net zero | passive house, maryland: its all about the tape
December 9, 2014
Just in time for the holidays, our construction crew (Gosnell Builders) received a fine lesson in taping from Santa’s finest little taping elf (Michael Hindle, CPHC, Passive to Positive). Our elves were happy with the performance of both SIGA Wigluv and Tescon Vana tapes, which are being used over our primary plywood sheathing air barrier.
LESSON ONE: Get in the field and see how planned methods work. Get your hands on the materials yourself to see that what you draw actually works. Or doesn’t.
LESSON TWO: With membranes and plastic sheets, corners matter. A lot. Don’t just drape the membrane into an area with hopes that it will be sealed by the extra material. Cut neat, flat areas in the field of an assembly, and bring them up to – but not over the corner – and tape it off. Then tape a smaller, more manageable patch to fit into the corner. Neatly fold the corners with sufficient, but not excessive overlap (it really is just like wrapping a gift). Above may require a YouTube video of of above mentioned elf.
LESSON THREE: As defined in our Sequence of Operations, we installed our SIGA membrane over the top of the foundation wall and under the sill plate, to be taped to the exterior sheathing later. When the guys were installing this membrane, they used a large strip with lots of over-lap. This made it hard during taping because where one sheet ended and another picked up, the overlaps were so excessive that it was very hard to know if you were getting a continuous taped seam. Also the excess material flapped in the western breezes over the course of a month and was in less than pristine taping condition. If we use this method again, we will stipulate that overlaps be no more than 6″ and only narrow strips of material be left “hanging out” and be taped down temporarily.