Auto-Sealing New Home Leaks with Aerosols
Residential tightness requirements have become more stringent in recent years, requiring builders to develop new strategies for addressing air leakage in their homes. This paper describes the results of a Building America project focused on integrating a new technology for automating the building envelope sealing process in new homes. The newly commercialized AeroBarrier technology uses an aerosol-based method to simultaneously measure, locate, and seal leaks in a building remotely.
This project is providing the research needed to successfully integrate aerosol envelope sealing into the home building process. The project team is working directly with builders in California and Minnesota to identify the best stages for incorporating aerosol sealing, from the perspectives of cost, performance, and seamless integration into the construction process. The cost of the aerosol sealing and resulting house tightness are compared to similar group of houses using conventional sealing methods. In addition to producing tighter houses, some conventional sealing methods can be eliminated or reduced to further improve cost effectiveness.
During the first round of installations on nine homes the average tightness achieved was 0.96 ACH50 (before drywall was installed in the homes) compared to an average tightness of 3.69 ACH50 for homes at the same stage of construction but not treated with AeroBarrier. Also, for performance attics in California the aerosol sealing approach sealed homes 56% tighter than open-cell spray foam, providing the builder with the flexibility to apply a lower cost insulation strategy.
Project page: Aerosol Sealing in Residential New Construction