Products Eliminate Moisture in Home Building Envelopes
There is much confusion in the residential building market about how to control mold and mildew in walls while increasing energy efficiency, according to residential roof and wall product manufacturer Benjamin Obdyke Incorporated.
“Product names like housewraps, building paper, water- or weather-resistive barriers, and rainscreens are frequently being used interchangeably,” said Michael Coulton, director of the company’s new product development. “The fact is that they each can play distinctively different roles according to the climate in which they are used.”
A number of recent developments have increased interest in building envelope moisture management solutions. For example, the 2006 International Residential Code now requires the use of a water-resistive barrier behind all facades. Canada recently amended its National Building Code to mandate the use of a rainscreen system in areas that exceed a certain moisture threshold, a measure that local provinces are starting to adopt.
Other concerns include the need to preserve the life of exterior cladding, manage moisture infiltration and avert the potential for callbacks, remediation and/or litigation costs when moisture management is handled improperly.
Benjamin Obdyke recently commissioned an independent study on the subject of moisture management solutions in residential building envelopes. “The white paper provides the basic guidelines to assist in determining when, where and how to make the best selection for each application,” Coulton said. To download the report, click here and then click the fifth item down.
The paper provides a thorough explanation of building paper, housewraps, drainable housewraps and rainscreen system components such as Benjamin Obdyke’s Home Slicker® products. It also includes a map of North America showing average rainfall and which product is suggested for each area; guidelines for best building practices; and a chart comparing water-resistive barriers and rainscreen systems.
“One of the most crucial deciding factors in what system to choose is the environment,” Coulton noted. “The climate, whether arid or one where rain and wind are frequent or constant, will dictate the level of protection needed. Protection can range from a simple building paper to housewrap with rainscreen protection.
“Each of these products should be carefully evaluated before use for their ability to drain bulk water and dry remaining moisture so other building components are not compromised. When in doubt, it is better to err on the side of applying a higher level of protection for a small incremental cost, compared to the cost of solving the problem in the future,” he said.
Headquartered in Horsham, Pa., Benjamin Obdyke is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Supplier 100 of the NAHB.
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