The Difference Between Internal Membranes and External Membranes
One of the most important things about building in the 21st century is using environmentally friendly products that don’t compromise on performance.
Businesses are striving to build more sustainably and operate in a greener way. It is crucial that new products are in line with that agenda, but continue to deliver effectively for the job they are designed to do.
Here at Intelligent Membranes, our products fit perfectly with the demands of 21st Century Construction. Sustainable, environmentally friendly, but extremely effective. Our vapour-controlled external and internal membranes are a good example.
We often get asked, “What’s the difference between an internal and an external membrane?” So, our Founder and Managing Director, Adam White, explains:
What is an Internal Membrane?
The internal membrane, which is our Passive Purple product, offers airtightness and vapour control. The membrane is spray applied and adheres to any material. It’s designed to ensure that the building is airtight, which increases energy efficiency, reducing cost and making the building more environmentally-friendly.
The second important function of internal membranes is vapour control. It stops the movement of water vapour within the structure of the building, which guards against dampness and decay. It also makes sure the living environment is healthy for the building and those occupying it.
What is an External Membrane?
An external membrane, like our Passive Purple external product, ensures the building is wind and watertight. Crucially though, it has to be vapour open, so it still allows the building to breathe.
The best way to describe it is like a Gore-Tex jacket. It doesn’t let water in, but it allows the body to breathe through it. This is really important because buildings need to breathe to promote moisture control. If moisture is trapped in a structure it can also lead to rot and decay, therefore creating an unhealthy living environment.
The other important difference to mention between an external and internal membrane is how they react to fire. An external membrane has a Class B rating, which indicates how it will perform and react in a fire. Being Class B or above means it’s going to inherently be vapour open and will explode on itself to make sure it doesn’t burn. Internal membranes have a class C rating which is still high, but it is more closed off meaning it doesn’t perform as effectively in a fire.
What are the Benefits of Liquid Applied Membranes?
In addition to protecting the structure of a building from mould, dampness and decay, there are multiple other advantages of liquid applied membranes. Some of the extra benefits of our liquid applied membranes include:
Our products can be applied like any other paint using a roller, paint brush or spray gun. This allows it to be applied easily on uneven walls, vaulted or steeply inclined roofs and larger areas.
External surfaces that face direct sunlight exposure often have a problem with thermal expansion that can affect the effectiveness of waterproofing membranes. The elasticity of our liquid membranes prevents cracks from forming which means you are getting a better quality.
Our internal and external liquid applied membranes offer waterproofing for a longer period of time without decreasing in efficiency. In fact, in contrast to other similar solutions, this type of membrane requires no maintenance.