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Is Tar Applied To Outer Surface Of Plywood Walls

JIMMIEM's picture

There is a commercial construction project underway near my home.  It's a combination retail store/multi story apartment complex.  I drive by there daily.  The apartment portion is wood frame with plywood sheathing on the walls.  I noticed that a black substance is being applied to the plywood wall sheathing.  Would this be tar?  I don't ever recall seeing anything like this. 

There are all sorts of (post #214697, reply #1 of 5)

There are all sorts of schemes for treating sheathing.  What you see is likely not literally "tar", but some sort of "polymer coating".


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

No one uses tar. Fluid (post #214697, reply #2 of 5)

No one uses tar. Fluid applied water proofing maybe? Sheet memebrane like ice & water shield (looks black once in place).

What's your concern?

Just curious.  I'd never (post #214697, reply #3 of 5)

Just curious.  I'd never seen anything like that before on side walls.....used to seeing Tvyek type housewrap.

I've never seen a liquid (post #214697, reply #4 of 5)

I've never seen a liquid water barrier applied but constructiuon technology moves on. I was told years ago by a large, national window company rep that they were switching their window installation procedures from flashing tape to liquid membranes.  Makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Flashing tapes are pressure sensitive but I've never seen anyone besides my guys using a roller on them so a liquid is proably more dummy proof.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Wait a bit longer and you may (post #214697, reply #5 of 5)

Wait a bit longer and you may see an EIFS product installed on the walls. Critical to the performance of the system is a drainage bed or some other way for protecting exterior wall sheathing from moisture damage. Where an EIFS (exterior insulated foam system) is used you don't typically install house wrap. Liquid membranes are relatively new. I use them from time to time.

Mel Fros froscarpentry.com