Call it the contractor’s unicorn: a technology that saves time and effort while improving quality. Like a unicorn, that combination often proves to be evasive, as timesaving too often translates to corner-cutting. But there is an exception to that rule. After a decade on the market, the results are in for Zip System® sheathing and tape, and the conclusion is clear: Zip System is faster and better.
Welcome to the Zip System Weatherization Revolution: a Structural-1-rated engineered wood panel with an integrated water-resistive barrier and a straightforward two-step installation process. Zip System eliminates the need for housewrap on walls and felt underlayment in roof applications while providing superior protection against the elements—in a fraction of the time.
In its ten years on the market, Zip System has proven its worth as a superior choice for contractors and property owners, providing a tight, reliable building envelope with an ease of installation that is unparalleled in the industry.
The Zip System is a complete, next-generation, building envelope solution comprising:
- Roof sheathing
- Wall sheathing
- Insulated R-Sheathing
- Flashing tape
- Stretch tape
- Liquid flash
- Peel and stick underlayment
Using Zip System helps contractors and homeowners across the country save on precious installation hours, materials, and costs while upping the weatherproofing game, keeping buildings safe and dry while decreasing energy costs over the long term. It’s a game-changer to say the least, and a record number of contractors are making the switch.
Let’s look at what’s required for superior weatherproofing and the ways in which Zip System delivers.
The Weatherproofing Trifecta
When it comes to weatherization, we have three primary goals: to create a dry building enclosure, establish a tight barrier against air leakage and provide maximum resistance to water intrusion. Zip System accomplishes all three while cutting down on time and materials, achieving the weatherproofing trifecta.
It also provides durability and resilience with its available Structural 1 rating—a requirement for building in particularly challenging environments. It’s important to consider three Ws when considering weatherproofing options: waterproofing, wind proofing and withstanding. Zip System addresses all three in revolutionary ways.
Weatherproofing is Waterproofing
Any contractor or homeowner will confirm that when it comes to weatherproofing, water is the most challenging enemy. When water finds its way in, it causes damage to materials and structure and can encourage mold and mildew growth.
A home’s primary defense against moisture is its exterior cladding, but of course that has the potential to fail over time, leaving protection up to the secondary line of defense for moisture management. Zip System’s secret weapon against water is its integrated water-resistive barrier that helps eliminate any risk of liquid getting trapped between the building wrap and sheathing, which allows panels to dry properly.
The protection is built right in, using a proprietary recipe of hydrophobic resins and wax that is permanently fused to the panel’s wood structure to protect against damage or harsh weather. When combined with a higher density wood substrate, Zip System results in a panel with superior tolerance to moisture exposure than standard oriented strand board (OSB). The unique textured surface of the Zip System sheathing is specifically engineered to promote drainage of bulk water.
Under third-party testing, Zip System sheathing and tape achieved greater than 90 percent drainage, versus less than 10 percent achieved by the leading branded housewrap. That is markedly superior protection against moisture, and a real win for the property owner.
Weatherproofing is Wind Proofing
Air leakage accounts for 25 to 40 percent of the energy used to heat and cool in a typical home. Higher air leakage results in higher energy bills and a greater carbon footprint, while lower energy bills make for happier homeowners and a greener planet. The Zip System’s taped seams form a continuous, rigid air barrier that helps reduce unwanted air leakage, resulting in a more energy-efficient exterior that saves on heating and cooling costs.
Third-party testing by Home Innovation Labs has confirmed that Zip System sheathing and tape provides a tighter air barrier assembly than traditional housewrap, with greater protection against airflow into and out of the house to help achieve a tight building envelope. The result is a more comfortable, energy-efficient building, which means lower energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint for the property owner.
Weatherproofing is Withstanding
Zip System provides durable, long-term water and air management while maximizing efficiency in installation. Its panels are available with a Structural 1 rating to provide shear strength to meet seismic and high-wind-zone requirements in challenging environments.
Builders working in coastal areas, flood plains, tornado alley and along unstable fault lines rely on Structural 1 panels to provide maximum protection. Combined with the durability and reliability Zip System offers, there is far less need for repair and upkeep over the long haul, saving time, money and worry.
Saving Time is Saving Money
As soon as Zip System sheathing and tape is properly installed, enclosed areas are already considered “rough dried in,” which is the stage of construction at which the interior is considered protected from weather. This is typically the stage at which exterior doors, windows and roof underlayment are installed.
Zip System’s two-step installation process gets a building to rough dried status fast, allowing projects to proceed with lightning speed—which is good news for contractors and their clients. Essentially, Zip System means saving an entire trip around the exterior versus housewrap, which has a big impact on the budget.
More Popular Than Ever
Backed by a 30-year limited warranty and 180-day exposure guarantee, word is spreading fast about the superiority of Zip System, and demand has reached record highs. Zip System manufacturer Huber reports 30 percent sales growth this year in the Northeast and 60 percent in the Mid-Atlantic.