When the temperature and humidity conditions reach the dew point, moisture can condense on the underside of steel roofing. This condensation has the potential to cause water damage and other problems inside of pole buildings.
Some of the Hansen Pole Buildings steel suppliers are now offering an internationally patented CCM (Condensation Control Membrane) which can be pre-applied to their steel panels. This innovative product works by creating a medium for trapping moisture in the specially designed pockets formed within the felt’s membrane. Holding moisture until conditions go back below the dew point, Drip Stop is then able to release the moisture back into the air in the form of normal humidity.
Drip Stop is durable – it isn’t susceptible to ripping, tearing or deterioration like many common metal building insulation and vapor barrier products. It is easily cleaned with a hose or pressure washer. It may result in time savings – as no other product needs to be installed between the roof purlins and roof steel. It is approved for use in animal confinement buildings. Drip Stop is UL 723 approved for flame spread and smoke generation and comes with a 20 year adhesion warranty. It also reduces exterior noise.
The skids of steel with Drip Stop applied must be stored prior to use, to prevent moisture from becoming trapped between panels, which may cause staining as well as damage to the panels. This moisture can originate from a variety of sources, such as rain, high humidity or condensation. Panels should be stored in a dry location and installed as quickly as possible after delivery. If this is not possible, panels should be separated from one another to allow for air circulation to prevent panel damage.
The steel panels do require some extra preparation work, prior to installation. Panels are to be first laid with the Drip Stop material facing up. Using a heat gun, the exposed end lap or eave portion needs to be heated to fuse the Drip Stop fibers. Care must be given to avoid overheating any one spot, which could potentially damage the panel’s finish on the exterior side. The Drip Stop material should neither be completely melted, nor fused beyond the lap or overhang area of the panel. Allow panels to cool, prior to installation. Failure to properly prepare panels may result in the Drip Stop material attracting water from outside the building, resulting in possible leaks, mold and/or mildew.
If anyone has personal experience using this product, feel free to respond and let me know what the pluses and minuses were in using Drip Stop. It sounds like a great product, and may be a step in the right direction for a better moisture barrier than what has been currently available. However, at first glance the application sounds too complicated and somewhat risky for anyone other than someone who has lots of practice installing it. Let me know what you think folks, I am always looking “for a better mousetrap”!