Innovation around the house
Unseen to the homeowner, hidden behind limelight-grabbing siding products, the housewrap category has been given the once-over by manufacturers seeking a better, faster, more efficient barrier-producing system.
Recent trade shows — from Las Vegas to Rhode Island — have showcased new entrants, new concepts and new versions of existing products, all to provide protection against the elements. The innovation is driven by a combination of science, capitalism and evolving building codes around the country. In the process, the simple term “house wrap” is giving way to a more sophisticated jargon, and more sophisticated combinations of materials.
And along with those comes more sophisticated marketing.
The industry leader in the house wrap category, DuPont Tyvek, is not waiting around for competitors to catch up. It busily worked the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas with demonstrations of flashing systems and installation tips as it rolled out a platform it calls, “For Greater Good.” Simply put, the platform aims to reduce builder and consumer worries about long-term home protection and performance.
Along those lines, DuPont promoted a new collaboration by DuPont, Owens Corning and the Home Innovation Research Labs for a wall system known as the Extended Plate and Beam. It features innovative framing techniques and use of Owens Corning exterior rigid foam coupled with DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap weatherization products.
Preventing the accumulation of water in the wall is a mission-critical element of nearly all the home barrier entrants. And that’s one of the key benefits behind Kimberly-Clark’s new entrant: Block-It House Wrap. It’s a drainage wrap with an exclusive, patented, water-channeling technology — a slightly raised pattern of tiny hexagons. Plus, it’s breathable.
Kimberly-Clark has decades of experience in producing water-whisking, breathable material in its diaper factories, which are now also producing Block-It.
The company promotes the material’s resistance to tears, abrasions and punctures. Block-It’s marketing pitch also appeals to the next-generation builder: “Why use housewrap technology that hasn’t changed in years?”
Another new entrant in the home barrier space unveiled at the Builders’ Show came from an iconic LBM brand — Georgia-Pacific. The company’s new ForceField Air and Water Barrier System is made of engineered wood sheathing panels laminated with a proprietary air and water barrier.
A key to the system is the ForceField seam tape, mitigating air infiltration and leaks.
According to Jeff Key, one of the execs charged with bringing ForceField to market, the product is probably the highest-profile GP new product rollout since the Day Guard Enhanced OSB about five years ago.
Larson Electronics unveils LED Navigation Light
Larson Electronics has announced the new LEDLB-10R-CPR high-intensity LED floodlight, which is made with 10 five-watt high output CREE LEDs that produce a combined total of 3,700 lumens of light output.
This floodlight’s die-cast aluminum housing is built to withstand extreme outdoor conditions and heavy-duty use. The housing incorporates integral cooling fins that release heat from the LED unit, which aids in color shifting and premature LED failure.
This light is waterproof to 3 meters, sealed against intrusion by dust and dirt, and very constructed to withstand rapid temperature changes. A 20-ft. wiring harness allows ample length for connection to a low-voltage power source. A single stainless steel stud protrudes from the bottom of the mount, enabling the operator to install the light using a through-hole mount.
“The beam on this ultra-compact LED light is effective to the far end of its reach and produces a wide 60-degree flood beam,” said Rob Bresnahan, CEO of Larson Electronics. “With its compact housing and sleek appearance, this spot light will look great on any boat or vehicle where low voltage is available.”