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Zip system?

Woodenitbenice's picture

Has anyone used this new sheathing called Zip panels?  They are osb sheets with an airtight coating on the outside.  You tape the joints with their tape and they say you don't need housewrap.  They have a thicker panel of the roof that works the same and doesn't need paper under the shingles.  Costs about 11 or 12 bucks a sheet.

It's made by Huber.  The same copany that makes Advantech floor sheathing.  I have been using that exclusively for 5 years. 

(post #81557, reply #1 of 19)

No , but I have always been curious about what could make a sheet of OSB or plywood more airtight then it already is.

The seams I can understand, but the sheets themselves?

They can't get your Goat if you don't tell them where it is hidden.

Life is Good

(post #81557, reply #2 of 19)

You mean this:

I looked at it at a show. Seems like a good idea at costal locations. You wouldn't have to worry about building paper tearing and you would be 'dried in' as soon as you got your sheathing up.

(post #81557, reply #3 of 19)

I have been using it for about one year and have installed about 4 or 5 units each of Zip wall and Zip roof.   I like the product a bunch.  You are dried in as soon as you install you sheets and tape.  When the tension on the machine is right, the tape placement is a piece of cake.  I believe Huber OSB products are far superior to their competition.

Huber has started to mill the 1/8 spacing into the sheets as well, no need for clips and Huber technical support and quality control is second to none. 

My only beef is the cost of the tape.  I may switch over to another flashing tape save a little.  Other than that I have been real happy.


(post #81557, reply #10 of 19)

How much is the tape and tape gun etc.  Do you use there tape for doors and windows?

Actual question is how much does the tape add per sheet and is the system an overall savings over $ 4.75 OSB and Tyvek. 

Is the glue/epoxy/whaterver they use to hold the stuff together the same as advantech.  If so, who cares about nail holes.  I have had advantech under water for a long time, and still far superior to anything else.

(post #81557, reply #13 of 19)

Tape gun is $100-my yard gave it to me for free

The tape adds about $4.00 per sheet including flashing window and door openings, but the product is far better than OSB

The glue, according to my conversion with the Oklahoma plant quality control guy is similar to that used in Advantech, but not as "rich" if you will.

I have had some sitting in the rain with minor swelling and no loss of strength.  We have had some big rains here lately and I have a roof that has been exposed for about two months.  No leaks, no felt flapping in the wind. 


Edited 3/7/2008 7:04 pm by Hiker

(post #81557, reply #14 of 19)

How do you handle roof penetrations, chimney and wall flashings, etc. during the "temporary" phase until the permanent roofing is on?

Thanks, John

(post #81557, reply #15 of 19)

For pipe penetrations I install the roof jack and tape the sides and top to the zip roof.  For chimney and wall we tape the contacting surfaces until flashed.


(post #81557, reply #4 of 19)

I believe this months FHB magazine has a small write up.



"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." — Sherlock Holmes, 1896

(post #81557, reply #6 of 19)

Check with your inspections dept. Last house we worked on with zip wall was turned down, this was after 4 previous houses in the same county, with the same zip, passed.

Inspections didn't like the fact that house wrap didn't extend into openings, even though the windows and doors were flanged Integrities, which were taped.

They also didn't care for the fastening penetrations. After repeated requests to Huber tech support to provide specs for infiltration through fasteners, their long awaited answer was to just tape them. Might as well just wrap the whole schmeer in ice and water shield<G>

We won't be using it again until they can work this out.

Now, Advantech subflooring is the best thing going, and we won't use anything else.

Winterlude, Winterlude, my little daisy,
Winterlude by the telephone wire,
Winterlude, it's makin' me lazy,
Come on, sit by the logs in the fire.
The moonlight reflects from the window
Where the snowflakes, they cover the sand.
Come out tonight, ev'rything will be tight,
Winterlude, this dude thinks you're grand.

The Village Woodworks, Inc

Chapel Hill, NC


We'll have a kid Or maybe we'll rent one He's got to be straight We don't want a bent one He'll drink his baby brew From a big brass cup Someday he may be president If things loosen up

(post #81557, reply #11 of 19)

Are you a Paulson brother? Central NJ?

(post #81557, reply #12 of 19)

North White Plains, NY

Mt Vernon/White Plains





"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking." — Sherlock Holmes, 1896

(post #81557, reply #5 of 19)

In concept I like it, but what if?

What if one piece is dirty and the tape doesnt stick properly.

What if it is really cold and the tape doesnt adhere or delaminates properly

What if the tape breaks down after 20 years.

What if the sheathing gets damaged and you dont notice it prior to siding.

What if.......

I will be sticking with exterior wrap, and making sure my framer laps everything properly, etc, etc.

If felt paper were still asphalt SATURATED felt paper, I would go back to using that.

I've ripped apart too many problems to risk leaks all over or anywhere!

(post #81557, reply #17 of 19)


I have a lot of the same concerns. In the latest issue Justin Fink does a page write up on it. The picture along with it shows a hipped roof house with a fairly long valley.

Thats where my real worries are  -- a 3" tape used to cover the valley trough where a huge amount of water runs.Would anyone here just shingle over that area or would you prep the valley area properly for a long term roof installation.

If all roofs were just straight gabled roofs I could almost see it, but rarely is that the case.


(post #81557, reply #18 of 19)

I would agree with you on the valley flashing.  I personally run Ice and Water up the valleys  and install galvanized or copper valley flashings regardless of decking material.  The zip system is not designed to replace a well installed roof, only to eliminate a layer of felt.    There is a six or eight inch tape that should be used with the valleys-not the three inch.


(post #81557, reply #19 of 19)

Thanks  -- that sounds a little better , but not a substitute in my judgement for a roof with a good underlayment.

Especially in valley areas in the Northern climates I would think more protection would be advisable.

(post #81557, reply #7 of 19)

Huber claims the product is "engineered to breath", but OSB is notoriously low perm and I can find nothing in any of their technical bulletins that mentions perm rating.

That, plus the nail penetrations in the weather barrier and the reliance on tape for a permanent seal - and it seems like a problem waiting to happen.


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(post #81557, reply #8 of 19)

I agree with you, but these people have one great product

(post #81557, reply #9 of 19)

We actually haven't used the wall panels but have used the roof panels for 2 years now. If your familiar with their Advantek floor product this is similar. It's much denser and harder than regular osb. We find it stiffer than plywood roof sheathing, less slippery, and it lays much flatter with no warping. I like the idea of drying in the building quickly while waiting on a roofer. We still use felt paper though, even though the manufacturer say's it's not neccesary. My concern is 30 years down the road, if someone wants to strip the roof, will the shingles be bonded to the sheathing? Also, the tape system is great stuff and sticks even at very cold temps. We've put it on @ 10-15 degree temps.

(post #81557, reply #16 of 19)

Haven't used it but I've seen it's going up on a couple of houses locally.  I'm not liking the idea of not having the additional drainage plane of the house wrap.  I'd rather wrap the house which gives you something to lap over step flashing and drip cap.