Weather barriers prevent moisture, wind, and rain from passing through roofs and walls. They also help prevent the vulnerable components of a structure from deteriorating.
ZIP System and Tyvek are two leading weather-resistant barriers that provide a structure’s resistance to air and moisture. These two products should be properly installed to ensure they perform effectively and efficiently. Let’s compare these two brands according to their installation efficiency, durability, price, and warranty.
ZIP System | The New Sheathing Technology
The ZIP System, manufactured by Huber Engineered Woods, LLC, is a new sheathing technology comprising a ZIP system tape and sheathing panels. Its sheathing panels are wood structural OSB sheathing material designed with an exterior facer.
Additionally, its exterior facer is made of a polymer-modified material impregnated with medium-density phenol. It’s also qualified as a Grade-D 60-minute weather-resistant barrier. The sealing tape is self-adhesive with the ZIP system because it’s made with a polyolefin sheet and an acrylic adhesive backing.
The ZIP System has the following advantages, making it a preferred weather-resistant barrier by many.
It is quick to install because the weather-resistant barrier is directly applied to the panels created in the factory.
Resistant to Wind Damage
The ZIP System is not easily blown away because of its structural sheathing. Its fastener spacing in house wraps is also tighter than the ordinary, making it more resistant to strong winds.
Note the following disadvantages of the ZIP System as well.
Butted and Taped Sheathing Panels
In the ZIP System, the sheathing panels are butted together with a gap of ⅛ inch in between. With this assembly, water can still enter the structure through wrinkled or improperly taped panels. With this, the tape must be properly installed and applied on dry and clean surfaces.
Penetrations Can Create A Reverse Lap
The ZIP System’s installation method uses tape to treat any penetration, creating reverse laps. Reverse laps can also cause water entry when the tape is improperly applied or is wrinkled.
Over-Driven Fasteners Causing Membrane Damage
Over-driven fasteners can cause water intrusion and structural loads to the sheathing panels, leading to membrane damage.
Tyvek Homewrap | The Long Trusted Weather Protection
Tyvek Homewrap, manufactured by E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Company, Inc or DuPont™, is a weather-resistant barrier made of olefin sheets created from high-density polyethylene fibers. The olefin sheets are non-woven, non-perforated, and spun-bonded while subjected to pressure and heat. A Tyvek Homewrap is equivalent to a Grade-D 60-minutes weather-resistant barrier.
The Tyvek Homewrap has several pros you can note when comparing WRB brands.
Easy to Apply Over Open Studs
You can install Tyvek Homewrap over framing with open studs and sheathings because it’s sheet good and similar to most building papers.
Because Tyvek Homewrap is installed similar to traditional building papers, it overlaps at the seams. The overlapped seams allow protection of the structure against water intrusion.
Window Heads Lapped in a Weatherboard Assembly
The weatherboard manner of window heads allows greater protection and structural durability.
On the other hand, there are also disadvantages you should note.
Possibly Damaged By Wind
A Tyvek Homewrap’s exterior cladding, final fasteners, and securement take several weeks to install fully. While the finishing touches are not yet installed, they could get damaged.
Can Also Have A Reverse Lap When Used As An Air Barrier
Tyvek Homewrap can also create reverse laps when used as air barriers at the seams. Reverse laps are more likely to be damaged when hit by strong winds.
Proper installation is essential for both brands to achieve maximum functional efficiency. As mentioned earlier, the ZIP system is quick to install. However, the tape installation for this weather-resistant barrier is crucial. All edges of the ZIP system’s seam tapes should be properly sealed and taped to avoid wrinkle formation.
On the other hand, the Tyvek Homewrap is easy to install and quickly repaired if damages are formed on the job site.
Overall Protection And Durability
The Tyvek weather-resistant barriers are made with nonwoven olefin sheets, which are tear- and puncture-resistant. These sheets enable them to withstand extreme rugged conditions on job sites. However, when Tyvek Homewraps become punctured or torn, they are easy to repair with the Tyvek tape.
On the other hand, the ZIP system is more difficult to repair when similar damage is done. The damaged areas have to be properly repaired and taped to maintain the integrity of the walls. With this, most consumers prefer disposing of damaged ZIP System sheathings than repairing them.
The ZIP system is more expensive than the Tyvek Homewrap, but their prices are comparable. Also, take note that more labor is involved in installing Tyvek Homewrap, so the prices of both brands might become the same after considering Tyvek’s labor cost.
Generally, the ZIP system’s costing is also worth it, even though it’s slightly more expensive than Tyvek because of its better air sealing capabilities and energy efficiency.
ZIP System’s 30-year warranty is three times longer and better than Tyvek’s warranty of only 10 years. However, this 30-year warranty has the following restrictions:
- The tape should not be exposed to dust, dirt, or extremely cold temperatures.
- The tape should not be wrinkled after application.
- It is non-transferable.
The ZIP system and Tyvek Homewrap contain good qualities, making each a better option for certain situations. After comparing the two brands based on the mentioned qualities, the decision and preference as to which brand is better would still depend on you.
Regardless of what you choose, remember that proper installation of these weather-resistant barriers will contribute to their overall efficiency and durability.