I have a feeling that many builders across the US will start to struggle this year with air tightness as the blower door requirement in the 2012 IECC has gotten more stringent. I'm building houses to a tighter standard than code, but frankly I'm struggling too. I really want to build all my houses to a 1 ACH50 (aka "freakin' tight") on the blower door test and it ain't easy! I've come to realize that I need a good air barrier in the same place as my water barrier. Enter Delta Vent SA....

I first learned about Cosella-Dorken (who makes Delta Vent SA) at Joe Lstiburek's Building Science Summer 2013 Camp. I've seen some advertisements for sticky house wraps, but I hadn't really had a chance to explore them. After getting a sales pitch at BS Camp, I was super impressed and wanted to try this on a house. I'll also be installing their rain screen product for Stucco called Delta Dry Stucco & Stone.

The photos below are of an install my crew did this past fall. It's really my first full peel & stick house. I thought it would be super lumpy but overall my crew did an awesome job. It's a nice black uniform tight shirt on this house. The first step is to prep all your window openings. See this video for how we prepped the windows. Remember that this is an air-tight assembly detail so the window install takes some time.

After the windows are prepped we used a primer on the plywood. The primer needs to be tacky before installing the Delta Vent SA, but that only took about 20-30 minutes in our 60 degree weather.

After the primer is tacky you're ready to install the rolls of Delta Vent SA. One tricky issue we found is that the RO for windows needs to be a bit more than our typical 1/4" on all sides of the window. I would allow 3/8" to be safer. The Delta Vent SA material is thick (almost like a fabric), and the plastic corners on the windows add depth too.

In summary, I've really liked this Delta Vent SA product. I may be hard to find in your area, but if you're looking to ratchet down your air tightness and have a high perm house wrap this product is fantastic.

Risinger Homes is a custom builder and whole house remodeling contractor that specializes in Architect driven and fine craftsmanship work. We utilize an in-house carpentry staff and the latest building science research to build dramatically more efficient, healthy and durable homes.

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