Q: Extreme weather events seem to be on the rise, putting pressure on structures to withstand the elements like never before. How are building envelope products meeting these challenges?
Manufacturers are constantly striving to introduce new products that address the structural integrity of the building envelope. Some are the result of new federal/state code compliance standards, whereas others are the result of past material failures or derived from emerging technologies.
For instance, we have seen a rise in the amount of self-adhered underlayment sales across the country. SA underlayments can provide additional waterproofing protection in case the roofing system is damaged or compromised. These types of membranes offer secondary water protection before, during, and after installation.
Q: Sustainability is no longer a “nice to have” but rather a growing requirement. How is the building envelope industry meeting the needs of a sustainable structure?
This again falls back to emerging technologies offered by manufacturers. As a manufacturer, we are all concerned about tightening up the building envelope too tight. Buildings need to breathe to prevent the formation of toxic mold or premature rot and decay. It is our responsibility to either disseminate the correct installation instructions or, as a dealer, learn the proper techniques so that the structure is sustainable and watertight.
Some manufacturers are offering different sizes or models of products to improve the sustainability of the structure. Where some may use 4″ flashing tape around a window or door, others have opted for a 6″ membrane for added waterproofing protection.
MFM developed a patented PowerBond adhesive system that aggressively adheres in colder temperatures to allow for a more successful installation in cooler temperatures. Builders are always looking to extend the building season, and this new technology allows them to keep working without sacrificing a quality waterproofed installation.
With energy costs expected to rise, what building envelope solutions can LBM dealers provide to their customers to combat energy expenses?
For MFM’s line of self-adhering waterproofing membranes, our focus is to keep the elements from infiltrating the building envelope. Many of our membranes are focused on properly flashing windows and doors, which are key leak points. In general, dealers need to stay educated on what new technologies are available. Having a thorough understanding of the product’s benefits will make them an asset to their customers.
Raw material shortages are plaguing many manufacturers and impacting product availability. What strategies can LBM dealers utilize to offset these challenges?
This is a tough situation right now. Most dealers have been asked to keep inventories low, but when you combine this with longer than usual lead times, it can really hurt a dealer. We recommend keeping 30–45 days of inventory on hand. It’s tough to sell when you don’t have the product in stock. At MFM, we try to keep our customers abreast of current lead times so they can plan accordingly.
MFM has a long history of providing a variety of building envelope solutions for the LBM industry. What should dealers watch for from MFM this year?
MFM just completed a major building expansion in 2022, which included a new Research & Development Laboratory to focus on new product introductions. We are expecting to launch several new flashing tapes and underlayment products in 2023.
5 Questions gives LBM businesses the opportunity to provide their expertise by answering relevant questions in the LBM industry.