Fluid Applied Air Barriers: 10 Benefits for Commercial & Residential Construction


The numerous benefits of a correctly applied, high-quality fluid-applied air barrier (FAAB), like Bautex AMB 20, in com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion, guarantee a structure that is durable, energy-efficient and healthy. A further advantage of the Bautex AMB 20 FAAB, over other FAABs, is the Bautex AMB 20’s flex­i­bil­i­ty in the timing of application.

Air and Moisture Control Methods for Commercial and Residential Construction

Builders of both com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial struc­tures utilize several methods to control moisture and air infil­tra­tion within a wall system, including FAABs, com­mer­cial and house wraps, peel and stick membranes and laminated gypsum board with taped seams. However, there are lim­i­ta­tions to some of these products.

  • Com­mer­cial and House Wraps: Windy days pose problems for com­mer­cial and house wraps because they are sus­cep­ti­ble to damage when flapping in the wind. Wraps also have many joints and are prone to pen­e­tra­tions through the wall that may not receive proper attention.
  • Laminated gypsum board: Laminated gypsum board with taped seams is simple to apply; first, the board goes up, and the next and last step is to tape the seams. The problem with this method is the longevity of the seam tape is unknown.
  • Peel and stick membranes: Peel and stick membranes are the most expensive of all the products, including fluid-applied air barriers.

FAAB — The Better Option for Moisture Control in Commercial and Residential Construction

Fluid-applied air barriers offer many per­for­mance benefits and are an excellent option over com­mer­cial and house wraps, peel and stick membranes and laminated gypsum board with tape seam.

Ten Benefits of Fluid Applied Air Barriers For Commercial and Residential Construction

  1. Fluid-applied air barriers prevent air leakage which lessens energy costs and con­den­sa­tion and improves occupant’s comfort.
  2. Fluid-applied air barriers create a seamless moisture barrier. A seamless moisture barrier reduces instal­la­tion errors that can cause holes, tears, or lap joints.
  3. Fluid-applied air barriers protect the sheathing and rough openings from weather damage during and after con­struc­tion, which minimizes repair or replace­ment costs.
  4. Fluid-applied air barriers are simple to install and reduce labor costs because appli­ca­tion of FAABs needs no special tools or skills.
  5. Fluid-applied air barriers are durable and will not tear or lose its effec­tive­ness when exposed to outside elements during and after construction.
  6. Fluid-applied air barriers provide struc­tur­al and full adherence, which creates rigidity and stability against strong wind events.
  7. Fluid-applied air barriers double as an air barrier and moisture barrier in the wall assembly.
  8. Fluid-applied air barriers allow for pressure-equalized or pressure-moderated wall design, which lessens the risk of rainwater pen­e­tra­tion through the wall system.
  9. Fluid-applied air barriers are less expensive than peel and stick membranes.
  10. Most Fluid-applied air barriers including the Bautex AMB 20 are water based so safe to use and easy to clean-up.

Bautex AMB 20 — A Best Practice for a Fluid-Applied Air Barrier

There are many fluid-applied air barriers products on the market today, which differ mainly in their thickness. The Bautex AMB 20 fluid-applied air barrier falls in the middle for thickness. Bautex AMB 20 works excep­tion­al­ly well on roughly textured products, like Bautex Blocks, but also on other wall systems like concrete masonry units, (CMU), wood and DensGlass sheathing.

The Bautex Block is composed of poly­styrene and cement and creates a very thermally efficient product. However, because the Bautex Block is porous with dimpling in the block, it requires an air and moisture barrier material, like the Bautex AMB 20, to ensure suf­fi­cient coverage.

Impor­tant­ly, what sets Bautex AMB 20 apart from other fluid-applied air barriers is its flex­i­bil­i­ty in the timing of appli­ca­tion. Con­trac­tors can apply the Bautex AMB 20 pre- or post-taping, or caulking of the wall. An attribute that is quite helpful since often project’s schedules don’t go as planned.

Bautex AMB 20 Air and Moisture Barrier

The Bautex AMB 20 product line is a single-component system sprayed directly to the exterior wall substrate in a single 40 – 45 mil wet coat. Appli­ca­tion of Bautex AMB 20 to Bautex Block, concrete, concrete block (CMU) or exterior sheathing materials using a standard airless spray system is quick and efficient.

Appli­ca­tion of the Bautex AMB 20 fluid-applied air barrier on the Bautex Block Walls ensures the com­mer­cial or res­i­den­tial build­ing’s envelope has four control layers: bulk water rejection, air infil­tra­tion, water, and vapor per­me­abil­i­ty, and thermal.

Notably, the thermal component of the Bautex Wall system provides a tremen­dous amount of insu­la­tion power that is two and a half times what the 2018 energy code requires in Central Texas. Placement of the Bautex air and moisture barrier product on top of the Bautex Wall is the last step to providing both bulk water rejection and pro­tec­tion from air and moisture infiltration.

The many benefits a high-quality fluid-applied air and moisture barrier, like Bautex AMB 20, in com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion, ensure moisture and air man­age­ment in wall assem­blies. Proper appli­ca­tion of the FAAB is also essential to the integrity of the structure, indoor envi­ron­men­tal quality, and energy effi­cien­cy of com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial buildings. Please visit Bautex Wall Systems for more infor­ma­tion on the benefits of fluid-applied air barriers.