiency of the building envelope, in some cases eliminating the envelope all together. 

Why Choose LP WeatherLogic® Seam & Flashing Tape 

The LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier System includes one of the most effective sheathing tapes available to professional builders. 

An AAMA 711-13 approved acrylic tape, the LP WeatherLogic Seam & Flashing Tape features one of today's highest quality adhesives. It withstands temperature cycling and delivers consistent long-term protection.

Most importantly, LP WeatherLogic Seam & Flashing Tape is specifically designed to work with LP WeatherLogic panels to create a continuous exterior air and moisture barrier. 

The LP WeatherLogic system gives builders an integrated wall and roof sheathing system that combines air and water protection with the increased structural capacity of a Structural I rating. The vapor-permeable membrane on the panel also allows moisture to dry resulting in the "tight" building envelope you're looking for.

A Sheathing Tape for Both Walls and Roofs

Best of all, sheathing tape has many applications in home construction. 

The LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier System replaces both standard wall and roof panel installation as well as conventional wrapping methods.

Beyond sealing sheathing panels, it can also wrap window and door framing, roof flashing and window frame sills.

Easy to Install

Installing the sheathing tape is fast and hassle-free. 

First, nail OSB panels to exterior studs, leaving a 1/8˝ space between each. Then, cover all the seams between panels with LP WeatherLogic Seam & Flashing Tape. All tape should be applied with the most current installation instructions using the squeegee provided in the box of tape. 

LP WeatherLogic Seam & Flashing Tape is available in two widths: 3-3/4˝ for panels and 6˝ for windows and corners. When you apply the tape, vertical tape runs should overlap horizontal tape and vice versa. Avoid leaving any tape ends exposed.

Here’s a short video that shows how easy it is to install.

Sheathing Tape Improves Energy Efficiency and Comfort

Remember, your construction envelope is not complete without sheathing tape, which completely seals all gaps where panels meet. The result is a home that lets interior moisture escape without letting elements such as cold or hot air or wind-blown rain inside to damage building integrity or reduce energy efficiency as well as the comfort of your homeowners.

Luckily, LP WeatherLogic Seam & Flashing Tape is an integral part of a building system that's proven to seal out moisture and air. It's also backed by LP’s outstanding 30-year limited warranty.

For more information, visit lpcorp.com/weatherlogic or click here.

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