Keeping a home secure remains a significant factor in building a house. Protection from natural occurrences such as wind-driven rain and snow are considerations that should not be taken lightly. House wraps have long been a staple for contractors and always have been the Architect’s choice in providing a healthy and pleasant indoor environment.
Tyvek House Wrap is one of the most popular house wraps used in the U.S. and is generally effective in keeping water off structural wall framing and sheathing, however, there are several disadvantages in using this specific house wrap product that may cause more harm to your home than good.
Ensuring that you select quality and high-performance house wrap for your exterior walls shouldn’t be rushed, that’s why we have listed below several potential problems you can expect from the Tyvek House Wrap that may occur during and after the construction of your house.
Vulnerability to UV Radiation
The durability of house wraps is one of the major concerns, and a feature of a high-performing house wrap is its ability to resist ultraviolet rays (UV). Too much sunlight can be harmful to the material of a house wrap if not treated properly. UV rays can eventually break down the synthetic components of a house wrap that will cause it to wear out.
Exposing Tyvek House Wrap to sunlight can make it less resistant to water. The UV exposure of Tyvek House Wrap may be compromised after leaving exposed for more than 120 days which could be a considerable disadvantage, especially for unforeseen construction delays. Manufacturers provide a UV rating that lets homeowners and contractors distinguish a house wrap that can stand against the sunlight for a longer period.
Another complication of overexposure to UV rays is it can cause the Tyvek Home Wrap to stain. Together with the wear-off of tensile strength and reduced water repellency places Tyvek House Wrap in an unfavorable position. Losing its tensile strength would mean that it will be prone to tearing. An excellent choice for a UV-protected house wrap should last at least up to 12 months.
Mold and Moisture
A lot of homeowners are sensitive to mold, and it is imperative to construct a house that entirely avoids the growth of mold. It is both an eyesore and can eventually contribute to a house deteriorating. Mold can develop even in the most unexpected places, from paint, insulation, and even to the upholstery of your furniture.
Unfortunately, Tyvek House Wrap is not surfactant-resistant. One primary reason why moisture penetrates through the walls is due to surfactants (surface-active agents.). These are contaminants that can significantly reduce the surface tension of a liquid that lessens the water resistance of a house wrap. To effectively repel mold growth and high humidity, a house wrap should at least be surfactant-resistant.
Surfactants allow water to pass through the building wrap material bringing in moisture. This will affect the exterior wall framing, disrupt the insulation, and distress interior finishing. Moistening of house wrap surfaces can also cause molding and decaying of building materials that will pose health hazards to occupants. Surfactants are found in basic construction materials such as shingles, coating materials, and even in cleaning solutions commonly used for washing of sidings which make these contaminants almost impossible to avoid.
Prone to Damage
Handling and installing a house wrap is a crucial process. A reliable product must be able to stand up through these procedures not only for your house’s safety but also to prevent loss of money during construction. Some house wraps can rip and puncture easily, snagging them on tools and nails, but they should be flexible enough to easily install corners and edges.
To be fully sure of a house wrap’s durability, knowing its tensile strength is one reliable method. Tear resistance is an important factor in choosing a house wrap to eliminate impending problems that can be caused by high winds and moisture exposure. Tyvek House Wrap only has a tensile strength of 30/30 lb./in which may not be enough for protection against damage during and after installation.
To have an effective building wrap that will better protect your home, look for a house wrap that offers at least a minimum of 51 lbf (MD) or 40lbf (CD). There are house wraps products available in the market that offer higher tensile strengths that range up to 80 lbs. MD and 87 lbs. CD. A high-performing house wrap must be flexible and secure.
High Vapor Penetration
One conventional thing known to contractors is to avoid moist air penetrating the inside of a house that can cause unpleasant living conditions. High humidity will damage your wood panels, cause flaky paint and peel wallpaper. Wood is very sensitive to humidity, and having excess moisture will permanently damage wooden fixtures and fittings to your home.
Tyvek House Wrap has a rating of 56 US Perms, which exceeds the preferred rating of 10 to 20 perms. Having higher perms than this can cause high vapor intrusion from the outside into the exterior wall material. There is a limit in vapor during the construction of a house. A high amount of water penetrating through your building walls can greatly affect the indoor air quality of your home.
There are a lot of advantages of ease in application of house wraps for both the homeowner and the contractor. This efficiency will develop construction quality, reduce waste, and projects are completed quicker. It is also safer for construction workers to be able to have an unobstructed view of the wall studs and insulation to easily fasten and install the house wrap to the edges.
While Tyvek House Wrap is generally effective in protecting your home from water intrusion, it is not a transparent material. Your contractor will not be able to see the house’s framing which can potentially pose problems and cause improper installation of the house wrap like incorrect application of the nails, amiss taping at the top and bottom edges and wrong fastener placement.