A code-compliant and tested water-resistive barrier, like Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus™, can stop moisture that penetrates the siding of a building from infiltrating and accumulating within the wall system. Moisture in the walls is a problem because it can damage the integrity of a structure and impact the health of its occupants.
Protect a Building from Water Intrusion and Accumulation with a Tested and Code-Compliant Water-Resistive Barrier
Siding is the first protection against water entering the walls of a building or home. However, even moderate wind-driven rain or snow will drive water through the tiniest cracks in siding. Therefore, as the second line of defense against water entering a building or home, it is essential to install correctly, and according to code, a tested and high-quality continuous water-resistive barrier, like Barricade® Wrap or Barricade® Wrap Plus™ house wrap, under the exterior wall veneer.
The Devastating Result of Not Using a Tested and Code-Compliant Water-Resistive Barrier
The harmful and damaging consequences of either not using or improperly installing an untested water-resistive barrier is a build up of moisture within the wall system. Water accumulation within the wall leads to the growth of rot and mold. Rot degrades a structure and mold is unhealthy to the occupants of the building.
A properly installed, code-compliant and tested water-resistive barrier is permeable and allows moisture within the wall system to evaporate, which ensures the integrity and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of the building or home.
The Importance of a Code-Compliant Water-Resistive Barrier
The success of a water-resistive barrier is dependent on the contractor following the building codes for water-resistive barrier installation. Also, daily inspections and prompt repair of any defect in the water-resistive barrier is critical to the barrier’s performance. In fact, in many regions, a building inspection of the water-resistive barrier is required before the contractor can install the siding.
A best practice for installing a water-resistive barrier behind the siding is to follow the codes established by the 2018 International Building Codes (IBC) and the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), which mandate the requirements for water-resistance and vapor permeability.
- The IBC 1402.2 states that exterior walls shall provide the building with a weather-resistive exterior wall envelope, including a manner to stop water from accumulating within the wall assembly by providing a water-resistive barrier behind the exterior veneer.
- The 2018 IRC R703.1.1 requires that the exterior wall envelope shall be designed and constructed in a manner that prevents the accumulation of water within the wall assembly by providing a water-resistive barrier behind the exterior veneer as required by Section R703.2 and a means of draining to the exterior water that enters the assembly.
- In addition, the IRC R703.2 mandates application of an approved water-resistive barrier, according to manufacturer’s installation instructions, over studs or sheathing of every exterior wall. The approved water-resistive barrier must be continuous to the top of walls and stopped at openings and building appendages in a way to meet the requirements of the exterior wall envelope described in Section R703.1.
The Importance of Test-Compliant Water-Resistive Barriers
Furthermore, high-performing water-resistive barriers, like Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus, pass the following tests for air-resistance, water-resistance, permeability, UV-resistance, and tensile strength. These are all required traits to ensure the successful performance of a water-resistive barrier.
- A water-resistive barrier should achieve a high level of air resistance in accordance with IRC Section N1102.4.1 and IECC Section 402.4 and 502.4. Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus meet this requirement.
- A high-performing water-resistive barrier should pass all the tests used to measure its water-resistance: CCMC 07102 (pond test), ASTM D779 (boat test), and AATCC Test Method 127. Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus pass all these tests.
- The ASTM E96 standard requires a water-resistive barrier to have five perms or greater. The greater the perm, the more permeable the product. Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus both achieve greater than five perms.
- A high-quality, water-resistive barrier can endure long exposure from the sun before becoming damaged. Barricade® Wrap can withstand one-year of UV-exposure without damage occurring. Barricade® Wrap Plus house wrap can withstand nine-months of UV-exposure without damage occurring.
- A high-quality, water-resistive barrier should have high resistance to tearing. Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus house wrap both have a tear-resistant design and excellent strength.
A correctly installed, code-compliant, and tested water-resistive barrier can prevent an accumulation of moisture within a wall system and ensure the health and durability of a home or building. Both the IBC and IRC dictate the use of a water-resistive barrier behind the exterior veneer, installed per manufacturer’s instruction. In addition, the use of a tested, high-quality barrier is key to a water-barrier success.
Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus house wraps are both excellent high performing water-resistive barriers. Barricade® Wrap and Barricade® Wrap Plus house wrap meet and exceed the requirements of the IBC 1402.2 and IRC R703.1.1. They are also air- and moisture-resistive, permeable, UV-resistant, and have high tear strength.