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Total demand for weather resistant barriers in North America was valued at $4 billion based on manufacturers’ factory gate level in 2017. Residential construction, led by roofing applications, accounted for the majority of market demand. Principia Consulting’s recent report on weather resistant barriers includes products with a primary or secondary function of providing air, water or vapor barrier properties and are applied either to an exterior wall behind any cladding or to a roof underneath the exposed roofing during construction.

Weather Resistant Barriers Continue to Grow and Evolve
Weather resistant barriers penetration into North America has increased over the last several years in wall applications for both residential and commercial markets. For the residential market, although housewrap remains the dominant material for wall applications, other materials have made inroads. In roof applications, synthetic roofing underlayment has increased its share of the market significantly since Principia’s first weather resistant barriers study in 2010. As Sue Ross, Principia’s industry analyst for weather resistant barriers, points out, “Expected industry growth is a function of organic growth in the underlying construction markets, both new and existing structures, and the continued focus on energy efficiency in both residential and commercial construction driving increased market penetration. Weather resistant barriers are expected to reach almost $4.4 billion in 2020, growingnearly 4% annually over this three‐year period.

Direct to Dealer Remains the Primary Channel Outlet
The primary channel to market varies significantly depending on whether roof or wall. For roofing underlayment, 1‐step distribution is the primary method, for the most part bypassing 2‐step distribution. Overall, more than half of weather resistant barrier products flow through the 1‐step distributor channel, which includes roofing, gypsum and masonry supply houses. Traditional distributors with a focus on roofing and siding products generally account for most of 1‐step distribution sales of weather resistant barriers.

The Weather Resistant Barriers Residential & Commercial 2018 includes market demand by census region/division and product type, roof vs wall application, as well as by construction market (residential versus commercial), construction type (new versus repair and remodel), building type, and distribution channel. Using 2017 as a baseline year, the report provides forecasts through 2020.

To purchase the report or learn more about the scope and content covered, please contact Frank Dix, Director of Business Development at

About Principia Consulting
Principia is a leading research and consulting firm focused exclusively on the building materials and construction industry. For over 20 years, we have helped our clients grow faster and more profitably by providing high quality information, analytics and insights. Visit for more information and the latest building materials and construction industry insights.

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Brooke Cowell