DuPont Tyvek Roofing Underlays Testing

DuPont Tyvek Roofing Underlays Testing, Vapour-Open Building Material, Images

DuPont Tyvek Roofing Underlays Testing

Maintaining Vital Watertightness After Ageing – Independent Field Tests News

19 Sep 2016

DuPont Tyvek Modular Office Block Development

The most important anti-ageing product you can use? One that will keep your reputation watertight for the long term

Reality Check: Independent ‘field’ tests prove DuPont™ Tyvek® maintains vital watertightness after ageing, where many alternative underlays fail

• The primary quality in terms of longevity for a roofing underlay is water tightness – an area which presents the most risk for property, insurance and reputations

• An independent expert opened up 30 roofs to undertake rigorous watertightness tests on roofing underlays after ‘real world’ ageing

• 17 Roofs installed with Tyvek® over 20 years ago and 13 roofs with multi-layer or coated roofing underlays installed between 5 and 10 years ago were investigated

• The independent test reporting went beyond the limitations of current standards to check the precise scale of performance

• Results show troubling failures in watertightness in most of the alternative roofing underlays tested

• The industry’s reputation and home owners investments are at risk as current standards with focus on mechanical stress don’t fully represent reality

Concerned by multiple reports of some alternative vapour-open underlays failing in their secondary water shedding role, DuPont™ Tyvek® instigated a thorough investigation into ‘real world’ performance. When the reputation of a whole class of roofing underlays is at risk because of water tightness failure in some products unable to withstand heat or UV stress, it’s time for the market leader to address the issue.

Website: DuPont Tyvek Roofing Underlays Testing Video

Independent expert Martin Peifer of German consultants Steildach-Technik opened up 30 roofs to take away underlay samples which the Kiwa GmbH TBU laboratory then tested in ways that exceed the limitations of current water tightness pass/fail classifications.

Standards lag behind

As building and industry codes have been working hard to catch up with a rapidly evolving market, assessment methods such as those within standard EN13859-1&2, still lag behind in evaluating vital issues such as actual longevity. Qualities such as long term waterhold – which most crucially affects the homeowner – must be assessed after exposure to natural environmental stresses, both during the build and when occupied.

Increasingly vapour-open but decreasingly fail-safe?

While ageing of underlays can positively affect vapour diffusion with increased porosity, this may adversely affect the water shedding function, should the primary covering fail. This unfortunate occurrence is becoming more prevalent in today’s increasingly stormier weather. Ultimately, the primary quality in terms of longevity is water tightness – an area which presents the most risk for property, insurance, and reputations.

Test methods:

First the basic EN13859-1&2 W1 classification system for watertightness was used: each specimen was exposed to a 20cm water column for 2 hours to measure not only whether any leakage occurred, but how much, over what surface area and how quickly. In parallel a graded system over a scale of 10 (1 being the worst performance, 10 the best) was appplied to differentate between the failing specimens.(see pictures) The EN20811 method for evaluating resistance to water penetration in textiles was also used. This established, in crucial and revealing detail, precisely how well each underlay withstood water after 5 to 10 years in a roof, or, in the case of Tyvek®, for more than 20 years. (For more detail on the test methods and results please see this link: www.tyvek.co.uk/rooftest

DuPont Tyvek Roofing Underlays Testing

Results:

The table shows the W1 results, W1 with the added grading system applied to all 17 Tyvek® roofing underlays and all 13 alternatives, as well as the EN20811 water column test results.

Age (years)Product
description
Weight
gr/m2
W1 (EN13859)
pass / fail
W1 grade
1-10
specimen 1
W1 grade
1-10
specimen 2
EN20811 (cm) specimen 1 EN20811 (cm)
specimen 2
5coated material120fail21279
5coated material120fail122225
7coated material190pass1010>540>540
8coated material160fail69200141
8coated material200pass1010>540>540
8multi-layer
(microporous film)
145fail11177
9multi-layer
(microporous film)
150fail112524
9multi-layer
(microporous film)
125fail111817
9multi-layer
(microporous film)
145fail112524
9coated material140fail222916
9coated material140fail665850
9multi-layer
(microporous film)
145fail11612
9multi-layer
(microporous film)
125fail111318
21Tyvek®60fail77111120
21Tyvek®137fail662839
21Tyvek®137pass1010123141
21Tyvek®137pass1010171185
21Tyvek®137pass1010147171
22Tyvek®137pass1010162161
22Tyvek®137pass1010155160
22Tyvek®60fail676198
22Tyvek®137pass1010156170
23Tyvek®60pass1010143137
23Tyvek®137pass1010145170
23Tyvek®137pass1010153165
23Tyvek®60pass1010111125
23Tyvek®60fail987278
23Tyvek®137pass1010152153
23Tyvek®137pass1010176176
24Tyvek®137pass1010178148

As there is no clear definition in standards or codes, careful consideration as to how to assess functionality using this combined testing system is required. For example, with a W1-Grade 9 it is possible that a few drops of water could potentially move from the cold side to the insulation level. However, as diffusion takes place over the entire surface of the underlay, such minimal moisture will dry out rapidly and no reduction of functionality is likely. Also, the reduced pressure of free-running water in normal conditions should be taken into account.

By applying this consideration to the W1-grading scale, it is only at Grade 5 or lower that a high risk of water infiltration becomes a concern, to the point where it may get beyond control. Martin Peifer, the independent expert, thus set the W1-grade of 6 as being the acceptable limit to ensure functionality, anything less becoming critical. For EN 20811 he set the functionality limit to < 50 cm.

Bearing this in mind, the picture is as follows:

• 16 out of 17 Tyvek® roofing underlays can be declared functionally watertight after more than 20 years
• 0 out of 6 multi-layer microporous film based roofing underlays can be declared functional after less than 10 years
• 4 out of 7 coated roofing underlays can be declared functional after less than 10 years

Even without taking into account the age differences (the Tyvek® samples being significantly older than the other installed products), Tyvek® clearly emerges as the most reliable in terms of crucial watertightness, while there is significant cause for concern with alternative roofing underlays.

For more information about DuPont™ Tyvek® in the UK please visit: http://www.construction.tyvek.co.uk or call 01275 337660 (087 922 2740 in ROI)

DuPont Tyvek Modular Office Block Development

DuPont Tyvek Modular Office Block Development
DuPont building membranes have been chosen to enhance efficiency, both in construction and performance, for a new modular office block project for Pramerica by Extraspace Solutions in Donegal

About DuPont™ Tyvek® Invented in the DuPont research and development laboratories, the DuPont™ Tyvek® family of advanced building membranes are distinctive in several key ways that make them ideal for today’s construction projects. All the crucial requirements for a high-performance breather membrane are embodied in DuPont™ Tyvek® which is unique in the market because of its high-quality single layer construction.

DuPont™ Tyvek® is naturally vapour open but also wind and water-tight due to its composition of millions of micro fibres bonded together to make a “maze” that’s impermeable to air and moisture but allows water vapour to pass through its natural pores. Lightweight yet robust, DuPont™ Tyvek® is easy to install to exterior walls and roofs and offers long term proven reliability and durability. Designed to protect the building envelope against the effects of weather and moisture, the membranes also offer optimal air-tightness and can help to improve the thermal performance, energy-efficiency and interior climatic stability and comfort of a building.

DuPont Tyvek Modular Office Block Development
The interior walls of the modular office units by Extraspace Solutions feature DuPont™ AirGuard® Reflective metallised AVCL to create airtightness and enhance thermal performance and interior comfort

DuPont Tyvek Modular Office Block Development images / information received Sep 2016

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