Is a standard house wrap good enough?

| by Laura Dwyer
Is a standard house wrap good enough?

Over the years, many types of house wrap have hit the market and are still in use. Old-school felt paper still has cheerleaders. Laminated and perforated wraps have a large presence in the market, based mostly on price.

Unfortunately too many builders buy based on cost, not performance value. House wrap is one of those out-of-sight, out-of-mind items that homeowners rarely consider.

But low-value options don't pay off in the long run. Most low-budget wraps force a trade off in some aspect of performance such as air sealing or vapor protection.

Laminated wraps are easily damaged during installation, and don't offer the best results in vapor permeability. Perforated wraps may be a little better at withstanding the rigors of construction, but the perforations that allow for vapor movement also permit air and water to move through the wrap.

Unlike perforated wraps, DuPont™ Tyvek® weather barriers are made of a continuous, nonwoven, non-perforated sheet. The sheet is created by spinning extremely fine, continuous, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fibers that are fused together to form a strong, uniform web. So instead of holes, it creates a fibrous structure with millions of tiny pores that are extremely effective at holding out bulk water and air penetration, while allowing moisture vapor to pass through.

Compared to other types of wraps, there are no performance tradeoffs with DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap®.

In independent testing conducted in accordance with the Hydrostatic Head Test (AATCC-127), DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap® demonstrated 17 times the water holdout capability of a leading perforated wrap.  This measure is a significant indicator of building envelope effectiveness.

After all, preventing air infiltration in the wall cavity is a key factor in allowing insulation to perform to its installed R-value. And insulation that performs effectively can reduce the long-term energy costs of heating and cooling the home.

So take a look at getting the best value out of your process by building with a house wrap that doesn't cut corners.

Topics: Thermal Envelope

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