Sheet Applied Air Barriers

Commercial air barrier membranes are available in two main types – sheet applied air barriers and fluid applied air barriers. When considering a sheet applied air barrier – also referred to as self-adhered air barrier – it’s important to understand the advantages as well as the limitations as it relates to your particular project.

Advantages of sheet-applied air barriers

A great advantage of sheet-applied air barriers is that they offer factory-controlled thickness. There is no guessing on how much to roll or spray onto the wall like when working with a fluid applied air barrier, and generally there is no need for special equipment during installation.

Sheet applied air barriers also can cover gaps and holes up to ¼” without fill. They are instantly resistant to rain and contact after installation, unlike most fluid applied air barriers which need time to dry after installation.

Other considerations of sheet-applied air barriers

When working with sheet-applied air barriers, you must make sure that neighboring sheets are lapped tight. If you leave any area unsecured, it could create an opening for moisture and air infiltration. Also, sheets must be installed tight to the substrate with no wrinkles or bridging in corners.

Some sheet-applied air barriers require a primer for proper installation. If a primer is required, keep in mind that this may increase the installation time and overall project scheduling. It’s also important that you have a smooth surface for good adhesion. Finally, asphalt edges must be kept back ½” from the exterior’s finish.

Self-adhered air barrier membrane systems from Henry

Henry offers various types of permeable and impermeable self-adhered air barrier systems.

Blueskin VP160 is a vapor permeable, water resistive air barrier membrane that consists of an engineered film and a patented, permeable adhesive technology with split-back poly-release film. Blueskin VP160 fully adheres to the wall substrates to create a continuous plane of air-tightness, helping to improve building thermal performance.

Blueskin Metal Clad is a non-permeable, water resistive air barrier membrane that consists of rubberized asphalt and dual layers of high strength polyethylene with a surface layer of metallic aluminum film. With the help of its metallic surfacing, Blueskin Metal Clad provides excellent weather resistance. It also provides permanent UV exposure under open joint cladding.

Blueskin SA and SA LT are also non-permeable air barrier membranes that consist of an SBS rubberized asphalt compound laminated on a blue polyethylene film. They are both impermeable to air, moisture vapor and water, and are designed to install easily on a variety of prepared substrates.

Henry also offers a complete line of self-adhered flashings, sealants and primers engineered to work together and create a complete air barrier system.

When you are looking for the right sheet applied air barrier for your next project, turn to Henry. With a complete portfolio of air barrier system solutions, Henry can help you find the right system to meet your building’s design needs. And if it’s determined a fluid applied air barrier is needed instead of a sheet applied air barrier, Henry has you covered with options there as well. Reach out to a trusted Henry advisor to discuss your next project today.

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