How moisture barrier splicing protects insulation and structural integrity

The internal components of a building are vitally important to overall performance, with insulation a key driver of energy efficiency while other building materials underpin structural integrity. Where moisture could undermine these components, potentially reducing the effectiveness of insulation and causing costly damage such as mold or rot, the use of non-breathable membranes combined with high performance tapes for moisture barrier splicing is vital.

Quin Dams
Market Segment Manager, Building & Construction
IHM, Performance Tapes Europe, Avery Dennison

Quin is passionate about technical building applications since he designed and built his family home back in 2012. Professionally, Quin held several positions as Product Manager responsible for the product life cycle of many technical applications related to the building environment, namely in Adhesives, Lighting and Plastics. He joined Performance Tapes Europe as a market segment manager for tape applications in the construction and industrial markets where he teams up with customers and R&D to achieve tape solutions that improve the installation performance and sustainability of buildings and related products and processes.

Moisture barrier splicing: The Problem 

Airtightness and insulation are vitally important factors capable of ensuring that a structure is suitably habitable during both winter cold snaps and summer heatwaves.

With effective, airtight insulation, a property can benefit from improved energy efficiency and acoustics, a reduction in drafts and dust, proper functioning of ventilation systems, and the long-term protection of key building materials.

Ensuring the protection of insulation is, therefore, fundamental to the performance of a building. Yet this comes with its own challenges.

Homes are often subject to the creation of significant internal humidity, from cooking activities to using showers and/or baths. If a property is not airtight, moisture will have license to pass through leaks and joints in the building envelope, before finding its way into building insulation and resulting in moisture ingress, drastically reducing insulation effectiveness. 

Further, where key structural components such as wood may lay behind walls, these may be subject to the development of mould and fungus that could impact the integrity of the entire building, and eventually lead to the need for costly repairs.

Moisture Barrier Splicing: The Solution

To keep moisture out, protect insulation and allow it to operate with maximum effectiveness, non-breathable membranes are required.

Breathable membranes are designed to keep liquid water droplets out and at the same time to allow water vapor to travel from the inside out. Non-breathable membranes or moisture barriers on the other hand are preventing moisture of all kinds from passing through. 

However, there is a challenge here, with non-breathable membranes typically coming in the form of a series of plastic sheets. When fitted together, these sheets are then themselves subject to leaks and joints, which could allow air to pass through. 

These membranes therefore need to be connected properly, ensuring that no vapor can get into the insulation and other moisture-damage-prone building materials.

Here, high-performance tapes are required. By splicing the membranes together, penetrations can be eliminated and a moisture barrier created, keeping the airtightness and humidity properties in place by preventing leaks.

Our tapes harbour dynamic qualities thanks to extensive research and development efforts, coming in both single coated (PE coated or waxed paper) and double coated (scrim reinforced) varieties for several different purposes.

Our membrane tapes feature dispersion acrylates that are moisture resistant. Further, they also feature high coat weights, allowing for adhesion to rough structures and fibrous materials and show excellent long-term durability.

Manufactured with the sole purpose of protecting building materials and insulation through moisture barrier splicing of non-breathable membranes, we’re able to offer a reliable solution for builders and contractors aiming to offer maximized, long-term quality in their fitouts. 


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