A Tough Barrier
Air barrier membrane protects a Florida residence from the ravages of wind-driven rain and guards against the harmful effects of moisture and air infiltration.
Seaside, Fla., is located along the state’s Panhandle Coast midway between Ft. Walton Beach and Panama City. The community is often referred to as an example of new urbanism, a design movement that promotes walkable neighborhoods, easier pedestrian accessibility and greater integration of public transportation.
Composed of different housing styles, boutiques, services, restaurants and offering cultural events throughout the year, the area has made a significant impact on urban planning and offers homeowners a unique residential experience.
CHALLENGING WEATHER EXTREMES
Given the geography, structures in Seaside are often subject to weather extremes—high humidity, heavy downpours, and tropical, wind-driven rain spawned from the Gulf of Mexico.
A new three-story residence facing the Gulf, as well as Seaside’s main thoroughfare proves no exception. The Arkon Group, the site contractor, had seen what trapped moisture could do to homes constructed in the area over the past 20 years.
So that the building would receive maximum protection and remain problem-free, Arkon wanted a system that was superior in quality to traditional house wraps or felt, that was easy to install and would adhere tightly to prepared construction substrates. While the residence’s first floor was placed using CMU, the second and third floor exterior walls were constructed with plywood sheathing. Both of these material surfaces required durable moisture protection and strict air leakage control to ensure the long-term durability of the building.
To restrict moisture from infiltrating the walls of the residence’s upper stories, the Arkon Group convinced the project architect and residence owner to choose a vapor permeable air barrier membrane made up of a “breathable” carrier film backed with a specially formulated adhesive. Designed for use with different types of substrates, Perm-A-Barrier VPS permits water vapor, which normally would be trapped inside the plywood sheathing walls, to escape allowing them to remain dry. It resists hydrostatic water pressure and keeps homes dry even when downpours and stormy, wind driven conditions invade.
As the product is fully-adhered, it can better protect the home against water and air leakage when compared to building wrap or felt paper. It also held up very well after being exposed to UV rays for the five months of construction.
The product eliminates the need for mechanical fasteners too, so overall, installation was easier and relatively problem-free. To protect the CMUs at the ground level section of the home, Arkon installed Perm-A-Barrier VP, a fluid-applied membrane that creates a solid barrier against air infiltration and energy loss, minimizing the walls’ condensation problems.
Arkon also installed aluminum flashing to seal detail areas and provide a continuous barrier against air and moisture penetration.