Industry Trends4 min

Some Common Misconceptions About Building Enclosures

It’s easy for small amounts of water to enter a home’s wall cavity, both during and after construction. When water evaporates it becomes a gas (water vapor) that needs to escape. If the walls can’t completely dry, a home is more likely to experience mold and rot.

A building material’s ability to let water vapor pass through is called permeance, measured in units called “perms.” There are two ways that the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) measures permeance in its E96 test: Procedure A (desiccant or “dry cup” method) and Procedure B (water cup or “wet cup” method).

Here are some common misconceptions about building enclosure performance and the truths behind them:

  • Myth: High-perm products are the most effective way to improve drying rates

TRUTH: “Whether a vapor-control material is 5 perms or 35 perms, the drying rate is usually limited by other materials like the cladding,” says John Straube, a principal at RDH Building Science and an associate professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

  • Myth: The “dry cup” test is the superior way to measure permeance

TRUTH: “The house wrap industry emphasizes the ASTM E96 Procedure A or ‘dry cup’ test,” adds Straube. “But the test that’s more appropriate for in-service use of wood-framed buildings is really Procedure B or the ‘wet cup’ test. I have a colleague who says, ‘Procedure A measures how much water vapor passes through when there isn’t any water vapor, while Procedure B measures how much passes through when there is water vapor.’”

  • MYTH: An air/water barrier can prevent all moisture problems

TRUTH: It defeats the purpose of an air/water barrier if a home’s exterior flashing isn’t done properly. “There are far greater mold risks when sheathing gets wet after the home is occupied than when it’s being built,” says Straube. “If windows leak into the wall, that’s really scary because you can’t see it.”

Learn more about the LP WeatherLogicAir & Water Barrier system, the latest addition to LP’s portfolio of structural solutions.

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Business Advice4 min

Choosing Materials: Best Siding for Cold Climates

January and February typically usher in the season’s coldest temperatures, bringing the need to use building materials that can withstand frigid temperatures with them. However, it’s often the freeze/thaw cycle––cold days followed by quick warm-ups––that can cause significant damage to a home’s siding. So, what is the best siding for cold climates to combat this?

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Business Advice4 min
Best House Sheathing for Cold Climates

With temperatures dropping, insulation and protecting new construction against the elements are top of mind. Of course, builders must consider how insulated wall sheathing can help meet code requirements and contribute to the overall performance of the building envelope. However, they must also carefully consider potential moisture problems both during and after the build and the potential impacts of freeze/thaw cycles. With the season of potential hard freezes followed by fast warm-ups upon us, let’s explore methods for choosing the best house sheathing for cold climates.

Business Advice5 min
Building a House During Winter: Cold Weather Construction Safety Tips

With housing demand at an all-time high, builders do not have the ability to halt home construction during the winter months. Builders can work safely year round, even building houses during winter with planning and preparation. Advanced products and installation methods allow work to be performed during wet and very cold temperatures, but builders also need to consider winter safety for construction workers.

Business Advice4 min
Engineered Wood Siding in Multifamily Developments

Engineered wood siding has long been considered a trustworthy exterior product for single-family homes, but it is often overlooked for multifamily and commercial construction. LP® SmartSide® products are versatile enough for a range of builds beyond traditional single-family homes. Take a look at the homes featured in Madison Parade of Homes for siding inspiration and to see how LP SmartSide Trim & Siding might suit your building needs.