Peel-and-stick housewrap has so far mostly only been embraced by custom home builders, says ProSales contributor Charles Wardell. But could soon be making a breakthrough in the residential building market.

A recent code change in the requirement for air-leakage testing in the International Residential Code (IRC) could open up a wider market for this building product.

The 2015 version of the IRC limits air leakage to five air changes per hour or less in Climate Zones 1 and 2, and three air changes per hour in Zones 3 through 8. The 2015 version also goes a step further by requiring builders to document those numbers with a blower door test. But, with insulation levels in new construction reaching a point of diminishing returns—where the cost of adding more R-value isn’t justified by energy savings—the IRC recognizes that the best way to squeeze more efficiency out of homes is to reduce air leakage through gaps in the building envelope.

Peel-and-stick housewraps, like others, creates a drainage plane between the siding and the sheathing to protect the home from the elements, but have a better track record for blocking airflow than other products.

Builders who understand peel-and-stick’s benefits likely will be willing take a second look at these products.

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