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How to Choose the Best Window Wrap Tape?

When it comes to preventing moisture from entering through windows, window wrap tape or flashing tape is the first line of defense. By definition, window wrap tape is a type of flashing tape for windows that is tasked with preventing air and water infiltration into the building envelope. 

Considering the importance of this material, it's vital to find the right combination of cost efficiency and effectiveness. Making the mistake of choosing a cheap window wrap tape can result in the undesirable entry of air and moisture into the structure. Once this happens, these elements can wreak havoc, leading to decay, mold, corrosion, and worse. 

Simply put, it's important to choose the right or best window wrap tape for the application. Fortunately, Frank Lowe can help. We've outlined a few of the key parameters you should consider when choosing a window wrap tape.

The Window Wrap Tape Should Have UV Protection Capabilities

When choosing a window wrap tape, make sure you are aware of the level of UV protection it has. For the most part, more UV protection is better, but this can be balanced with the position of the window. 

As with most other materials, the sun's UV rays will degrade the tape's adhesive over a period of time. Once this happens, the tape will lose its ability to be effective. Because of this, it's imperative the tape has UV protection, which allows it to resist degradation from the sun's rays as quickly. 

However, several factors can contribute to the amount of UV protection on a roll of window wrap tape. If this is a crucial factor for the application, it's best to have a clear indication of the amount of protection it requires.

Deciding Between Bitumen vs Butyl vs Acrylic Window Wrap Tape

In general, you have three options when it comes to choosing window wrap tape material:

  1. Modified Bitumen Flashing. This is the most cost-effective material. It's made from asphalt and petroleum. While cheaper, this material has the shortest longevity. Over time, it will eventually dry out, which can make it ineffective. 
  2. Butyl Window Wrap Tape. A step up from bitumen would be flashing made with butyl adhesive technology. However, not all butyl material is created equally. For the most part, butyl rubber tapes create a superior bond with difficult substrates compared to modified bitumen. In addition, these tapes can usually be peeled off and adjusted during installation. When choosing a butyl window wrap tape, it's imperative to pay close attention to its temperature operating range. Certain window wrap tapes with butyl adhesives are modified and designed to remain more stable at high temperatures and flexible in colder temperatures.
  3. Window Wrap Tape with Acrylic Adhesive. Undoubtedly, window wrap tape with acrylic adhesives are the best. These types of flashing boast the most extensive temperature range and are the longest lasting.  

Consider Operating Temperature When Choosing Window Flashing Tape

When you're choosing the best flashing tape, make sure to consider the temperature at which it will operate. For the most part, if you're working in colder temperatures, window wrap tape with modified bitumen products will not hold up. Most of these products are designed to have reduced adhesive abilities at around 50-degrees F. And when temperatures drop below 40-degrees F. The best solution for colder temperatures are acrylic-based products. 

Consider the Application Specifics (Installation, Substrate, etc.)

The last key consideration is the installation and substrate surface. In either case, make sure you always follow the manufacturer's specified instructions. This will help you achieve optimum results and can maintain coverage of the warranty. While instructions can vary from product to product, they all generally discuss:

  • Techniques for installation,
  • Application temperatures, and
  • Substrate compatibility.

Pay special attention to the compatibility of materials, especially for materials that are notoriously hard to bond. For all of these reasons, you should always base your decisions on the specific needs of the application.

Contact Frank Lowe for the Best Window Wrap Tape & Flashing Tape

Today, there are a number of different types of window wrap tapes available on the market. As such, choosing the best one for your application can be challenging. Fortunately, the team at Frank Lowe can help. Since 1955, we have been helping fenestration companies optimize products and improve processes with our innovative suite of tailored solutions. 

Contact Frank Lowe today to learn more about our custom fenestration products and solutions.

About the Author Randy Cohen

Since 2002, Randy Cohen has served as the Senior Vice President of Frank Lowe — leading Sales and Marketing as well as a variety of Administrative operations. Randy has 25 years of experience with a background in sales & marketing, production and business management, serving both government agencies and private industry. He holds a B.A from Syracuse University and a Masters and Professional Diploma from Fordham University. Randy uses his unique set of experiences to help businesses and entities across all sectors explore, pursue, and create better solutions.

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