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Basics & Theory

EcoBuilding: Overview Of Weather, Vapour, Air Barriers
Ecobuilding describes how weather, vapor, and air barriers protect buildings and their occupants, and when each should be used.

Ecohome: Overview Of Weather Barriers
Ecohome describes features, benefits and considerations for weather barriers (or more accurately water-resistive barriers) that keep bulk water away from vulnerable building components and allow walls to dry at the same time.

GBA: Spray-On Water-Resistive Barriers
Green Building Advisor describes spray-on water-resistive barriers that protect wall sheathing with a waterproof, airtight coating that still allows a wall to dry to the exterior.

HAL Industries: FAQ On Building Paper
HAL Industries, a BC supplier of building paper, provides an FAQ on common questions about building paper.

IRC: Vapor & Air Permeances Of Building Membranes
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction paper describes water vapor permeance, air permeance, and water absorption coefficient for 18 building membranes found in North American markets. (PDF)

JLC: History Of Housewraps & Weather Resistant Barriers
Journal of Light Construction online video takes a look at the history of moisture and air management in exterior walls.

Mass. Univ: Types & Selection Of Housewrap, Felt Paper & Weather Barriers
University of Massachusetts artice explains different types of products, and compares their test results, for housewraps, felt paper and weather barriers.
Issues & Performance

ASTM: E2556/E2556M-10 Standard For Vapor Permeable Flexible Sheet Water Resistive Barriers
ASTM E2556 / E2556M-10 Standard Specification for Vapor Permeable Flexible Sheet Water-Resistive Barriers Intended for Mechanical Attachment is for vapor permeable flexible sheet materials which are intended to be mechanically attached and are generally installed behind the cladding system in exterior walls.

BC Housing: Defining Performance Of Water Resistive Barriers
BC Housing research paper on Defining Performance of Water Resistive Barriers examines various aspects of sheathing membrane performance including measuring drainage and moisture retention capability, permeance of weathered materials, and long term performance in context of chemical leaching from stucco or wood-based products. (PDF)

BSC: Surfactant Problems With Building Papers & Housewraps
Building Science Corporation article describes the problem surfactants cause when they create a loss of water repellency in building papers and housewraps. (PDF)

Building Science: Stuck On You, Leaks Through Building Paper & Wraps
Building Science says one of the dirty little secrets that never gets talked about is that water leaks through building papers, building wraps and housewraps and runs down between them and the sheathings that they cover. The good news is that the nail holes and staple holes don't leak too much and we know how to handle the incidental leakage.

Construction Specifier: Durability Of Liquid Applied Water-Resistive Barriers
Construction Specifier describes results of a study that evaluated performance of 17 fluid applied weather resistive barriers (new and old) that were tested in various common construction details, along with accessory products (flashings, tapes, and sealants). This long-term study is ongoing, but has already yielded important observations.

GBA: Housewrap Tape Problems
Green Building Advisor says when used to tape horizontal seams, housewrap tape can contribute to water entry problems.
Procedures

Fine Homebuilding: How To Cut Housewrap For Window Rough Openings
Fine Homebuilding online video describes how to cut housewrap for window rough openings.

Fine Homebuilding: How To Patch Holes In Housewrap
Fine Homebuilding online video tip shows how to patch housewrap that will mechanically shed any water that gets under your siding so you don't have to rely solely on adhesive tape.

Fine Homebuilding: Installing Housewrap At Inside Corners
Fine Homebuilding online video shows how to get your corners tight when installing housewrap.

For Residential Pros: Common Housewrap Errors
For Residential Pros magazine describes seven common mistakes contractors make when installing housewraps.

GBA: Where Housewrap Goes When Using Exterior Foam
Green Building Advisor says if you are installing “innie” windows, your housewrap should go under the foam, and if you are installing “outie” windows, your housewrap should go over the foam.

JLC: Best Practice Housewrap & Window Flashing
Journal of Light Construction online videos describe step-by-step instruction on integrating housewrap and window flashing to prevent leaks and other moisture problems.

JLC: Good, Better, Best Weather Barriers
Journal of Light Construction describes how to choose the right water resistive barrier and use it with a rainscreen.

JLC: Housewrap Installed On Wrong Side
Journal of Light Construction Q & A says housewrap installed on the inboard side of plywood sheathing should not contribute to moisture problems.

RCI: Fasteners & Self-Sealability Of Weather-Resistive Barriers
RCI technical advisory Fasteners & Self-Sealability Of Weather-Resistive Barriers says while lab tests demonstrate the ability of properly installed fasteners to seal to some extent where they penetrate air barriers, penetrations can become sources of water intrusion, depending on many variables. Use air barriers that are fully and independently qualified as water-resistive barriers to diminish the risk of water penetration through fasteners. (PDF)

US DOE: Selecting & Installing Housewrap & Weather Resistive Barriers
US Department of Energy fact sheet, with drawings, describes types, costs, uses, properties, and installation of housewrap and weather resistive barriers. (PDF)
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