Understanding Air Sealing Strategies

air sealing strategies

Air sealing strategies may seem difficult to grasp. In reality, they’re really quite simple.

Air sealing strategies may seem difficult to grasp. In reality, they’re really quite simple. In this blog we’ll explain air sealing strategies and how to implement some. Do today’s builders and contractors (and homeowners, for that matter) have a solution that works for the whole house? Let’s find out together.


So What Are Air Sealing Strategies?

The burning question remains, what are air sealing strategies? Air sealing strategies refer to construction approaches to prevent air moisture from penetrating and damaging housing materials. At its simplest level, it is really all about environments and control. Humans have a tremendous desire to control everything in the world around us. Understandably, we wish to control various environmental factors that can affect our homes.


The Two Types of Air Sealing Strategies


As far as air sealing strategies go, two basic classifications exist. These classifications are known as “interior air barrier strategic solutions” and “exterior air barrier strategic solutions.” We will further define these terms here.


Interior Air Barriers: Protecting surfaces such as walls and floors inside your home

Exterior Air Barriers: Protecting surfaces such as outside walls, roofs, and windows around the outside of your home.


The factors that these barriers work together to improve are overall comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency. All three of these factors can be compromised by a leak in the overall “bubble” around a home. Whether they are interior or exterior, both barriers also share another commonality: their main purposes, or functionalities.


  1. A layer that allows moisture to travel back and forth (vapor permeability) so that the moisture doesn’t stay stuck inside the walls.
  2. Another layer that allows energy and air to travel back and forth through the walls as well.


Both types of air sealing strategies face the vexing problem of how to provide effective barriers that, by necessity, also require large holes. However, both strategies do not have a one-size-fits-all solution for this problem. There is no single solution possible, but using a variety of products in concert can provide a solution instead.


Solution Methods by Strategy Type

Interior Barriers:

  • Spray polyurethane foam (also known as SPF, commonly seen in suntan lotions.)
  • Polyurethane Vapor Retarder Sheeting
  • Smart Vapor Retarder
  • Air-Tight Drywall Approach
  • Simple Caulk & Seal

Exterior Barriers:

  • Fluid-applied membranes
  • Insulation Board
  • Pre-bonded membranes
  • Water-Resistive Barriers (also known as WRBs, these are connected by machines and then are self-adhering..)

Helping Improve Your Home Every Day

Schaefer Siding & Exteriors provides a huge variety of services for your home, from window installation to roofing repair. We are EPA certified, a Hardie Preferred Remodeler, VSI Certified, and a CertainTeed 5-Star Contractor. We take an immense amount of pride in the quality of our work and know that you will love the finished result. We have almost 40 years of experience in giving our customers high-quality roofs, siding, and more. To get a quote or learn more, give us a call at 410-781-4028 or visit us online. To get more tips, follow us on Houzz, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

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