Adhesive:  Substance that holds one surface to another surface by attachment.

Adhesive membrane: Flexible film (generally made of polyethylene) associated with a nonwoven fabric used to seal joints between the peripheral of a window and a vapour barrier/retarder or a plaster.

Bond: Material used to tie or fasten things together.

Expanding foam: Expanding material (generally polyurethane-based) applied to fill gaps, to fix doors and to insulate connecting joints (especially between window frames and wall).

Fastener: Material used to bind things securely together.

Grommet: Material used to create an airtight seal around circular-section elements such as plumbing pipes, electrical conduits or cables as these pass through the airtight layer.

Joint: Location where several parts of the structure (building or ductwork) meet.

Sealant:  A material that has the properties to join 2 surfaces together to prevent gases, liquids or solids from passing between these surfaces.

Mastic: Putty-like sealant.

Plasters: Fluid or paste-like mixtures made of cement, lime, or gypsum. These products are spread or projected on the surface.

Pre-compressed tapes: (also called pre-compressed foams) Rolls a few centimetres wide whose thickness is reduced when rolled-up and slowly get thicker when installed. They are made of polyurethane or polyester foams impregnated with a synthetic butyl or acrylic resin. The retarded decompression process allows the gaps to be filled while the foam was put without force into them.

Repair tape: Oversized tape roll or flat patch typically used to repair holes in films or holes made on purpose e.g., for blowing insulation.

Tape: An adhesive in the physical form of a tape, i.e., a narrow strip of material.

Vapour barriers or retarders: Membranes or films of large areas originally intended to limit or regulate vapour transfer within vertical walls and roofs. When properly installed and at the right location, they prevent interstitial condensation, in particular in the insulation layer. Their composition can be very diverse, e.g. they can be partly made of polyethylene, polyester, polyane, aluminium, etc. They are usually airtight unless perforated.

[1] Ramachandran, V., Paroli, R., Beaudoin, J., & Delgado, A. (2002). Handbook of thermal analysis of contruction materials. USA: Noyes Publications / William Andrew Publishing.

[2] F. Carrié, R. Jobert and V. Leprince, “Contributed Report 14- Methods and techniques for airtight buildings,” AIVC, 2012

Posted in: Building Airtightness, Ductwork airtightness