Tyvek Housewrap Installation & Benefits
Hazmat suits worn by environmental professionals are similar to Tyvek house wrap by letting air and moisture out and not allowing air in. While most siding replacement contractors will agree that housewrap is not exactly fun to install, undoubtingly, homewrap has a role in improving home energy efficiency standards that are here to stay.
Suppose you are in the process of replacing your home siding or exterior cladding, and you are skeptical of the process or benefits. Maybe you cannot quantify the added costs of installing housewrap. In either instance, this article will be beneficial and may help solidify your decision.
We are exploring significant benefits and how to install Tyvek housewrap accurately per manufacture spec without the data sheets and lengthy PDFs.
The functionality of House Wrap
We all want our homes warmer during the winter, cooler in the summer, and continually as dry as possible. One of the most effective ways to achieve those values is to weather tight your home.
It’s hard to evade the pervasive forums and contractors that swear the entire house has to breathe. The fact is, exterior wall cavities don’t have to “breathe” much at all, especially in climate zones 1 -3A. Rather permeation rates are the more important topic, especially for northern homes.
There is a saying that “if it can’t dry, it will die.” This ideology can be applied to almost all forms of construction. Air is the most abundant transporter of moisture. Once humid air makes contact with conditioned spaces, moisture vapors will condense into water, leading to mold growth and damages.
We will teach you how to keep the pollen, insects, and unwanted air out with a system that has proven to be a part of today’s standard building code, Tyvek housewrap!
Tyvek Housewrap Applications
Tyvek housewrap is an essential air and vapor resistant film suitable for the exterior walls of most homes. Depending on the need, it’s offered in various permeation rates, so technically, it is incorrect to refer to housewrap as a vapor barrier.
Allowing a gap between the wrap and whatever exterior veneer you choose is the best installation practice. However, there is a multitude of wraps that perform in different ways. Tyvek Thermawrap will help to maintain indoor home temperatures. Tyvek drain wrap helps shed water by having vertical ridges.
All of the wraps mentioned are for residential use. A building that is over four stories will require fluid or high-performance wraps.
Applying Tyvek tape to all seams will further seal exterior walls. If you purchase housewrap with stud markers its helps locate studs for easier application.
Tyvek InSTallation Guide
Start at the left outside edge of the wall. Make sure the house wrap is plumb at the bottom of the wall. Make sure the roll is taut to prevent pockets or wrinkling. If the wrap has stud markers, line the mark up to the first stud. Don’t forget to leave 6 – 12 inches to overlap the joining wall.
When exterior walls are taller than the house wraps width, always work from bottom to top, overlapping the previous layer at least 6 – 8 inches—overlapping is particularly advantageous when you are not taping joints. You can also seal the bottom edge of the wall with either Tyvek tape or sealant.
It is ideal to apply housewrap first when installing new doors and windows. When doors or windows are not installed, you can cover existing areas and cut around them once ready for flashing.
To cut around existing doors and windows, first, cut diagonally from each corner. Leave at least an inch of material overlapping all edges to eliminate the chances of removing too much material before flashing.
For new construction applications, you can cut diagonally and fold the entire leftover materials inside.
Fastening House Wrap
Fasten 6 – 8 inches on stud centers. Fasteners with larger heads work best for Wood, gypsum board, plywood, OBS, sheathing. You can use any capped fastener; however, 1-inch cap staples are optimal in this application. Our favorite nail gun is the Stinger Cap Stapler.
Brick, stucco, and cement all require a different application. This process requires adhesive and then cladding nails to attach securely.
Cutting House Wrap
House wrap is not simple to fit. The material itself cuts easily using a sharp blade or utility knife but cutting clean and straight requires a steady hand.
If you are trimming the wrap on exterior walls after installation, be sure not to cut existing flashing, window aprons or cause tears. Trim excess materials away from these areas at least 2-4 inches. The detailed trimming can be done later with construction scissors.
Tyvek Sealant & Tape
Tyvek sealant and tape are recommended around any open areas that require sealing. Doors, windows, vertical and horizontal seams, and tears should all get taped. Large holes or tears get patched with wrap and taped.
Window sills or pans should not get taped. Leaving these areas open will help shed and eliminate unwanted water and trapped moisture.
Flex wrap is ideal for window sill drain pans. If the window leaks or fails, properly installed drain pans will prevent water damage. Check whether the sub sill is level or slightly slanting outward to ensure the water is draining in the right direction.
All surfaces must be clean and free of dust or debris before Flexwrap is applied. Pull and stretch both corners down and over the outside wall. Once the Flexwrap has adhered, make sure there are no air bubbles by thoroughly rolling and rubbing the Flexwrap to the surface.
This entire Tyvek installation process is static and is checked and completed only once. Each step of the process must be completed as thoroughly as possible. Once the window is in, the drain pan will be covered and cannot be redone without total window removal.
We recommend fastening the outside edges of the Flex wrap – this way, there is no potential of adhesive releasing in the future. We recommend cap staples for this process.
Flashing After Installation
We highly recommend applying Flexwrap again over the window flange after installation for added protection.
Here are a few additional best practice tips to ensure areas around the window will not leak air or water.
- Flash the right & left sides first.
- Flash the top & optional bottom last.
- We do not recommend sealing or covering lower window nailing flanges with tape, sealant, flashing, or wrap.
UV Exposure & Housewrap Degradation
Have you ever driven past a newly constructed building where the commercial wrap is exposed to the summer heat for weeks or months on end? Here in Raleigh, NC, we see commercial and homewraps unreasonably exposed way too often!
Continuous exposure to UV will degrade exterior wraps. Once commercial or residential wraps degrade due to excessive UV exposure, they will continue degrading long after being covered with siding. If you are a local builder or installer, understand this potential and recognize persisting damages, ensuring long-lasting protection!
Once the wrap is installed and covered, the damages are hidden and will likely never be detected. So, properly installing wraps is something that siding companies must get right.
Tatters house wrap will cause significant unseen damages that are avoidable. When Tyvek is appropriately installed, it works to protect and improve home efficiency like a dream!
For expert service call us at 919-823-9070 today!