Menu
Business Advice5 min

The Difference Between Vapor, Air and Weather-Resistive Barriers

“Do this, not that” is a common saying in the building industry. Controversial techniques for construction, outdated codes and incorrect applications have plagued the industry for decades. Building structures that are protected from the elements is pivotal to the future of residential design and construction. With increases in damaging weather events throughout the country, builders need to be up to speed on the various barrier options available for their next building project. Read on for a description of three common barrier options for your next project and learn more about their differences to best protect your project from the elements-both inside and out. 

Vapor barriers 

Used to slow the movement of water vapor through a wall assembly, vapor barriers are a frequently misused barrier in many climates throughout the United States. Originally, vapor barriers were used to prevent wall and ceiling assemblies from getting wet during the construction process; however, they also often prevent assemblies from completely drying. A vapor barrier alone will not control airflow into or out of a building project, rather it exclusively controls the diffusion of moisture through wall assemblies. Unlike air and weather-resistive barriers, vapor barriers do not need to be continuous in a structure to provide protection. It’s complicated to know whether your next build needs a vapor barrier or not, as strategies for vapor barrier usage differ based on climate and seasonality. Unless you are building in climate zones 7 or 8 (extremely cold) you do not need to use a vapor barrier on your next build, because maintaining vapor permeability in building envelopes is important for mold reduction.

Air Barriers 

An air barrier is any material that stops air from getting into a building, including housewrap, windows and weather-stripping. While commonly confused with vapor barriers, air barriers restrict the movement of air into and out of buildings. While they are secondarily effective at stopping vapor from entering a wall assembly, they do not play any role in stopping the diffusion of vapor through a wall once it has entered. They are used primarily to stop air leakage and resist air pressure changes by maintaining a consistent indoor climate. Air barriers are durable enough to withstand knocks and handling during the construction process, penetrable to airflow, and able to provide a continuous envelope for the entire conditioned space. By controlling air movement, they provide great energy efficiency in buildings. 

Weather-Resistive Barriers

Integrated barriers, like LP WeatherLogic® Air & Water Barrier remove the need for multiple materials in an exterior wall assembly. High-performance air and water barriers resist air and water intrusion, which reduces the amount of moisture vapor in the panels. 

“Weather-resistive barrier systems lead the fight against moisture penetration,” said Brian St. Germain, Director of OSB/EWP Quality and Technical at LP Building Solutions. “While exterior cladding can offer deflection, the exterior cladding is still technically not a moisture barrier. Therefore, the weather barrier is designed to keep water from seeping into the building enclosure.”

LP WeatherLogic Air & Water barrier combines sheathing and weather-protective layers in a single panel that can be installed just like regular sheathing. Seams of the panel are securely taped with an advanced acrylic tape, featuring one of today's highest quality adhesives. LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier panels feature an ASTM E96 tested vapor-permeable overlay permanently integrated into the panel, allowing water vapor to escape rather than getting trapped inside walls. 

Whether you’re building in Canada or Texas, integrating a weather-resistive barrier, like LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier into your next project is a good bet.

Continue Reading
News & Stories4 min

HOW IS THE PAST IMPACTING THE FUTURE OF THE BUILDING INDUSTRY?

As a leader in building solutions, LP Structural Solutions is consistently moving in the direction of greater resiliency. Each innovative building solution is viewed through that lens, as well as how it can help achieve LP’s overall goal of Building a Better World™. But why this direction? What led LP to focus on resilience in construction? Craig Miles, Director of OSB Sales & Marketing, explores how past trends inform LP’s work on modern building techniques today.

Continue Reading
Business Advice5 min
PREPARING FOR PRIME SIDING SELLING SEASON

Coming off an unprecedented year, the busiest season for selling siding is almost underway! COVID-19 is still a significant consideration as you attempt to move forward with your siding business while taking learnings and challenges from the pandemic into consideration. We talked with Erik Perkins of Perkins Builder Brothers to get insight straight from the jobsite about COVID-19’s impact, tips for prepping for a new season, and more. Read on to see how LP can support you with one of the most durable siding options out there as your business ramps up!

News & Stories3 min
LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier Installation Problems to Avoid in Cathedral or Vaulted Ceiling Designs

Recently, homes are trending toward smaller, more compact sizes. Using extra-tall, cathedral or vaulted ceilings can create the illusion of a larger living space. But how do you avoid installation problems when insulating a cathedral or vaulted ceiling? How do you avoid problems when insulating an open ceiling?

Business Advice5 min
Plywood vs. OSB: Protecting Sub-Flooring From Rain

When it comes to installing sub-flooring, one concern rises to the top for many professionals: rain. No matter your geographical area, dealing with some amount of water in sub-floor panels during the installation process is inevitable. That’s why it’s important to know how to protect the sub-floor during construction and how to prevent water pooling on sub-floor panels.