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Henry Company is the First to Integrate Antimicrobial Agents with Air Barriers

Performance Enhancement is Part of Overall Defense Against Mold Proliferation

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 17, 2010 — Henry® Company is the first to integrate antimicrobial agents into spray-applied air barrier technology.  Air-Bloc® 31MR, Air-Bloc® 32MR and Air-Bloc® 33MR fluid-applied air and water barrier membranes incorporate a universally dispersed biocidal agent throughout the cured membrane, which helps to resist exponential proliferation of mold, mildew and fungus on the membrane’s surface.  The antimicrobial technology that Henry has built into its already popular line of air barrier products works by inhibiting enzyme reactions that mold cells use to produce energy for growth and reproduction.  These products will supersede Air-Bloc® 31, Air-Bloc® 32 and Air-Bloc® 33 air and water barrier membranes.

The resistance of the new Air-Bloc® MR air and water barrier membranes to mold proliferation was determined using the industry-recognized test procedure ASTM D5590 and resulted in a zero growth rating for all products developed. 

“The antimicrobial agents also are nontoxic and free of solvents, making this performance enhancement seamless: previous application and handling methods and performance characteristics of these products remain unchanged,” said Dennis Mahoney, vice president of research and development for Henry Company.

“This is the latest in a series of industry firsts that Henry has introduced in its line of Building Envelope Systems®,” said Marc Tropper, P.Eng., director of product management - air barriers and waterproofing for Henry Company.  “Controlling moisture is key in controlling mold.  The right choice of air barrier can help control moisture within the building envelope by reducing uncontrolled air leakage and rain penetration.  The addition of antimicrobial agents to Air-Bloc® MR air barriers is an added feature to help reduce the risk of exponential mold proliferation on the surface of our products.   This added feature, combined with the use of other building materials with antimicrobial properties, such as sheathing, paints and insulation, can help designers manage the risks associated with mold and form part of an overall defense strategy against the exponential growth of mold.”

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that inhibiting the exponential proliferation of mold protects people who are sensitive or allergic to mold, as well as the respiratory health of all. 

According to an article in the September 2004 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer, concerns about the risk of exposure to mold are intensifying, causing residential and commercial buildings to lose significant value when they become associated with mold problems.  The article also indicates that mold damage is becoming more common in litigation and insurance claims, leading many insurance providers to limit coverage .

“Mold is found everywhere, but the risk to health and property values are posed chiefly by exponential mold growth.” Tropper said.

The use of Henry Air-Bloc® MR air and rain barrier membranes should not be considered absolutely preventative of mold growth, as multiple factors affect the occurrence of mold. Furthermore, the antimicrobial agents inhibit mold proliferation only on the surface of the Air-Bloc® membrane. 

“Notwithstanding, air barriers are recognized in the industry for their ability to control moisture and the flow of moisture through the building envelope, which, in turn, helps prevent conditions that foster exponential mold growth,” Tropper said.  “And now, with the integration of antimicrobial agents within Air-Bloc® MR air and rain barrier membranes, Henry is pleased to be able to offer an additional line of defense to architects and designers who are seeking to further manage and enhance their overall strategy to resist exponential mold growth.”

Henry®Company is the leading innovator of Building Envelope Systems®and understands the principals of integrating air/vapor barrier, roofing and waterproofing systems to ensure superior building performance.

From rooftop to foundation, Henry professionals offer designers, contractors and building owners a combination of technical experience and a commitment to provide quality products.  For more than 70 years, Henry®Company has been the trusted source for complete building solutions

For additional Information regarding Henry products or services, please contact Henry Customer Service at 1-800-486-1278 or visit

Media Relations Contact

Brian Salvatore HB&M (for Henry)

For Immediate Release
November 17, 2010