Huber Zip system vs Normal Sheathing/Tyvek

obwannabAugust 13, 2008

I'm deliberating going with the Huber Zip system, and was wondering if anyone had used the product, what their experience with it was, and what was the cost differential as compared to a normal sheathing/tyvek combo.


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I used it, but was close to a year ago now. Check around and at the time they were offerinc up to $1000 rebate for first time users, and with a rebate was actually the same or cheaper. And I do think it is a better product as long as the seams are taped properly. They are not fully taped here yet but you get the idea......

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 3:32PM
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Vapor permeable acrylic coatings are the future of weather/air barriers because there is no space for moisture to collect like there is with a plastic wrap. The disadvantage of this system is the joints. I wold ask Huber if there is a primer for the tape.

If you like this idea the ultimate version of it is a liquid applied system like STO GoldCoat because it wraps into the openings and covers the reinforcing mesh at the sheathing joints and it has been used for a much longer time. Unfortunately few home builders are familiar with it unless they also do commercial work.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 3:54PM
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Thanks guys. I'm having my builder run cost projections both ways.


Wouldn't the tape/joints also be the achilles heel of normal sheathing/Tyvek also? Around here I see Tyvek coming loose flopping around in the wind all the time on new construction. My guess is that the repairs tend to be rather adhoc, and perhaps not done with much attention to detail as the initial install(assuming of course that the job was even done right to begin with).

Of course that's a function of the person doing the work, but you know how that goes... That's one of the things that has driven me to research the Huber system. There shouldn't be any issues(repairs), assuming the job is done right the first time.

I'll ask about the primer, and/or STO Goldcoat. I've seen the Huber system used locally on a few new houses recently, so it's available, although not too common.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 2:41AM
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I have never seen any brand of housewrap installed properly. Most builders won't tape the horizontal joints. Apparently, for them it's just an underlayment that's easier and quicker to install than building paper.

With the liquid systems no one has to teach the builder how to install housewrap (if that's even possible).

Of course, the weak point is the joints and I haven't seen the tape material yet.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 7:58AM
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I can tell you that the huber zip tape is good stuff. I believe it has met the code requirements to be used as flashing tape in most areas.
While framing the framers was getting the gun started and about a foot long piece of the tape was left on the advantec subfloor. A couple days later we got about 2-3 inches of rain, and the first floor of our house had an inch or two of standing water in it for a couple days until I got it all out. After the water was removed from the flooring, the advantec was in great shape with no swelling, but you could see it was very wet. I removed the piece of zip tape from the subfloor and the advantec was as dry and clean and looked like it was new. If it can keep it waterproof after being submerged in water for a couple days, its good stuff IMO as long as the sheets are clean and you apply it with no kinks or ridges.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 9:16AM
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A fantastic product in every sense. I had an extended build going-on where the zip roof was left exposed for near 5 months. This was through last summer and into the late fall (lots of rain). The tape did not budge! Huber stopped into to see the build as my area did not offer the product at the time, we had it trucked in. Great company as well!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 9:58AM
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Thanks, Guys! That's good info. The cost projections are getting done now, so I'm hoping it's still in the same ball park.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 12:20PM
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I used it on my build. My thinking was that the Huber would not be subject to warping problems that wet osb has. Also as stated before the improper installation of wrap may create more problems than it helps.

FWIW, I spoke to a guy that does mostly remodel work. He said that many of the houses he has worked on have wrap over osb. The osb apparently gives off enough dust to clog the bottom pores of the wrap causing an accumulation of moisture and rotten studs and plates. Not good.

I also used the Huber roof panels, but I still used tar paper under my shingles. They say you don't have to but I wanted the extra layer of protection, plus I'm not sure the shingle warranty is valid without the tar paper.

The only down side I see is when the framer misses the stud, he creates a hole that should probably be patched with tape. And the tape is expensive.

Let us know what you found $$.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:53AM
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mlo1 shingle comapny also required felt underlayment for thier implied warranty.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:25PM
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Any news on the cost of this product?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 7:39PM
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The idea that the weather protection of a building relies on an acrylic adhesive adhering to a treated kraft paper surface contradicts what I was taught regarding the detailing of building envelopes. How can you trust a manufacturer's claim that is based only on their own accelerated weathering tests? I would want some independent verification before hiding it in the wall of a building. And what happens after 20 years? Is this the new maintenance interval for houses? Do we pay extra for "low maintenance" only to have to replace the cladding every 20 years? Wood siding over building felt is still doing fine on my house after 120 years. I added a mudroom and had to replace the rotted sheathing after 15 years. Do we no longer know how to build houses?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 9:56PM
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Not yet. I'm hoping the estimates will be complete within the next week or so.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:02PM
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Our local code requires 1 inch roof sheathing. I needed to be able to physically deal with it and decided on two 1/2 inch layers. Our big concern was if moisture ever did get between the two layers that it would lead to trouble. Our quality of 1/2 inch plywood has also dropped increadibly. We did a small test with the Zip product by submerging some cut pieces into zip locks and leaving them for awhile. Compared to other products we had access to it was eye opening. It is a true 1/2 inch thickness and very rigid and flat. While not scientific I feel we atleast gave it a half hearted test for our own situation. Some of these codes are crazy to figure work-arounds!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 11:55AM
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It's interesting all the lengths we go to these days. The 200 y/o house I grew up in needed new siding on the south side due to weathering. Under the clapboards was-nothing! Just massive chestnut boards, 2" thick and up to 36" wide, attached to the timber frame. No tar paper- hadn't been invented yet. There was no evidence of rot or insect damage. I don't recall if any felt or anything was used under the new siding- it was a long time ago.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 1:18PM
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The Sto Gold Coat warranty is only five years.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 4:45PM
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And Tyvek only 10 years, with enough limitations to render it 100% uncollectible.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 4:52PM
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