I am currently working on a blog post for Green Building Advisor where I will be testing a few different tapes in cold weather applications. That article will appear here, on my blog, after it has published on GBA. In preparing for that test, I’ve learned a few things I thought I would share.
Construction tapes are pressure sensitive adhesives or PSA’s, they require pressure to activate the bond between the tape and the surface the tape is being applied to. This is called wetting the tape and the best way to achieve that bond is to use a J-roller.
There are three main formulations of tapes that are common in construction, acrylic, butyl and rubberized asphalt. There is a fourth, a silicon-based tape that I have not seen or used.
Acrylic is probably the most commonly used construction tape. It works well when applied in low temperatures, is more environmentally friendly than other options, and creates a strong bond with most surfaces. On the downside, it does take one to three days to fully adhere and is typically the most expensive of the three options.
3M’s 8067 is an acrylic tape
Butyl, which is a synthetic rubber, is also a fairly common tape. It can stick at lower temperatures, though usually not as low as acrylic, is flexible and makes an effective water and air barrier. It is also typically a little cheaper than acrylics. It sometimes has a problem sticking to rough or dirty surfaces without a primer and doesn’t play nice with solvents.
Henry Blueskin’s Butyl Flash and Tyvek’s Flashing Systems and Flexwrap are all Butyl tapes.
Rubberized asphalt is the cheapest of the three tapes and makes an excellent water barrier. These tapes have the same basic properties as ice and water used for roof eave protection. The drawbacks are they do not work well in low temps and may bleed at high temperatures. They also may require a primer in certain installations.
Vycor Plus is a rubberized asphalt tape.
I have used all three types, acrylic, butyl and rubberized asphalt, but by far the ones I prefer are the acrylics. My three favorites are Zip Tape by Huber, 3M’s 8067 and Siga’s Wigluv. We will see if my opinion can be changed after testing.
Here is the list of tapes I will be using in the test.
- Siga’s Wigluv
- Proclima’s Tescon Vanna
- 3M’s 8067
- Huber’s Zip Flashing Tape
- Benjamin Obdyk’s Hydroflash
- Tyvek Seam Tape
- Protecto Wrap’s Super Stick
- Tyvek Flashing Tape
- Barricade Ulti Flashing Tape
- Henry Blueskin Butyl Flash
The Rubberized Asphalt
- Protecto Wrap’s BT25XL
- Grace Vycor Plus
That’s twelve different tapes. The testing I am planning will include taping to different surfaces; OSB, plywood, fiberboard, board sheathing, Zip sheeting, a housewrap and XPS foam. I will be applying the tape at both room temperature and at below freezing temperatures. All the tapes will be rolled. I will try to pull each of the tapes off after at least 24 hours of being applied to each of the surfaces while still in the very cold conditions.
Stay tuned, it may be a couple months before the test results are published. I am looking forward to the results.