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Business Advice5 min

The Importance Of Vapor Permeability In Building Envelopes

Since 1898, the American Society for Testing and Materials (now called ASTM International) has developed technical standards for a wide variety of building materials. They test for things like burn resistance. For weather-resistant barriers (WRBs), ASTM has developed rigorous tests for water resistance and water penetration, plus an air barrier assembly test. But an equally important test is ASTM E96, which measures water vapor permeability over a 24-hour period.

Even after exterior cladding goes up, walls can get wet. Small amounts of moisture in the wall turn to gas (water vapor) that needs to escape. If walls can’t dry out thoroughly, the home is susceptible to mold and rot. 

The term vapor permeability (sometimes called “breathability”) refers to a material’s ability to let water vapor pass through it. ASTM E96 measures this in units called “perms” – and today’s building codes require WRBs to provide 5 perms or higher.

The Difference Between House Wrap and WRB

Since the 1960s, many builders have relied on plastic house wraps to achieve superior vapor permeability. But house wraps are applied after traditional sheathing is installed and approved by code officials. Then a crew has to return to wrap and tape the whole house.

In contrast, a product like new LP WeatherLogic Air & Water Barrier requires fewer steps. The sheathing and weather-protective layer are combined in a single panel that can be installed just like regular sheathing. The panel seams are then securely taped with an advanced acrylic tape that features one of today’s highest quality adhesives. And because the vapor-permeable overlay is permanently integrated into the panel, it won’t tear or blow away.

One of the best ways to get a tight building envelope is to use a structural panel like LP WeatherLogic barrier where the sheathing and vapor-permeable layer are tightly bonded during the manufacturing process. It’s a breakthrough that involves fewer steps and less waiting than using house wrap.

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Business Advice4 min

Predictions for 2020 from LP Execs

The homebuilding industry is always changing, thanks to housing trends, shifts in buyer preferences, new technologies and even finance options. We recently sat down with Brad Southern, CEO of LP Building Solutions, and Mike Sims, LP’s SVP of Marketing and Business Development, to discuss the latest industry developments.

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Industry Trends3 min
Why Key Strategies for Reducing Labor Time May Be Backfiring

Many construction companies and remodelers have been sorely challenged by the shortage of skilled laborers. As more companies struggle to find good workers and juggle projects, many are thirsty for strategies that promise to trim time.

Business Advice4 min
Why Remodelers Should Switch to LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding

Are you considering switching to LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding? Many remodelers and installers are anxious about switching to a new product—even when they know, in their gut, that it’s the right move. If you’re worried about change, here are four questions to ask yourself: What are the advantages of the product? How quickly can I get my team trained? How will the change benefit my company and reputation? What is the availability of the products?

Outdoor Living3 min
Shed Builder Spotlight: Lapp Structures

Since its start in 1987, Lapp Structures has transitioned from producing standard sheds to making aspirational builds a core element of its business. Coining the term DreamSpaces™, Lapp Structures helps customers create unique shed builds where they can explore their hobbies without sacrificing the comfort of home. Due to its unmatched consistency, proprietary technology and extreme durability, Lapp Structures names LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® a key component to its success.