Zip it Up in Construction!
Construction Product Highlight
Zip System Sheathing
As a general contractor, we “get” to use a lot of different products and if you’ve been in business as long as we have, you’ve used a variety of products that either make the grade or as the kids say “fail”. Fortunately, there is a product for creating a water and air barrier around a build that works incredibly well and is relatively simple to install. It’s known as Zip Sheathing and we use it regularly.
ZIP System® sheathing and tape is an innovative structural roof and wall system with an integrated water resistant and air barrier that streamlines the weatherization process and transforms it with a simple two-step installation. Just put up the panels and tape the seams.
Zip system sheathing combines OSB structural panels with a layer of resin-impregnated craft paper. The .01-inch-thick overlay is permanently bonded to the outside face of the panels in the press as the OSB is manufactured. The panels are manufactured for use as wall and roof sheathing; the roof sheathing panels have a gritty surface texture to improve traction. Roof panels come in 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch thicknesses in a standard 4×8 to 4X12, according to literature published at the manufacturer’s websites (huberwood.com, zipsystems.com). Wall panels are available either square-edged or with a self-spacing machine edged profile; roof panels can be tongue-and-groove, square-edged, or machine-edged. Using this product is a little more expensive up front but saves in energy and time on the back end which makes it worth the cost initially.
While buildingwrap (Tyvek, Typar) can be installed quickly by anyone, it’s rarer to see it installed well, and not uncommon to see it torn and flapping in the breeze – which would be impossible with a bonded WRB.
Next time we’ll talk about fluid applied vaper barriers.