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Are All Building Wraps and Roof Underlays Equally Reliable?

Pro Clima's SOLITEX EXTASANA and SOLITEX MENTO are designed using a TEEE (Thermoplastic Elastomer Ether Ester) film. This membrane, unlike micro-porous wraps, has no pores meaning it is completely waterproof and wind-tight. The material actively transports water out of the building envelope along the molecular chain of the non-porous membrane. This means water on the inside of the framing is moved into the drainage cavity by even the slightest amount of vapour pressure differential from one side of the product to the other. The SOLITEX range of products are vapour open at all times with a low MVTR (resistance to moisture vapour) of 0.75 MN/s/g.

Conventional building wraps depend on creating micro-porosity in a normally vapour closed material. During the manufacture process micro-porous wraps are either punctured or stretched using additives to create microscopic holes to allow moisture vapour to escape. Since these pores are very small, air pressure is required to drive the moisture through them. If a membrane can be blown through then it is neither wind-tight nor watertight.

Due to the active vapour transport function, the SOLITEX membranes remain dry even when interior moisture is allowed to move into a roof space. Micro-porous membranes risk collection of moisture on the underside due to reliance on air pressure to move moisture vapour outwards.

A micro-porous membrane is water-resistant only when the surface tension in the liquid holds the drops together and stops the water drops from being passed though the tiny holes. If the surface tension is broken, the water resistance will be compromised. This occurs when there are solvents from timber treatment, oils, dirt or household detergents present.

The SOLITEX MENTO and EXTASANA are completely watertight even if coated with timber treatment or other surfactants. In the image above, oil was applied before testing the membrane at high pressure. The Solitex products have been tested to remain watertight at 10,000mm water column pressure.

Successfully installed in 'Extra-high' wind zones and even above, the SOLITEX products are completely wind-tight, preventing any chance of wind wash of the insulation provided that the laps are taped and the lower edge is glued at the perimeter (not required by the NZBC but improves weathertightness).

Starting with tried and tested high performance weathertightness membranes provides a high level of confidence in compliant weathertight design and specification.

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November 2016 EBOSSNOW Product News

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