Construction Materials-Tape Test-Part 3

This is the final post on this round of construction tape testing.  As you might recall, the first tape test post was about cold temperature application of the tapes, and then trying to remove the tapes off various substrates while remaining cold.  (See the first tape test post here.)  Some performed better than others, but none had the tack of the second round of testing which was performed on plywood at room temperatures.  (See that post here.)   This final round of testing came about because I still had a question.  Will the tape bond increase if the tape is applied at cold temperatures and then warmed, much like a normal construction application might experience?

The test started by cooling both the plywood substrate and various tapes down by moving them outside.  The outdoor temperatures were a little colder than I wanted, right around 0°F, but they all stuck to the surface of the plywood.  I then rolled the tapes and left them outside overnight where they experienced lows temps in the teens below zero.  

In the morning, I brought the test board inside where it warmed to room temperatures.  I didn’t try to pull the tapes off for a few days to allow the tapes to achieve a full bond.  Before I get to the video of me pulling the tapes off, here is a condensed video of the first tape removal when both the tapes and plywood are cold.

Now for the moment everyone is excited for…did the tape bond increase after returning to a more normal temperature?

Yep, most of the tapes were hard to pull off, a few I did manage to pull off ended up destroying the tape.  I did misspeak in the video; I called the silver-colored tape Pro Clima when it is actually Protecto Wrap.  I was a little disappointed in the Zip tape, it was not overly hard to remove, but to be fair, that tape is designed to work best with Zip Sheathing.  The other tape that pulled off easily was the Baricade Ulti Flash.  the Baricade and Protecto Wrap were the only butyl tapes tested.

My takeaway.

Applying most of these tapes in cold weather should not be an issue if the tapes are installed per the manufacturer’s instructions.  The tapes I tested all had a low temperature application suggestion listed by the respective manufacturer.  This third test indicates the bond between the tape and substrate should increase as the assembly cycles through a temperature increase.  That being said, if you can avoid applying tapes in cold weather, tape when temperatures moderate, the results are much better.

Something I have noticed on the #barndominium project, a job I am currently working on, movement in the taped substrate can affect the tape’s ability to stay bonded during cold temperatures.  There is no sheathing on this project, the WRB is pulled between posts which are placed six feet on center.  Movement in the WRB as the wind blows is having an effect in areas of the taped joints.  Some of the WRB wasn’t pulled as tight as it should have been, this is allowing more movement in these locations where we are seeing the failures.  I believe this would be less of a problem if we were applying the tapes in warmer weather or there was less movement between the tape and WRB (keeping the WRB tight during installation).

This has been a fun round of testing, I’ve gained some knowledge on tape performance and discovered which tapes perform better in cold weather.  I have begun setting up for the next round of tests.  Here’s a quick preview.

Water Resistive Barrier Testing

The primary purpose of a water (some call it weather) resistive barrier or house wrap is to protect the moisture sensitive materials behind it, if these sensitive surfaces do become wet, it is beneficial to have the moisture dry through the WRB.  My question is how well do these WRB’s act as an air control product?  We will be testing mechanically attached, fully adhered and factory applied WRB’s for their ability to stop air movement through a wall assembly.  Stay tuned.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *