Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Air and Vapor Barrier Products

In the world of construction, selecting the ideal air and vapor barrier products is a complex decision. It involves evaluating various factors to ensure the efficiency and longevity of your building’s design. From climate considerations to perm ratings and installation conditions, this article will guide you through the critical aspects that influence your choice of air and vapor barrier products.

Climate Matters

Understanding the climate zone of your building is the initial step in determining the right air barrier system. Your choice must effectively control air, liquid water, and moisture flow. The IECC climate map serves as a valuable reference tool. Once your climate zone is established, assess the position of insulation within your wall assembly and the type of cladding you intend to use. Conducting a WUFI analysis will help you predict heat and moisture movement within your chosen wall assembly.

Deciphering Perm Ratings

Perm ratings, a critical parameter, measure the material’s ability to transmit water vapor. It quantifies the passage of one grain of water vapor per hour through one square foot of flat material at one inch of mercury. One grain of water is .0022 ounces of water. Understanding these ratings is essential as you search for products with the appropriate water vapor permeance. A “breathable” solution necessitates a higher perm rating, while a “less breathable” solution requires a lower perm rating.

When selecting the specific permeable or impermeable air and vapor barrier product considerations like installation conditions, substrate types, UV exposure, and transition areas all need to be taken into account.

Installation Conditions

Installation conditions, such as ambient temperature, play a pivotal role in product selection. Your climate will dictate the products that can be applied under specific temperature conditions. In colder climates, seek products suitable for installation at 25°F and above.

Substrate Compatibility

The type of substrate you’re working with is of paramount importance. Whether it’s glass mat sheathing, wood, CMU, or pre-cast panels, it’s crucial to read the product manufacturer’s guidelines to determine compatible substrates and surface conditions for a successful installation.

UV Exposure and Transition Areas

Assess the project schedule and consider how long the air and vapor barrier product will be exposed to direct UV rays before cladding installation. Some products can endure only 60 days of direct exposure before experiencing changes in their physical properties. To ensure the membrane’s integrity, look for products that can withstand 6+ months of exposure.

Don’t overlook transition areas in your selection process. Ensure that the products you choose for waterproofing and protection are compatible with all connection points, such as roofs, windows, doors, and foundations. Selecting products from the same manufacturer minimizes the risk of system incompatibility and provides a single source for specific details that the manufacturer will stand behind and warrant.

Our Comprehensive Air and Vapor Barrier Product Line

At Polyglass, we offer an extensive range of air and vapor barrier products through our VertiWrap™ line.

  • VertiWrap™ VPS: This primerless, self-adhered air barrier is designed to resist water and permit the passage of water vapor, acting as a shield against air and liquid water. It effectively curbs moisture buildup, bolstering wall durability and enhancing occupant comfort. It meets compliance standards in various NFPA 285 Wall Assemblies.
  • VertiWrap™ NPS: Serving as a primerless, self-adhered barrier, this product is engineered to resist the passage of air, water, vapor, and liquid water, ensuring comprehensive protection for the wall assembly. Its robust design effectively repels moisture, contributing to increased wall longevity and improved occupant comfort. It is compliant with various NFPA 285 Wall Assemblies.
  • VertiSeal™ 50: Tailored for use with VertiWrap™ Air Barriers, this low-VOC, one-part, moisture-cure sealant is suitable for sealing terminations, penetrations, and openings. Its low-odor, VOC-compliant formulation makes it a fitting choice for use across all 50 states.
  • VertiWrap™ VPL: Integrating SwiftSet™ Technology, this primerless, fluid-applied air barrier efficiently resists water while permitting the passage of water vapor, providing comprehensive protection against air and liquid water. Its moisture-reducing properties significantly enhance wall durability and occupant comfort. It meets compliance requirements in various NFPA 285 Wall Assemblies.
  • VertiWrap™ NPL: This primerless, fluid-applied air barrier is built to resist the passage of air, water, vapor, and liquid water, safeguarding the integrity of the wall assembly. Its moisture-reducing capabilities contribute to increased wall durability and improved occupant comfort. It complies with standards across various NFPA 285 Wall Assemblies.
  • VertiWrap™️ VPL 200: VertiWrap VPL 200 stands out as a high-performance air barrier membrane, utilizing STPE technology. It allows the transmission of water vapor while effectively serving as a barrier against air and liquid water. By minimizing moisture accumulation within the wall assembly, VertiWrap VPL 200 enhances the durability and comfort for occupants of the building. Moreover, this product complies with a diverse range of NFPA285 wall assemblies.
  • VertiWrap™️ NPL LT: VertiWrap NPL LT is a solvent-based air barrier membrane that prevents air, water, vapor, and liquid water from entering the wall assembly. It reduces moisture buildup, enhancing wall durability and occupant comfort. Compliant in various NFPA 285 wall assemblies.

In addition to air and vapor barriers, our line of products including Mapeseal™, Mapeproof™, and Mapethene™ offer comprehensive protection for foundations, walls, and elevated structural decks. We secure your buildings from roof to wall to foundation through our ‘Seal the Envelope™’ solutions.

Polyglass is committed to supporting our products and systems with the most dependable warranties in the industry, ensuring extended protection and optimal performance. Contact us today with any questions about your building envelope needs.