Exterior wall sheathing strengthens the wall system, provides a nailing base for the siding, and gives a layer of protection against outside elements. Exterior wall sheathing is either structural or non-structural. Structural exterior wall sheathing ties framing studs together, making the walls resistant to twisting and bending. However, most structural exterior wall sheathings lack insulation value. Non-structural exterior wall sheathing works with the building’s envelope to provide added insulation. Non-structural exterior wall sheathing also prevents intrusion of either water or wind and, in some cases, it acts as a radiant barrier. There are several structural and non-structural exterior wall sheathing options available to home and commercial buildings.
Structural sheathing gives a home or commercial building integrity and rigidity. It provides a surface for the application of materials, like siding, and helps shield a structure from rain, snow, wind, etc. Five common structural exterior sheathing options include wood-based, gypsum, glass mat, cement board, and Barricade® Thermo-Brace®.
Non-structural exterior wall sheathing, also called insulating sheathing, is installed on the exterior wall to add insulation and provide a radiant barrier. Non-structural exterior wall installation of the sheathing is on the exterior or interior side of the structural sheathing. Insulating sheathing comes in various R-values. Examples of non-structural exterior wall sheathing are plastic, foam, cellulose fiber, paper faced and foil faced boards.
Visit Barricade Building Products for more information on exterior wall sheathing.