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Re-siding a Home: Getting Weatherization Right

When working with a homeowner on a re-siding project, professional exterior remodelers understand it’s much more than simply installing the selected cladding. With every re-siding project, there is an opportunity to improve the weatherization system to bring the home up to code, protect against moisture, and even reduce energy costs.

A compatible weatherization system effectively manages bulk water and can eliminate unwanted air leakage which impacts energy usage. A wall weatherization system – a water-resistive barrier (WRB), flashing and sealant – is likely not top of mind for the homeowner, but communicating its importance is one way for remodelers to demonstrate expertise and emphasize the importance of quality products and installation. 

Manage Bulk Water

Water intrusion presents a significant risk to any home, which is why a basic level of weather-resistance is the minimum standard for building design and construction. There are many types of air barriers and water-resistive barriers (WRB) including:

Self-Adhered Water & Air Barriers: These barriers provide a continuous plane of airtightness and eliminate moisture intrusion. Thanks to factory-controlled thickness, self-adhered membranes are a favorite of many architects and specification writers. And contractors appreciate the easy peel-and-stick installation system that self-seals around nails and fasteners.

Mechanically Fastened Water-Resistive Barriers: These are the most common type of WRBs, or housewraps, and can be used behind any cladding type. There are drainable options with ≥95% drainage efficiency and options with excellent UV and surfactant resistance. No matter the type, these WRBs must be installed with fasteners. A non-woven, non-perforated design will offer superior protection and an air barrier can be created by taping seams.

Asphalt Saturated Kraft Paper (ASK): A building paper ideal for drier climates and for use under masonry and stucco.

Rain Screens: An exterior wall detail in which the weather-facing (cladding) surface is fixed at least 1/8th of an inch away from the weather-resistive barrier surface on the wall. That gap creates a capillary break, or drainage plane, that allows moisture to drain and evaporate. It’s used in conjunction with a WRB. A rain screen is particularly beneficial for areas that experience wind-driven rain, heavy rainfall, or high temperatures and humidity. Any moisture that passes the cladding can easily drain away and the capillary break allows for improved ventilation and drying.

Control Air Leakage

Uncontrolled airflow can cause condensation in the insulation and/or other building materials. Wet insulation decreases thermal resistance. Wet insulation and materials can freeze and thaw, accelerating aging and compromising a home’s integrity and durability.

Self-adhered water and air barriers, like Blueskin® VP100, can help provide a continuous plane of airtightness and eliminate moisture intrusion to efficiently control air leakage into and out of the building envelope. Tests confirm much lower air changes per hour with Blueskin VP100 than with typical alternate approaches. Lower air changes equate to higher energy efficiency, and energy modeling confirms that energy use for heating and cooling is 23-50% lower with Blueskin VP100.

Cladding Compatibility

In addition to managing water and controlling air leakage, cladding is a critical part of the wall assembly and impacts the selection of the water-resistive barrier or air barrier. The role of the WRB is to provide a second layer of protection that keeps the wall assembly dry and free from moisture damage. While self-adhered and mechanically fastened barriers can be used with most claddings, there are claddings with unique requirements. 

Cedar / Wood Siding

For homes that feature cedar or wood siding accents, drainage efficiency is key. Many self-adhered and mechanically fastened WRBs offer ≥95% drainage efficiency. A drainable WRB can also be paired with a rainscreen, which creates a gap between the cladding and WRB to allow moisture to drain and evaporate through improved airflow.

Masonry & Stucco

Building code requires two layers of WRB behind these types of claddings. Asphalt Saturated Kraft (ASK) paper is a good choice for the “sacrificial layer” that is adjacent to the stucco/mortar. Even if some of the stucco sticks to this layer, the second layer will act as a WRB and allow the structure to dry. ASK can be paired with a rainscreen for improved drainage and airflow.

Open-Joint Cladding

The use of open joint cladding has been a recent trend in residential construction. It reimagines the traditional facade, creating a more modern, bold design with clean lines. Open-joint cladding requires a WRB layer that can withstand indefinite UV exposure. These WRBs are often black so they “disappear” behind the open joints.

Henry® Can Help

Your goal is to deliver a comfortable, energy-efficient, and stylish home for every client. When it comes to re-siding a home, there is a lot at stake. With Henry, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a reliable, high-performance, and compatible weatherization system from a single source. You’ll also be working with a company dedicated to helping you find the best solution that protects your reputation and provides peace of mind for your clients with a 15-year Henry® 1-2-3 Moisture Control™ System warranty.

Before you begin your next window or door replacement project, consult with the experts at Henry. Informed by 80+ years of expertise, Henry building envelope experts can help you select the system that best meets your project requirements, from foundation to wall to roof.

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