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Choosing the Correct Building Wrap For Your Project Part 1

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Building wraps help protect your projects from moisture, which has a tendency to infiltrate walls and ceilings. Excessive moisture infiltration can compromise the structural integrity of a building over time. When you consider the fact that a study conducted by University of Florida researchers revealed that “nearly 70 percent of construction litigation is related to moisture infiltration,” it becomes undeniably clear that this is a significant problem. 

Specifying the right building wrap is integral to protecting your projects from destructive moisture. If you fail to do so, you could find yourself the target of a defective work claim. In this two-part article, a construction lawyer in Clarksville, TN, will share some tips for choosing the correct building wrap for your projects. Whether you’re building residential or commercial properties, installing the right kind of building wrap can help ensure that your project is protected and your client is satisfied.

3 Important Functions

Building wraps are relatively inexpensive and extremely useful. The main purpose of these flexible membranes is to prevent precipitation from infiltrating the exterior cladding where it can damage the sheathing, but they also provide a means of egress for water vapor to exit the building envelope and help to regulate the amount of air flowing inside and outside of the structure. When selecting a building wrap for a project, it’s imperative that it be able to perform these three important functions.

Calculate for Longevity 

Unlike many other parts of a building, like the roof, windows, and HVAC, when you install a building wrap on a commercial project, it must survive for life. In residential construction, it’s possible (and recommended) to apply another layer of wrap over an existing layer when replacing the siding on a house. The rationale is that it’s impossible to tell how much UV exposure the building wrap received during construction. Most wraps are only meant to be exposed for a maximum of three or four months. This could have an effect on the longevity of a building wrap. Commercial buildings follow different design principles, so the building wrap you install initially will likely be expected to last for as long as the building stands.

Some of the materials commonly used for building wraps include: 

  • Asphalt-Saturated Felt 
  • Kraft Paper 
  • Woven Polymeric 
  • Nonwoven Polymeric
  • Liquid-Applied Polymer-Asphalt Membranes

Each of these materials has notable distinctions and must be assessed carefully to ensure that the best result is achieved for each particular project you are working on. Installing the wrong building wrap could allow moisture to infiltrate a building, resulting in a defective work claim. If this has happened to you, consult a construction attorney in Clarksville, TN.

To learn more about building wraps, including how to apply them and perform compatibility and performance comparisons, read part two.

If you would like to speak with a construction law attorney in Clarksville, TN, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.