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April 25
What is the number one way to see significant energy savings in your home?


What is the number one way to see significant energy savings in your home?

ANSWER: Select the correct weather protection system.

Air and water barriers are an integral part of any residential building project. For many years, mechanically-attached house wraps were the standard, with very few alternatives.

Until now.

GCP Applied Technologies, formerly Grace Construction Products, introduces Vycor® enV-S, a self-adhered weather resistive barrier that provides premium weather protection. It's an advanced alternative to house wraps.

The weather resistive barrier represents the latest in residential building science to create an air-tight, yet breathable home that achieves the highest product performance available.

Lab-tested, Vycor® enV-S will protect your home, wallet and Mother Earth​​

Unlike mechanically-attached house wraps, Vycor® enV-S seals to itself, seals around fasteners, and forms a strong adhesion with the substrate, even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. This eliminates costly rework. And, most importantly, Vycor® enV-S improves the home's energy efficiency, leading to significant energy savings for the homeowner.

A recent study conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) revealed that Vycor® enV-S achieved an air leakage rate seven times lower than the leading house wrap brand in all regions of the United States. A reduced rate of air leakage translates to lower annual heating and cooling costs.

In the northernmost area of the U.S., for example, the savings were estimated at $669 annually (or 56.2% energy savings) for a typical home with Vycor® enV-S compared to one with a traditional house wrap.

Click on the map below to view ORNL's research on the energy savings potential in all climate regions across the country.

SAVE on your first roll of ​Vycor® enV-S

The enhanced energy efficiency, improved installation process and superior long-term weather protection of GCP’s Vycor® enV-S weather resistive barrier make it the product of choice for quality homebuilding professionals. Right now, for a limited time, GCP is offering a rebate of up to $750 to builders in the United States, who purchase this product for the first time. Vycor® enV-S™, a self-adhered weather resistive barrier, provides premium weather protection and energy savings as an advanced alternative to house wrap.

April 23
VIDEO: Water drips

Ice & Water Shield®: Water drips from GCP Applied Technologies on Vimeo.


Water drips.

Water not only drips; it downpours.

Water freezes.

When water forms icicles on a roof, that's usually an indication of an ice dam, where liquid water collects behind an ice wall. Warmer water from higher up on the roof feeds this ice dam as it melts down to the lower, colder section. From here, the liquid water can find cracks and openings in the exterior roof.

Water drips in, unless the roof is equipped with original Ice & Water Shield®, invented by GCP Applied Technologies in 1978. Forming a direct adhesion to the roof deck and itself, Grace Ice & Water Shield® protects the roof from damage caused by Mother Nature.

When #RE0101Is an ice dam, rest assured the roof is safe with Grace Ice & Water Shield®.

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April 20
VIDEO: Vycor® enV-S™ saves Alaskan family $1,000/yr in home heating costs


​In this video, Ana White and her husband install Vycor® enV-S™ weather-resistive barrier on the exterior of their forever home in Alaska.

Contrary to traditional housewraps, the Vycor® requires no mechanical fasteners; it's self-adhered with a peel-away film for a flush bond with the wall substrate. Furthermore, Vycor® enV-S™ seals around fasteners during subsequent siding installation for an air-tight home.

​​Despite extreme weather and winds reaching upwards of 70 mph during the installation process, the Vycor® enV-S™ self-adhered, weather-resistive barrier withstood Mother Nature's test, remaining perfectly intact on the exterior of the White's house walls.

​The Vycor® enV-S™ will also save the Whites up to $1,000 per year in home heating costs, even through the coldest, most bitter Alaskan winters.

​Read more about the White's homebuilding project on Ana's blog…

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April 19
How to make a kickout flashing diverter for the roof


​In the case that a shed or gable roof butts into a wall, one challenge is to ensure that water running down the roof at the roof-wall intersection ends up in the gutter. Otherwise, water can seep into the wall below the gutter.

The simplest solution is a kickout diverter flashing, which serves as the bottom piece of metal step flashing. It's placed over the membrane at the eave and bent to serve as a spout, directing water into the gutter. The minute or two it takes to create this detail has a pretty big return on investment. But it's often left out.

What happens if you forget the diverter?

If water is able to get behind the trim and siding below the gutter, the consequences can be disastrous.

"Water flowing down the wall from that intersection will rot out the sheathing in the shape of a cone, and the rot area will be six feet wide at the base of the wall," says Dan Burke, owner of White Wolf Construction and Home Inspection in Columbia, Missouri. He has found problems on homes just a few years old. "The last one we fixed was an 8-year-old house with about $50,000 worth of damage."

Sometimes an architect will object to the way the kickout looks. An alternative suggested by Bill Rose, author of "Water in Buildings: An Architect's Guide to Moisture and Mold," is to install a pressure treated 2x4 at the roof-wall intersection before the roofing or siding goes on. Then bend flashing over the 2x4 and down onto the roof. When it's time to install the siding, the flashing will already be outboard from the cladding allowing water to drain straight into the gutter.

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April 18
VIDEO: The ease of installing Vycor® enV-S™


If you have a utility knife, a roller and a roll of Vycor® enV-S, you're ready to install GCP's high-performing weather barrier great for most residential construction jobs.

Vycor® enV-S is a fully-adhered and breathable weather-resistive barrier that requires neither mechanical fasteners nor seam tape in the installation. It adheres well to both foam and to sheathing and does not rip or tear easily.

A typical application would be on OSB plywood or extruded polystyrene insulation.

"I like to do my inside corners and outside corners first and then come back," said one contractor who trusts enV-S on his job sites.

"The membrane is split-and-release on the back. So one side comes off first and then you take the other side down. On the first side, I like to pull it straight down. It keeps the membrane nice and straight. On the other side, I like to pull at a 45-degree angle. So it pulls (the Vycor®) nice and tight. It's two inches of overlap all around. That's it."

vycor-map-thumbnailLearn about the premium protection and superior energy efficiency of Vycor® enV-S

Vycor® enV-S is a fully-adhered and breathable weather-resistive barrier that requires neither mechanical fasteners nor seam tape in the installation.

April 13
Proper installation of Grace Ice & Water Shield®


In 1978, GCP Applied Technologies — formerly Grace Construction Products — developed the first self-adhered roofing underlayment: Grace Ice & Water Shield®.

Nearly four decades later, it's still the product building professionals trust to protect their projects. It's also peace of mind for homeowners.

Once installed, the revolutionary membrane protects your home, by its three crown jewels — it sticks to the deck, sticks to itself forming watertight laps, and it seals around fasteners — for a barrier impenetrable to wind-driven rain, ice dams or anything else Mother Nature can precipitate upon a roof.

If installed properly, this reliable roofing underlayment can save homeowners $18,000 in reroofing costs. Here's how…

Proper installation of Grace Ice & Water Shield®

The Conventional Method

  1. Cut the membrane into 3-5 m (10-15 ft.) lengths and re-roll loosely. Peel back 300-600 mm (1-2 ft.) of release liner, align membrane.

  2. Peel the release liner from the membrane. Press the membrane in place with heavy hand pressure.

  3. Minimum overlap guidelines are set by the manufacturer. GCP requires side laps to be a minimum of 90 mm (3.5 in.) and end laps a minimum of 150 mm (6 in.).

The Back-Roll Method

Some contractors prefer the back-roll method. The back-roll technique can go quicker than the conventional method since you can lay down the membrane in just a few minutes!

  1. Start by unrolling a 3-5 m (10-15 ft.) piece of membrane, leaving the release liner in place. Align the membrane and roll in the intended direction of the membrane application.

  2. Carefully cut the release liner on top of the roll in the cross direction, being careful not to cut the membrane.

  3. Peel back about 150 mm (6 in.) of the release liner in the opposite direction of the intended membrane application, exposing the black adhesive.

  4. Hold the release liner with one hand and pull the roll along the deck with the release liner, leaving the applied membrane behind.

  5. Stop frequently to press the membrane in place with heavy hand pressure, smoothing the membrane toward the outer edge.

  6. When finished with the roll, go back and remove the remaining release liner.

  7. Smooth to the edge.

Click below for detailed drawings displaying proper installation at eaves, valleys, skylights, chimneys, and other important details…

April 11
Home Inspection Checklist: Your Roof

When you think about it, your roof has to battle a lot of enemies…

  • Ultraviolet rays
  • Rain
  • Wind
  • Snow
  • Ice​

You can extend the life of your roof, if you know the factors involved. They include environmental conditions, material quality, proper application and regular roof maintenance.

Warning signs indicating your roof is in trouble


  • Shingles that are warped, blistered, missing or torn
  • Shingles covered in moss or algae, which hold moisture and encourage rot
  • Loose material or wear around chimneys, pipes and other penetrations
  • Overhanging tree branches that could gouge the roof in a strong wind
  • Excessive debris (leaves, dirt, ice, roofing granules) in the gutters or downspouts, which block drainage


  • Ceiling spots or leaks
  • Cracked paint
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Mold, mildew or rot in the walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems

In the attic:

  • Infiltrating water stains
  • Dampness
  • Mold growing on insulation/sheathing/rafters
  • A poorly ventilated attic that shows signs of moisture, which promotes the roof's decay
  • You can achieve sufficient attic ventilation by installing larger or additional vents

Repairs Needed on your roof?

If repairs are needed, don’t skimp on quality to save a few bucks. Much of the damage associated with serious storms results from water entering the home when roof coverings or sidings are blown off.

This is why it is imperative that you have a secondary layer of waterproofing protection underneath the shingles and siding. If proper protection measures are not taken, the resulting leaks are the main cause of interior damage, as well as potential causes of rot and mold. Rot and mold can lead to major structural damage and even potential health problems for homeowners.

Use Underlyaments on your roof

FEMA has published recommendations for the use of fully-adhered roofing underlayments, such as GCP Applied Technologies’ Grace Ice & Water Shield®, as an enhanced secondary water barrier for homes. In the event roof coverings are blown off or water manages to get underneath your shingles, these underlayments are the key to preventing water infiltration.

April 05
Home Inspection Checklist: Your Siding

Your siding around doors and windows can become a major leak zone. Even if the windows and doors are well shuttered in a storm, wind-driven rain can penetrate the house at these points. This problem becomes more severe when they have not been properly flashed and weatherproofed.

How do you know when your siding around doors and windows is in trouble?

Inside & Outside:

  • Leaks or breaks in seams around window trim and sills
  • Uneven doorframes
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Chipped or cracked stucco finishes
  • Mold, mildew, or rot in the walls, insulation, and electrical systems
  • Missing, cracked, or blistered paint inside the home

How do you repair your siding?

Use Flashing: Flashing is a critical part of your home’s weather barrier system. If not properly selected and installed, wind-driven rain, ice and snow can leak and quickly cause damage to your home.

You can use flexible flashings such as GCP Applied Technologies’ Vycor® Plus to seal the most vulnerable spots, including windows, doors, corner boards, and other non-roof detail areas. It is designed to work in severe winter climates, milder climates, and in coastal areas where wind driven rain is common. Flashing, like Vycor® Plus, is a critical part of your home’s weather barrier system.
April 04
Home Inspection Checklist: Your Deck
A deck is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in the warmer weather. But, if your deck is not protected against extreme weather, it can deteriorate and become unsafe. Decks, fences and other wood products should be routinely weatherproofed and cleaned to maximize their useful life. Weather combined with the treatment chemicals used for today’s pressure treated lumber means that the modern deck must be properly constructed to maintain.

How do you know when your deck is in trouble?

  • Warped boards
  • Cracked or split boards
  • Debris that is “clogging up” space between deck boards
  • Look under the deck for corroded joist hangers and other connectors
  • Soft wood
  • Mold and mildew

How do you repair your deck?

Use a Protective Barrier: Though today's treated and high-tech decking products can help a deck last and last, preventing joist rot and decay is still a major problem. Water can accumulate under decking boards and cause damage.

Vycor Deck Protector® is a unique solution to significantly extend the useful life of decks. Vycor Deck Protector® helps prevent joist rot and decay and decrease the corrosion rate of connectors and fasteners.

When applied to the top of deck joists, Vycor Deck Protector® creates an impervious barrier against water and moisture penetration in deck structures. It’s a fast, effective and inexpensive way to significantly extend the life of your decks. When applied to the top of deck joists, Vycor Deck Protector® creates an impervious barrier against water and moisture penetration in deck structures.
April 02
VIDEO: Protect the roof from extreme weather

Ice & Water Shield®: Extreme weather from GCP Applied Technologies on Vimeo.


Wind and snow can hammer your roof.

Wind-driven snow and rain can raise shingles.

Extreme elements like these can cause damage to the roof.

When this happens, water will find its way in. Unless the roof is protected.

Get Grace Ice & Water Shield® original self-adhered roofing underlayment. Protect the home from damage.

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