Why You Should Steer Clear of the ZIP System
When it comes to house siding, homeowners and builders are constantly on the lookout for innovative products that offer both durability and energy efficiency. One such product that has gained popularity in recent years is the ZIP System, a sheathing and weatherproofing solution designed to streamline the construction process. While the ZIP System does have its advantages, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not without its downsides. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the hidden pitfalls of using the ZIP System in house siding.
Cost of the ZIP System
One of the primary drawbacks of the ZIP System is its cost. When compared to traditional house siding methods, such as plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing, the ZIP System is significantly more expensive. The cost of ZIP System materials, along with the specialized tape required for proper installation, can quickly add up and strain your construction budget. For homeowners and builders operating on tight financial constraints, this cost difference may be a significant deterrent.
Another downside to using the ZIP System is its limited design and style options. The ZIP System is typically used as a structural sheathing, meaning that it’s covered by an exterior finish such as vinyl siding or stucco. While this provides a water-resistant barrier, it doesn’t allow for much creativity in terms of aesthetics. If you’re looking to achieve a unique or customized look for your home’s exterior, the ZIP System may not be the best choice.
While the ZIP System is marketed as a time-saving solution, it can actually be more complex to install compared to traditional sheathing materials. The proper installation of ZIP System panels requires careful attention to detail, especially when it comes to sealing seams and penetrations with the specialized ZIP System tape. Any mistakes during installation can compromise the system’s effectiveness, potentially leading to water intrusion and structural issues down the road.
Potential for Moisture Trapping
One of the most significant concerns with the ZIP System is the potential for moisture trapping. While the system is designed to be airtight and waterproof when installed correctly, any small gaps or imperfections in the sealing process can allow moisture to become trapped behind the panels. Once trapped, this moisture can lead to mold growth, rot, and structural damage, which can be costly to address and repair.
Limited Track Record
Compared to traditional siding materials that have been in use for decades like Tyvek , the ZIP System is relatively new. This means that its long-term performance and durability are not as well-established. Homeowners and builders may be taking a risk by choosing a relatively unproven product over time-tested alternatives.
While the ZIP System offers several advantages, such as improved energy efficiency and a streamlined construction process, it’s essential to be aware of its downsides. The higher cost, limited design options, installation complexity, potential for moisture trapping and filtration, and limited track record should all be carefully considered before choosing the ZIP System for your house siding project. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your specific needs, budget, and long-term goals for your home’s exterior. It’s advisable to consult with a qualified contractor or architect to determine whether the ZIP System is the right choice for your project.