Here's a Present: No More Wrapping

A new wall sheathing product eliminates the need for housewrap

While framers begin walls on the second floor, down below it’s time to start installing the shear wall sheathing, and for this, Dan and company are using for the first time an innovative Huber product called ZIP System. What’s so unique? It’s an OSB with higher resin content for durability and an exterior surface that’s water resistive but permeable to water vapor. This enhances drying, so there’s no need to envelope the building in housewrap.

Huber makes a companion tape product for sealing up the joints that’s made with specially engineered acrylic adhesive that bonds with the ZIP System panels for a permanent protective seal.

ZIP System is easy to work with—it handles and cuts just like regular plywood—and it eliminates the labor and material costs of wrapping.

“I’ve been using wrap for years,” says Julio. “My grandfather worked with felt wrap. Your father’s house was wrapped. But they’re always improving products and coming up with new techniques, so I’m looking forward to working with it.”

The product costs, on average, about $7 to $8 more per sheet than regular plywood, but that’s more than offset by the savings on housewrap and installation labor. And since the sealant material is integrated directly onto the sheathing, there’s no possibility of barrier failure from tearing and nail damage, as is the case with traditional housewrap materials.


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