You may have noticed a lot of buildings going up these days with green walls and brown roofs. It’s not a style fad you’re missing out on, it’s actually a product called the Zip system. The Zip system is quickly becoming the industry norm because it creates a moisture barrier and a tight air seal, which is critical to a home’s energy efficiency. Zip walls are made from structural OSB (oriented strand board) with the colored moisture barrier on one side, and they install just like normal sheathing. When we install it, we seal all the seams with Zip tape to prevent any infiltration. This system saves us time, and saves our clients money.
On a recent siding project, we installed Zip Wall R-Sheathing, which has an inch of rigid foam insulation on one face, giving them an R-value of 6. This layer of rigid foam can make a big difference, especially in an under-insulated home, because it stops thermal bridging—i.e. heat that escapes by conduction through the framing members in a conventional home. In layman’s terms, it’s pretty simple: it helps save energy and keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
One of the goals of that project was to extend the home’s maintenance interval so our client would not have to worry about making repairs or repainting for a while. To that end, we also installed an innovative product called Cedar Saver behind the shingles. Its woven texture creates an air gap that essentially allows the shingles to “breathe,” keeping them dry. Any water that does find its way behind the shingles can drain out. Why bother, you ask? Because properly ventilated shingles don’t crack, cup, or push paint, especially if they’re factory primed, and that means a more beautiful, longer-lasting paint job.