Using the Zip System Sheathing and Tape for Better Building Enclosure

While the evolution of building enclosures for weather, moisture and internal structure temperature stability has been going on for well over a hundred years, there haven’t been many milestone changes. Builders and contractors have been relying on house wraps for some time, and while they continue to serve a purpose, they have their drawbacks. With the emergence of ZIP System Sheathing and Tape from Huber Engineered Woods LLC, many see it as the next step in that evolution.

ZIP System sheathing system combines an engineered sheathing and a moisture barrier into one product. What sets them apart is that the panels are engineered with the protective barrier pressed right into the pane under enormous pressure to make the pane and the barrier a single surface. This surface is now water-resistant and vapor permeable, which can be far superior to a house wrap in most situations.

Once butted and nailed properly, the panels use ZIP System flashing tape with an advanced adhesive to provide an exceptional seal that is virtually air and watertight. This system can reduce installation time by as much as 40 percent over traditional OSB with a house wrap. The typical building process of installing a house wrap material over wood sheathing panels prior to siding and roofing requires nailing and stapling the wrap to the sheathing and then sealing the seams with tape. Not only does this take a long time and require at least two installers, it introduces the potential for mold and moisture issues if not done correctly.

A single worker can complete the Zip System panels and tape. The company also offers stretch tape to conform to challenging curves and corners. Once applied, you use a roller to remove any air bubbles to ensure a watertight seal. Before rolling, the tape can be removed and repositioned if need be to ensure the best application. At this point, siding and roofing can be installed directly on top of the ZIP System sheathing.

ZIP System sheathing reduces air leakage, which decreases drafts and keeps out dust, insects, pollutants, and odors while improving energy efficiency and interior comfort of the home. According to the manufacturer, most homes with the ZIP System save an average of 11 percent on heating and cooling bills.

ZIP System sheathing panels are available in three thicknesses, allowing you to choose the strength and protection you need. Long-length panels can help reduce the number of seams required. Huber offers a 30-year warranty on both the air and water penetration properties and the panel structure.

All panels are 7/16″ Struc-1 Rated to provide an equivalent or better strength rating than 1/2″ OSB, 1/2″ Fir, and 1/2″ Struc-1 Plywood. The manufacturer also provides a 180-Day Exposure Guarantee for all Zip System tapes along with a 30-Year Limited Warranty. All tapes can be applied between 0 degrees and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Learn more about Huber Engineered Wood products at Builders’ General.