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Top Tips for ZIP System® Sheathing and Tape

ZIP System® sheathing and tape is leading a revolution in streamlining building enclosure design. With a built-in water-resistive barrier that eliminates housewrap and rigid air barrier, building teams are making the switch for quick, and reliable weather and air leakage protection. Chris Clark, manager of product engineering at Huber Engineered Woods, offers his top tips for achieving a continuous structural, air- and water-resistive barrier with ZIP System sheathing and tape.

1. Easy nail gun adjustments help avoid shiners and overdriven fasteners.

If fasteners are countersunk into the sheathing, the head isn’t flush with the water-resistant barrier on the surface of ZIP System sheathing. Overdriven fasteners can result from air pressure inconsistencies in nail guns. Install a “flush-mount attachment or “collar” at the end of the nail gun for an easy fix. This results in more consistent control over the distance between the nail and panel surface. Users can also lower the nail gun pressure or install an in-line pressure regulator.

Shiners, or nails missing studs, can result in reduced bracing action (the combined strength of the frame and panels to resist lateral force). To maintain the integrity of the built-in water-resistive membrane on ZIP System panels, drive shiners back out and seal them with ZIP System tape outside or ZIP System liquid flash inside.

2. Roll the tape.

A new enhancement on the ZIP System tape roller is the feature that leaves a “Z” impression on the advanced, acrylic pressure-activated tape to let you know the adhesive bond has been made.

When taping inside corners, use 3-4 ft. pieces to tape the 90-degree angle. Hold the tape at both ends of the strip and pull it to form a U-shaped piece. Using a plastic speed square, push the tape into the corner then roll it. ZIP System liquid flash is also great for inside corners.

Pay attention to outside corners when using ZIP System® R-sheathing, which includes a built-in layer of exterior rigid insulation, because one edge of the sheathing in an outside corner extends to cover the exposed end of the sheathing on the adjacent wall. Then, apply ZIP System tape to seal the corner with at least 1-inch of surface contact with the panel surface on either side of the seam.

Get a tight seal around windows and doors. T-joints are at the intersection of many materials. Make sure fasteners are flush and shingle lap tape for proper taping. For entry doors, use ZIP System stretch tape to protect the entire rough opening with minimal piecing of tape segments.

For more information and to see installation tips, visit

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