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Air Barriers

Air Barrier Line Card 2014

Water resistive barriers are materials on the exterior of a building which are intended to resist liquid (bulk) water that has leaked, penetrated or seeped past the exterior cladding from absorbing into the exterior sheathing or concrete wall (depending on the application) and further into the wall assembly. Water resistive barrier materials can be mechanically fastened building wraps, fluid applied membranes, cellular plastic, self adhered, building paper or any other material that has been designed to resist liquid water. Water resistive barriers are combined with flashing and other supporting materials to ensure that there is a shingled effect to direct liquid water away from the exterior sheathing. Air barrier materials are materials that are used anywhere in a building assembly to stop the movement of air into or out of the conditioned space (water vapor can also be transported by air). Air barriers can be mechanically fastened building wraps, self-adhered membranes, fluid-applied materials, insulating boardstock, non-insulating boardstock, spray polyurethane foam, poured concrete, metal, glass, and a host of other materials. Vapor barriers are materials used to slow or reduce the movement of water vapor through a material (water vapor is also transported by air leakage but this can be resolved by installing an air barrier). Vapor barrier materials are installed on the warm side of the insulation in a building assembly. The position of the vapor barrier in a building assembly will be determined based on the climatic conditions. In warm climates, it will be on the exterior and in cold climates, it will be on the interior. – information supplied by ABAA

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