Housewrap is a generic term for a synthetic material that is wrapped around the outside of a building to create a weather-resistant barrier underneath the building’s siding or exterior sheathing. One of the most popular brands of housewrap is the Tyvek line from DuPont. Tyvek products range from Tyvek HomeWrap to Tyvek CommercialWrap with specialized products in between. Each Tyvek wrap is designed for a specific purpose, but all of them have some special properties in common that make Tyvek stand out above its competition.
According to the DuPont website, “Four properties are critical to optimal weather barrier performance for increased energy efficiency: durability, air resistance, water resistance, and vapor permeability. Most products rate high in just one or two properties. Only Tyvek® products deliver performance across all four properties to help create sustainable buildings that cost less to operate, are easier to maintain, and provide better comfort, year-round.”
Below, we’ll discuss these four properties, why they matter, and how Tyvek achieves them. Keep reading to learn more or head over to our Tyvek products page to find what you’re looking for!
Four Properties Of Tyvek Products
Why You Need It: In short, when your housewrap fails, your exterior fails. You want your housewrap to last for the life of the building. If it doesn’t, you can’t simply replace the wrap. You have to replace the wrap and the exterior, greatly inflating the price of your project.
Tyvek tapes and wraps are designed to last. While most of them come with a 10-year warranty, if properly installed and if not damaged, a Tyvek wrap should last for decades.
You also want to ensure that your housewrap stands up not only to time, but to the elements as well. We will get into this more below, but one specific element your wrap must withstand is UV exposure. UV rays can damage the chemical makeup of housewrap, making it weak or brittle. DuPont uses UV inhibitors to prevent sun damage for up to four months with their Tyvek HomeWrap and Tyvek StuccoWrap and up to nine months with their Tyvek Commercial Wrap.
Feature: Air Resistance
Why You Need It: Simply put, without an airtight barrier, you are throwing money away. You want the conditioned air put out by your heating and cooling system to stay inside, and you want outside air to remain outside.
When you use inferior housewraps, you are potentially using a wrap that lets air ooze out of perforations and other flaws. Tyvek HomeWrap and other barriers in the Tyvek line are non-woven. This means they create an airtight seal around the home when properly installed with Tyvek tape and fasteners. This does wonders for improving the energy efficiency of your building by acting as a secondary layer of insulation.
Feature: Water Resistance
Why You Need It: This one is easy. Water in your walls is bad. Period. A housewrap system should be able to prevent water from entering the interior of your home whether it’s raining or your home is being pressure washed.
Dupont has created several Tyvek products to handle different water management needs. Their standard Tyvek HomeWrap prevents bulk water from entering a building.
To go a step further and meet specific needs, DuPont has created Tyvek StuccoWrap and Tyvek DrainWrap. Both of these products are specially engineered with vertically grooved surfaces to channel water down and safely away from the wall systems. Tyvek DrainWrap provided enhanced drainage behind certain claddings, like primed wood and fiber cement siding, and it is great for areas that experience lots of wind-driven rain. Tyvek StuccoWrap is specifically designed to handle the unique water management needs of stucco exteriors and it helps prevent stucco from blistering and becoming waterlogged. All of this works to enhance the longevity of your siding and prevent water damage.
Feature: Vapor Permeability
Why You Need It: While you want air and water to be blocked with your housewrap, you want vapor to still be able to pass through the barrier. This is to prevent moisture from building up inside of the walls which can cause mold, rot, and mildew problems.
Of course, creating a barrier that scores high in both vapor permeability and airtightness takes a lot of engineering. Many housewraps cut corners by creating barriers that allow moisture to escape through perforations that also — you guessed it — do little to keep water and air out.
Tyvek HomeWrap and other Tyvek products have been painstakingly engineered to keep bulk air and water out while still allowing moisture to exit the building. This not only keeps rot and mold away, but also increases the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
Tyvek Scores High In All Of The Above
Tyvek tape, wrap fasteners, and other products work together to be a quadruple threat, scoring high in durability, air resistance, water resistance, and vapor permeability. When you need a product that is serious about creating a secure building envelope to withstand the elements and extend the life of your building, choose Tyvek.
Deck Expressions offers Tyvek tape, wrap, sealants, and fasteners for amazing prices with free shipping on orders over $99. For contractors, we even offer a contractor rewards program that provides discounts, free samples, free shipping, marketing materials, rebates, and so much more.
If you’re working on creating a weatherproof barrier on a residential or commercial building, Tyvek has you (and your building) covered. Order your Tyvek products today from Deck Expressions!