A Builder’s First Time Using Peel and Stick House Wrap

When maintaining long-term building integrity, airtightness is an important feature to keep in mind. Airtightness simply means that there are no unintended gaps in the building envelope—gaps that would otherwise cause air leakage in or out of the building. It is an essential performance parameter in helping ensure energy efficiency. How airtightness is achieved comes down to the specifications of the air barrier used throughout the build. According to The Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), successful air barriers will:

  • Reduce required HVAC system size while improving efficiency
  • Properly manage air pressure relationships
  • Allow water vapor to escape from wall cavities
  • Increase occupant comfort through reduced drafts
  • Enhance indoor air quality

Matt Risinger Addresses a Builder’s Pursuit in Achieving Airtightness

While builders in the industry want to achieve airtightness, they often struggle with finding the right product to use. Matt Risinger, of Risinger & CO., recently sat down with builder Emily Press (Builder and Owner of Emerald & Laurel Design Build in Austin, TX) and discussed her experience using Dörken’s self-adhering air and water-resistive barrier, DELTA®-VENT SA, for the first time. The product’s vapor permeability and air tightness make it ideal for building and maintaining healthy and comfortable interiors while letting moisture out and improving energy efficiency.

Builder Emily Press posed for me on a rainy Austin TX day on the job site.

Here is Matt Risinger’s conversation with Emily Press, wherein she discusses her experience using a peel & stick housewrap for the first time:

Matt: My friend Emily Press called me a few weeks ago asking about how I liked using Dörken’s self-adhering air and water-resistive barrier. She had seen the video I made on DELTA®-VENT SA and wanted to ask me some logistical questions about tips/tricks for her first peel & stick housewrap job. Emily wanted to make the move to this product because she felt it would be the winning formula for getting a more air-tight building (compared to her previous experiences with mechanically attached housewraps). Plus, she liked the fact that it was vapor permeable.

I recently sat down with Emily Press to discuss her experience using Dörken’s DELTA®-VENT SA on her latest job, here’s some of her insight!

Matt: “Emily, how did it go?  The job looks fantastic for your first install!”

Emily: “Well Matt, I have to tell you it was a rough start with my Framer. As you know, here in Texas we typically have our frame carpenters install the weather barrier as well as the windows. My framer is a 40-year veteran of the building business and thought I was nuts moving from the tried/true white housewrap that we had cap stapled on for years to this new peel & stick product. It took some convincing, but eventually he came around to give it a try. We sheathed this detached work studio with CDX Plywood and used the primer like you recommended. First, we taped the bottom of the plywood to the concrete slab foundation with DELTA®-MULTI BAND 100. That’s a trick that I got on one of your videos Matt, and it’s been a great way to ensure the base of the house is bug and air infiltration-free.

Once the primer was rolled on the fun began. It’s definitely a two-man job. My guys ran chalk lines to ensure we got the proper spacing including overlaps. Then, as one guy would hold and peel back the roll, we took your tip of using a large rafter square to smooth it down.

Matt: “Emily, I must say that your guys did a bang up job for a first time install. It was super flat. My crew had a few creases on our first DELTA®-VENT SA install, but they got the hang of it quickly.”

Emily: “Yes, we practiced installing DELTA®-VENT SA on the back of the house first so that when we got around to the front it would look good. I was proud of the crew. I had to really talk them into it, but yet it turned out fantastic.”

Matt: “Tell me about the window installation using Dörken’s DELTA® products?”

Emily: “At the risk of sounding like a Build Show groupie here, I watched your video on installing a window with DELTA®-FLASHING (link to YouTube) and it’s pretty straightforward. The pre-formed corners were easy to use and make for a really good looking install. I took your advice and ran a piece of DELTA®-MULTI BAND 100 across the top of the DELTA®-FLASHING at the window head and it’s looking tight.”

Matt: “Any surprises using Delta® for the first time?”

Emily: “With the DELTA®-VENT SA, being my first peel & stick, I was really worried, but it turned out to be a non-event. One funny anecdote is that I fell in love with DELTA®-FLEXX-BAND. It is a black stretchy flashing that makes pipe & wire penetrations super easy to flash. Killer product.”

Matt: “Last question Emily, I don’t see Rainscreen battens being used often in Texas. Why did you opt to install a rainscreen with your siding?”

Emily: “Well, I don’t have to tell you Matt how much benefit the rainscreen method gives to the longevity of the siding and the house. This is a detail for durability that is too often overlooked.  I’ve got a mix of old and new wood siding on this house and I wanted the wood to be fooled into thinking it was on an old building. We fool it by letting it dry on the front AND the back.  That rainscreen gap formed by my 1×2 battens means that there is a ¾” air gap behind the wood and when it gets wet it can dry forwards or back. This re-creates the old drafty conditions of this original house, built in the 1940’s. We’ve now got the best of both worlds: Ultra-Tight and efficient construction, thanks to the DELTA®-VENT SA, and yet plenty of air flow for the wood siding due to the rainscreen. I believe this house is set for the next 70 years of life for my clients. Thanks for all you’ve done in training me through your videos and blog over the years Matt!”

Matt: “Very welcome Emily!  I’m proud to be a Builder and thankful to have colleagues like you who care about well-built homes and elevating the craft of Building! 

A textbook install of this Marvin Integrity Window with Delta Flashing products! Great job Emily & crew.

































This 1940’s bungalow is getting a whole house remodel & addition by Emerald & Laurel DB along with Architecture by (Look this up from video!)




















This detached studio is behind the 1940’s bungalow. Builder Emily Press chose DELTA®-VENT SA along with a battens rainscreen.



















For more information about how airtightness improves building performance, check out this blog post.