Sheathing Board: Which Material is Best

  • Intermediate

Sheathing board is used as part of the materials utilized to construct a building (residential and commercial). The building industry is always looking for additional ways to develop highly sustainable buildings. In order to create a sustainable building, the structure must be efficient and durable. It also must be economical. The sheathing is used to help enclose a building; thereby creating a much more efficient and self-contained unit that will use energy, water and transfer both components wisely throughout the building system. Below are a couple of types of sheathing material explained.

Insulating Sheathing Board

This type of sheathing is widely used in residential construction. It helps to insulate the house beyond the studs and the OSB or particleboard framing. Insulating sheathing carries an R-value and therefore adds to the relative thickness and insulation of the exterior walls in the home. If you are building a house with 2 by 6 studs, your respective R-value is around 14-R. When you add insulating sheathing, the R-value increases to just below 20-R. Insulating Sheathing Boards come in three primary types, the expanded polystyrene (EPS), the extruded polystyrene (XPS), and polyisocyanurate (Polyiso). The XPO and the Polyiso have a higher density, higher R-Value, and lower permeation.

Moisture Properties

Above the insulating factors that this type of sheathing provides, it is also resistant to rain and moisture. However, that being said, when you install this type of insulating sheathing, it is also a good idea to introduce a house wrap around the outside of the sheathing. Prolonged exposure to moisture will increase the likelihood that the sheathing will warp and become damaged. Once damaged, you will need to pull the bricks, stone, or stucco from the exterior of the home and replace the sheathing material with new sections.

If you find yourself in a climate that is subjected to heavy amounts of rain or constant humidity, then an insulating sheathing board is not the best choice for your application and needs. For the construction of your home, you will want to purchase the sheathing board that is discussed in the next section.

Densglass Gold Sheathing Board

This type of sheathing is a specialized and new type. It is characterized as glass mat-faced gypsum sheathing. Its ability to protect against incidental moisture makes it a preferred substrate under bricks, stucco, siding, and EIFS, and it adds to the structural stability, durability, and performance even for a wide range of fire-rated construction.

It is a unique type of material that is actually paperless. The sheathing panel is created so that it does not need to have paper as the exterior finishing material. Instead, the panels are created with a core that is treated for water resistance. In addition, the core is then surfaced with a glass mat. Last, a bond-enhancing primer coats the material, giving it a gold-colored tinge.

This type of sheathing was created in order to withstand the weather conditions and exposure to intense moisture. It is used in exterior finish systems. It is one of the preferred types of substrate used on exterior insulation. The sheathing will help to reduce expenses down the road due to sagging and warping pieces. It lasts long and is very durable. The extra expense upfront is worth it as compared to the savings you will incur down the road.