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Drying in a structure is a tough enough task before Mother Nature throws everything she can at you and your crew with severe weather. Though building wraps, in one form or another, have been around for well over a century, they haven’t always been as comprehensive or weather-resistant as options that are available today. Two of today’s industry leaders have recognized the importance of quickly creating a strong building envelope through their innovations. AdvanTech and ZIP Systems have each been developed to help you quickly seal up your building envelope to protect the structure, appearance and integrity of your new structure. Here’s a glance at each of the involved technologies, including their strengths, weaknesses and in which situations they work best.


Though AdvanTech has developed a solid reputation for its solid subflooring system that has an amazing amount of resistance to moisture damage, the company has also put a great deal of research into transitioning that technology into wall sheathing and roof decking. The AdvanTech specialty sheathing system has similar outstanding moisture damage resistance, and some advantages over Zip Systems.

Building Science: AdvanTech Flooring & Sheathing


  • Water and weather resistance is built into the entire panel, so scrapes and cuts won’t cause significant damage, which can be an issue with resistant sheathing systems that only integrate the weather barrier into the surface of the panel.
  • It’s designed with an industry-topping 500-day weather resistance standard, giving you a significantly longer period of time to get your project dried in. This makes it perfect for those projects that need to happen in your spare time by providing additional insurance in your materials.
  • It has superior shear strength by a minimum of 10% compared to similar sheathing products, allowing it to be rated to Structural 1 levels and making it wonderful for harsh weather and conditions, such as seismic stress, ice, wind and snow.
  • It has been designed to meet ESR-1785 standards, with industry-leading strength, fastener-holding and stiffness capabilities. Products that meet this standard are noted for superior bending stiffness and strength when compared to PS-2 quality OSB and plywood.
  • It’s one of the few integrated weatherization sheathing products on the market that comes with a limited lifetime warranty. By comparison, Zip System has a 30-year system warranty.


  • Cost is the highest drawback on AdvanTech sheathing. Compared to regular OSB, AdvanTech is about 50% higher, but that figure doesn’t account for the additional cost of building wrap that is not required with Advantech sheathing.
AdvanTech and Zip System Product Brochure

ZIP System

Developed so that builders could consolidate their workflow during building envelope construction, ZIP System integrates the building wrap into the surface of the sheathing. This allowed contractors to simply add tape at the seams to complete the weatherization process to prevent damage from moisture. However, like AdvanTech, it also has advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Building Science: ZIP System Sheathing and Tape


  • The system helps save significant amounts of time over traditional sheathing and building wrap systems, making the job site workflow move more efficiently.
  • The Stretch Tape designed for use in the system is, as advertised, very stretchy. It can do double duty around windows, wall penetrations and corners in addition to sealing seams.
  • The system has roof decking options available, which allows the contractor to create a complete weather barrier, which qualifies the structure for Fortified Home standards.
  • Installed properly, ZipSystem backs up their product with a 30-year limited integrated system warranty, giving homeowners and contractors peace of mind.


  • Much like AdvanTech, ZIP System has a higher price, also running about 50% higher than standard OSB, but with that figure not including the house wrap that is integral in the Zip System sheathing.
  • Because the system is on the surface of the sheathing rather than integral through the entire sheet, contractors have expressed concerns that every fastener creates a possible source of air or water infiltration into the structure, unless every spot is sealed with tape.
  • Another area of concerns is that because the weather barrier is only on the surface, regular handling on the job site may create cuts, nicks and dents that pass through the surface layer, requiring patching to retain integrity.

Though these two sheathing products can give you a range of different options and reduce your workload, understanding the limitations and benefits of each system lets you make an intelligent choice based on your product’s demands. To find the right specialty sheathing material for your project, Poulin Lumber is ready to help. Please feel free to contact our experienced associates today with any questions, for additional information or to get a quote on these amazing sheathing materials and accessories for your next project.

ZIP System™ Stretch Tape Installation Guide

Learn how to use ZIP System™ Stretch Tape to weatherize your window sills in a flash with easy to follow steps! 

AdvanTech Subfloor Adhesive Installation Guide

What is AdvanTechTM Subfloor Adhesive and How Can It Help You? Download this free guide to learn all about it!

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