Air and vapor barriers provide additional layer of protection for buildings. High winds, rain, ice, snow, and other elements hit a building throughout the year. Roofing shingles and siding are applied to protect the surfaces. However, the shingles and siding alone cannot completely protect a building. Manufacturers do require air vapor barriers for the warranties to be effective. The air and vapor barriers are additional material applied on the substrate to protect from high winds and moisture.
House Wrap Air Vapor Barrier
Synthetic underlayment is applied by nailing on wood surfaces. For concrete walls, two layers of weather resistive barriers are applied as per the local regulations. Traditional tar paper is being replaced by the synthetic underlayment as an alternative. The water or air repels from the surface thereby less damage and leaks in the interior of a building.
Fluid Applied Air Vapor Barrier
Fluid applied air and vapor barrier is another alternative to synthetic underlayment for horizontal and vertical surfaces. They result in similar performance to the house wraps and can be applied by spraying or rolling. The elastomeric nature of the liquid air/vapor barrier prevents any leaks from the surfaces.
Spraying Fluid Applied Air Vapor Barrier
Fluid Applied Air Vapor Barrier is preferred by the builders due to the numerous advantages. The synthetic underlayment or tar paper tears off easily and may fall off exposing the substrate to elements. During the construction itself, the synthetic paper may get damaged if there are heavy storms before putting the shingles or siding. The paper may not provide complete sealing at the joints or curved surfaces. The synthetic barrier may permit vapor which will be ultimately absorbed by the brick or cement walls and rot the wood walls or the underlayment itself.
In contrast, the fluid applied air vapor barrier settle quickly on the surface and provide long term protection. For large commercial surfaces, the fluid applied air barrier are faster to install. Trowels, brushes, sprayers, and rollers are used to apply the fluid sealants. They provide total sealing at the joints without any overlapping problems.
The liquid barriers are fast setting and long lasting on different types of surfaces. Products are made for the different substrates such as wood, cement, brick, asphalt, metal, masonry units, OSB, and so on. Compatible sealants are also available for joints and flashings. The flexibility to apply on any substrate in a fast and efficient manner is the main advantage of Fluid Applied Air Barriers. The material is also available in thick and thin types and is hot-applied or cold-applied depending up on the project.
Dupont, Tremco, StoGuard, and so on offer compatible fluid resistive barriers to install with their roofing or siding products. The coatings are required to be made with Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). High VOCs can mix with chemicals in the environment to form smog. The fluid barriers are made with Low VOC material and thus are contributing to sustainable buildings.
Fluid Applied Air Barriers: Sustainability and Energy Efficiency
The energy efficiency of the buildings is also enhanced due to the total sealing provided by the fluid applied air barriers. The walls leak less air and prevent moisture thereby increasing the overall insulation. The buildings consume less energy and hence there is less dependency on energy generated from fossil fuels. Thus, by creating energy efficient buildings with Fluid Applied Air Barriers, environment is preserved.
Fluid Applied Air Barriers: Roof Coating
Here are some advantages of applying Fluid Applied Air Barriers.
Here are some disadvantages of Fluid Applied Air Barrier:
Contractors must weigh the pros and cons before selecting the Fluid Applied Air Barrier as the cost ends up same as synthetic underlayment. For large commercial projects, Fluid Applied Air Barrier may be beneficial due to the time and labor savings involved.
Fluid Applied Air Barriers: Preparing Surfaces