top of page

Blog Post

Specialist in all aspects of Concrete Waterproofing,  Basement Tanking and Roofing Repairs. 

"Understanding the Importance of Breather Membrane in Construction: A Comprehensive Guide"

Updated: Jun 8

Detailed shot of paper on table featuring "Breather Membrane" label.

A breather membrane is a water-resistant material that allows vapor to pass through. It's used in construction to protect buildings from moisture.

Breather membranes are a critical part of a structure. They help with energy efficiency and longevity. They integrate well into the building envelope to manage moisture. They mainly repel water and shield the building from external elements. But, they let internal moisture escape. This reduces the risk of condensation, mold, and damage.

Architects and builders often use these membranes in roofs and walls. They boost insulation and make indoor air healthier. Breather membranes balance protection and breathability. They play a vital role in creating comfy, tough, and green spaces.

Types Of Breather Membranes

A breather membrane is a key part of modern construction. It allows buildings to breathe. Think of it as a protective jacket for your house. It keeps water out, lets moisture escape, and helps with insulation. There are three main types: non-woven, microporous, and monolithic membranes. Let's dive into each type.

Paper roll labeled "grader 100" for Breather Membrane.

Non-woven Breathable Membranes

Non-Woven breathable membranes are like a thick, tough fabric. Layers of synthetic fiber make them. These layers bond together. Their main job is to shield your home from the rain and wind. At the same time, they let vapor escape. This helps keep the walls dry.

  • Popular in timber frame constructions

  • Durable under rough conditions

  • Provides basic insulation

Microporous Films

Think of microporous films as tiny sieves. They are plastic films with small holes. Water can't pass through these holes, but vapor can. This makes them great for weather protection. They are also light and easy to handle.




Keeps buildings dry


Walls can breathe


Easy to install

Monolithic Membranes

Monolithic membranes are the high-tech option. One solid layer makes them up. This layer has a special structure. It blocks liquid water but allows vapor to pass. Their performance is top-notch when it comes to being airtight and controlling moisture.

  1. Superior air and moisture management

  2. Robust and long-lasting protection

  3. Advanced insulation capabilities

Applications Of Breather Membranes

Breather membranes are critical in construction, offering protection while allowing moisture to escape. They contribute to a building's longevity and energy efficiency. Their applications are diverse, spanning from roofs to walls to floors.


In roofing, breather membranes serve as protective layers. Install them onto insulation or decking. These membranes keep water out and let moisture escape, preventing rot and dampness.

  • Installed beneath tiles or shingles

  • Reduces risk of damp and mold growth

  • Extends roof lifespan

Different types of insulation and breather membrane displayed together for comparison and selection

Wall Construction

Walls also benefit from breather membranes. They are placed within the wall structure. These membranes guard against water ingress while allowing walls to 'breathe'.

  • Used in timber frame structures

  • Improves thermal performance

  • Prevents internal condensation


Breather membranes are not just for walls and roofs but also for floors. They prevent moisture from rising into floor finishes. This application is vital in maintaining floors' integrity.

  • Placed above concrete slabs

  • Shields flooring from moisture damage

  • Essential for wooden and laminate floorings

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Breather Membrane

Choosing the right breather membrane is crucial. It protects and helps the efficiency of your building for the long term. From water resistance to breathability and durability, various factors play a pivotal role. Understanding these will ensure you select the best fit for your project.

Water Resistance

Breather membranes must repel water to protect structures from moisture damage. We measure the water resistance of a breather membrane. We use its hydrostatic head rating. This shows the water pressure the material can withstand. It is before leaking occurs. Look for membranes with a high hydrostatic head rating. They will guarantee the most defense against rain and snow.


Ensuring that moisture can escape from within is vital. Breathable membranes allow water vapor to pass through. They stop condensation within the walls. Check how vapor can pass through the product. It is often in grams per square meter per 24 hours (g/m²/24h). This measure shows how breathable the product is.


Durability is synonymous with the membrane's life span. A tough breather membrane can withstand UV exposure. It can also handle harsh weather and damage during installation. Choose membranes with UV stabilizers. They have a tough composition. They promise long life and resilience. Check the warranty period. It shows how much the manufacturer trusts their product's durability.

Installation Of Breather Membranes

Smart construction demands the right materials.

Breather membranes protect buildings from moisture damage. They are essential. They must be installed correctly. This maintains their effectiveness. Let's dive into the process.

Preparing The Surface

Clean surfaces are vital. They ensure strong adhesion. Follow these steps:

  • Inspect the area. Remove dirt and debris.

  • Check for smoothness. Remove any protruding nails or screws.

  • Ensure that the surface is dry. This avoids trapping moisture.

Clean, dry, and smooth surfaces give the best results.

Cutting And Fitting

Accurate cutting is crucial. Use the right tools. Measure twice, cut once.

  • Measure the area to cover.

  • Mark the membrane with your measurements.

  • Cut using a sharp knife or scissors.

Ensure neat overlaps at the seams. Usually, a 100-150 mm overlap is recommended.

Man working on a sheet of paper with a sign that says "Breather Membrane"

Sealing And Fixing

Proper sealing prevents moisture entry. Use the right fixing method for your structure.

  1. Place the membrane flat against the surface.

  2. Seal overlaps with tape designed for membranes.

  3. Fix the membrane at regular intervals with suitable staples or nails.

Secure seals and fixings ensure durability and performance.

Follow these steps for an effective breather membrane installation. This safeguards your building from moisture for years to come.

A worker in an orange vest is installing a breather membrane on a sheet of plastic.

Person holding paper with words "There are 3 ways to address this" against backdrop of Breather Membrane.

Maintenance And Care Of Breather Membranes

Breather membranes protect buildings from moisture and dampness. They are key to a building's health. Proper maintenance ensures their effectiveness and longevity. This guide covers essential steps for their care.

Regular Inspections

Inspecting breather membranes is vital to detect issues early. These checks should be part of routine building maintenance.

  • Look for tears, holes, or signs of stress.

  • Check seals and overlaps for integrity.

  • Ensure vents are clear and unobstructed.


Cleaning is crucial for maintaining membrane performance. Dirt buildup can affect breathability.

  1. Use soft brushes or cloths to remove debris.

  2. Avoid harsh chemicals or pressure washers.

  3. Gently clean to prevent damage.

Assorted tape and glue on wooden table with Breather Membrane.


Immediate repairs prevent small problems from growing. Address damage as soon as it's detected for membrane longevity.

Type of Damage

Action to Take

Small Tears / Holes

Use recommended repair tapes

Large Issues

Consult a professional

Common Issues With Breather Membranes

Breather membranes play a crucial role in protecting buildings from moisture damage. The membranes are designed to resist water and allow vapor to pass through. They strengthen structures and let walls 'breathe'. Breather membranes are important. But, homeowners and builders often face common issues with them. These problems can harm their effectiveness.

Moisture Trapping

Moisture trapping occurs when water infiltrates and remains inside the membrane. Consequently, the trapped moisture can lead to:

  • Rot in timber structures

  • Mold growth, posing health risks

  • Insulation performance decline

To mitigate this, ensure proper installation and regular inspections.


Condensation may form when warm, moist air encounters colder surfaces, leading to water droplets on the membrane's interior face. This could:

  • Deteriorate building materials

  • Result in a musty odor

  • Reduce thermal efficiency

Effective ventilation strategies prevent condensation build-up.

Tears And Punctures

The durability of a breather membrane can be compromised by tears and punctures. Accidental damage might create openings that allow:

  • Water and pests entry

  • Compromised membrane performance

Regular checks for damage and prompt repair extend membrane lifespan.

Contact us today

Breather membranes are a key component in protecting buildings from moisture damage. They maintain a dry and safe structure by allowing walls to breathe. Choosing the right membrane matters a lot. It affects both lifespan and energy use. This is true for builders and homeowners.


Remember, quality installation equals lasting results. Make a wise choice; your building's health depends on it. So why are you waiting for Contact Bell Asphalt Co. or 07921 517860 to get the best service for your Building.

Common Questions Of Breather Membrane 

What Is A Breather Membrane In Construction?

Permanent eco roofing with Breather Membrane - BS4. A sustainable solution for long-lasting and eco-friendly roofing.

Construction uses breather membranes. They allow moisture to escape from inside a building while blocking water. They’re installed within the external wall and roof spaces.

How Does A Breather Membrane Enhance Building Longevity?

A blue book labeled 'Applied during construction under external claddings or tiles' with the words 'Breather Membrane'.

Breather membranes allow moisture to escape. They also stop water from entering. This protects structures from rot and mold. This prolongs the life of building materials.

Can Breather Membrane Improve Energy Efficiency?

Heat loss reduction - Breather Membrane aids in minimizing heat loss, enhancing energy efficiency.

Yes, breather membranes can improve energy efficiency. They help keep insulation dry. Dry insulation keeps its heat performance. This leads to lower energy use.

Is Breather Membrane Installation Complex?

Red tiled roofing roll labeled "Breather Membrane Roof" for construction projects.

No, installation is straightforward. It involves rolling out the membrane and fastening it to the building's frame. Then, you apply the final materials.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page