Housewrap on New Homes

Submitted by JohnSafstrom on Sun, 07/24/2011 - 11:24


Housewrap is sheathing installed on exterior walls before the siding or other cladding is attached.  The term refers to all materials (made today, typically, from plastic or spun-fiber polyethylene) designed to replace tar paper, which serves the same function.  Since almost any exterior finishing material will allow at least some water to penetrate it, housewrap is used underneath to guard the building envelope against water entry. 

Housewrap also serves to minimize air flow through walls, though it is not a vapor retarder.  In fact, housewrap is designed to stop liquid water while allowing water vapor to pass through.  This lets moist or humid air escape from the interior and simultaneously keeps water outside. 

Homeowners may want to be familiar with the function of housewrap, especially when considering a new build.  Here are a couple pics of some new construction in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area I observed recently.  If you are building a new home, make sure you are getting the entire house wrapped, not just around the windows. You won't know what's under the siding once the bricks or cladding go up.

It is a good idea to have your new Dallas area home inspected even on new construction.  If the builder skimps on the housewrap, where else are they going to cut corners? This house and the one below were just built in Lewisville.

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Submitted by JohnSafstrom on Sun, 07/24/2011 - 11:24
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