Joining the Pieces Together: A New Weatherbarrier Sealant to Ensure Energy Retention of Commercial Buildings

Apr 02, 2012

Many new materials have been introduced over the past 5-10 years with the purpose of flashing and sealing through-wall building penetrations in such a way to avoid water leaks and air infiltration. Air barrier materials and weatherproofing membranes have made great advancements. Of these flashings and barrier materials, those with a polymer surface provide a difficult substrate for traditional sealants to adhere, creating the challenge of integrating the new materials with standard construction substrates. Joining the building wrap material to the flashing and to the substrate in the opening is critical so that all components together create the weather tight opening required for a high performance energy efficient building. Without a sealant to reliably adjoin the interface of these dissimilar building materials for the life of the building, buildings are at risk for air and/or water infiltration, reducing the energy performance of the building.

This paper discusses the building codes driving requirements for air barrier materials for commercial construction. This paper then introduces a new sealant which came onto the market in 2010 that addresses these adhesion concerns, offering a solution by which through wall penetrations in buildings can be flashed and sealed reliably to ensure that air and water leakage are prevented—not just at the time of installation, but for the life of the building. The sealant offers a solution by which membrane and flashing materials can be joined seamlessly together in a weather tight fashion and the flashing assembly can then be sealed to its adjacent substrates. This reliable sealing system—weather barrier membranes plus sealant—is critical to attaining the projected energy efficiency of the building.

Andrea Wagner (Dow Corning Corporation)
Kelly Broker (Dow Corning Corporation)
Presented at: 
Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST3) Conference
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Dow Corning Corporation
Building Enclosure Technology & Environment Council (National Institute of Building Sciences)

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