Case Study /
Aug 2, 2021

Critical Protection from the Elements

Benjamin Obdyke

In partnership with residential developer SYMBI Homes, PRODUCTS recently completed a high-performance demonstration project in Mt. Rainier, Md., a Washington, DC suburb. 

The pilot project, a for-sale duplex, showcases a higher level of quality, innovation, and sustainability in home building.

SYMBI builders Nicole Tysvaer and Matt Kulp specified Benjamin Obdyke weatherization products to provide advanced thermal moisture protection, a key component in building a resilient and durable home. Highlights include:

  • For housewrap, SYMBI chose the advanced Benjamin Obdyke FlatWrap HP, which not only provides more protection against moisture than typical housewraps, but also ingeniously allows moisture to escape if water ever gets behind the wrap;
  • SYMBI’s sustainable design includes a rainscreen application for installation of their siding materials, providing a critical air gap between house and cement boards. Benjamin Obdyke’s Slicker MAX provided the most cost effective, easy-to-install rainscreen solution the builders have ever used;
  • Benjamin Obdyke products also made installing open-joint cladding easy and efficient with its black Invisiwrap UV and Batten UV materials that provide superior protection and resist fading in the sun.

READ MORE: These Rapid-Install Outdoor Kitchens Only Need Two Pros and One Day

Product Innovation

SYMBI Duplex One specified six durable and highly effective Benjamin Obdyke products to protect the homes from outside elements and lengthen the lifespan of the exterior shell:

  • FlatWrap HP, a commercial grade water-resistive barrier. (WRB). When used in conjunction with a rainscreen wall (see product below), it provides superior bulk water drainage, exceptional vapor permeability, and durability;
  • Slicker MAX, a vertically channeled rainscreen that includes a filter fabric, providing enhanced UV and compression resistance. Slicker MAX is ideal for providing drainage and ventilation behind fiber cement, stone veneer, stucco applications, and several other finnish claddings;
  • HydroFlash LA, a liquid flashing material designed for exterior flashing of rough openings, transitions, and seams as part of a high performing air and water management system. Liquid-applied flashing is appropriate for filling imperfections, penetrations, or sealing of geometrically challenging areas while maintaining vapor permeance;
  • HydroFlash UV+, a flashing tape formulated with an acrylic adhesive for extreme environmental conditions. HydroFlash UV+ can be used in open-joint cladding systems, such as the one applied to the demonstration home, with a 12-month UV rating before siding installation. 
  • Invisiwrap UV, a specially designed wrap for use with architectural designs that incorporate open-joint cladding. The black color of the wrap enhances the aesthetic appeal to open joint architecture, and when used in conjunction with a rainscreen it provides superior bulk water drainage, exceptional vapor permeability, and durability.
  • Batten UV,  the ideal batten to optimize airflow in an open-joint cladding application. The honeycomb design allows for air to pass between the WRB and cladding to provide the ultimate protection. Batten UV is UV stable and is warrantied up to a 2-inch joint. 

SYMBI’s siding installers tack the Slicker MAX rainscreen to the FlatWrap

SYMBI’s siding installers tack the Slicker MAX rainscreen to the FlatWrap. Minimal fasteners are needed, as the Slicker MAX will be secured in place when the cement siding is installed over top.


Matt Kulp, SYMBI’s VP of Production and a builder for 30-plus years, points out that FlatWrap HP is thicker than standard house wraps and comes with numerous advantages. “It’s a permeable paper that will keep the shell of the house dry,” Kulp says. “If any moisture gets behind it, it allows the moisture out of the face of the product.”

Kulp also explains the importance of the rainscreen application. “At SYMBI, one of our main goals is sustainability and that includes longevity of the house.”  In a typical installation, siding is nailed flat to the house wrap, which doesn’t allow air to get behind the cement boards, which can cause moisture to build up and deteriorate the materials over time.  

“Slicker Max rainscreen will give us a longer lifespan for our siding by keeping the backside dry,” says Kulp.  “So if the siding ‘sweats’ when the sun hits it or in high humidity, it keeps that siding off of the water-resistant barrier just enough to get some air back there.” 

Kulp also appreciates the Slicker Max “very convenient” overlap at the bottom. “On our starter strip, we fold that under and it creates a bug screen, but still allows the air to go through,” he says.

READ MORE: 3 Design Priorities Driving Product Decisions

Tips from the Builder

  • Use cap nails to install the FlatWrap HP which offer better sealing value than an ordinary staple.
  • Timing is a critical factor in applying the HydroFlash LA. For first-time users of this liquid applied flashing, we recommend watching Benjamin Obdyke’s helpful installation videos for critical tips and tricks to ensure effective coverage.

A decorative sustainable wood product installed over Benjamin Obdyke’s Invisiwrap UV and Batten UV rainscreen system.

HydroFlash UV+ Invisiwrap UV SYMBI Duplex One’s bay window included open joint cladding of a decorative sustainable wood product installed over Benjamin Obdyke’s Invisiwrap UV and Batten UV rainscreen system.

Helpful Links

VIDEO: SYMBI Duplex One: Exterior Protection Products from Benjamin Obdyke Are Installed

VIDEO: SYMBI Duplex One: Matt Kulp Explains How Benjamin Obdyke fits Into the Project


Slicker MAX

FlatWrap HP

HydroFlash LA

Batten UV

HydroFlash UV+

Invisiwrap UV