As a new homeowner, I have never heard of a material known as house wrap until recently. I did not deal with the construction aspect of my home because I was not interested, so I was not familiar with house wrap at the time. Nowadays, I am more interested in renovating and remodeling my home, so I have become more familiar with house wrap.
If you are unfamiliar with this material, I have put together a guide that tells you everything you need to know about house wrap. This way, you can decide if you want to add this material to your home.
What Is House Wrap?
House wrap is a synthetic material that is placed over the sheathing and behind the siding of a house. It is made of thin, lightweight material, but this material is strong enough to help protect any home from damage. Nowadays, house wrap is a replacement for asphalt-treated paper.
What Is The Purpose Of House Wrap?
The purpose of house wrap is to keep drafts, mold, and moisture out of the house. Think of house wrap as an extra layer of protection between the siding and sheathing. If installed and sealed properly, house wrap can be used as a barrier against rain and wind.
I have also learned that house wrap helps my home meet the International Building Codes requirements for exterior walls. The International Building Codes require exterior walls to provide a weather-resistant barrier that protects the home against drafts and water damage.
Basically, I would not skip over installing house wrap if I were buying or building a new home. If my home is protected against the weather, then I can take comfort in knowing my family is protected against mold and cold air.
The Benefits of Using House Wrap
If you are like me, you may not have thought about house wrap in the past. It was just another aspect of the home that would be taken care of by the renovation or construction crew.
When I became a homeowner and had to look into protecting my home, I quickly learned the benefits of using house wrap!
1. Efficient HVAC Systems
The HVAC systems that have to overwork to heat a home may not last as long as other systems. By keeping the wind and rain out of the home, my HVAC system does not have to work harder to keep my house warm.
2. Energy-Efficient Solution
House wrap is an energy-efficient solution because it keeps the cold air out of the home. Remember, the HVAC system is not overworking to heat your home. This has helped to lower my utility bills during the colder months.
3. Prevents Moisture Infiltration
I have noticed my home feels healthier and safer thanks to the prevention of issues related to moisture infiltration. The lack of moisture prevents mold from growing and causing illness. In addition, it prevents wood from rotting and causing a safety hazard.
4. Seals Air Leaks
There is nothing more frustrating than turning up my heat and still feeling cold, but this is what happens when there are air leaks in any home. A house wrap acts as a barrier against drafts, protecting many homes from cold air leaks.
5. Increases Property Value
If I decide to move into a new place, I am adding a house wrap to my wishlist for my new home. Other people may want house wrap and insulation in their new home, so you can increase your property value by installing house wrap.
Is House Wrap Necessary?
House wrap is considered a home addition, which means there are homes that are not protected by house wrap. However, I have learned that house wrap is a necessary addition for all homes.
What seems like a time-consuming project can prevent an uncomfortable environment, higher utility bills, and weather damage.
While it may seem like house wrap is only necessary for areas with a lot of rain and humid climates, it is a necessary addition for homes in any climate. Even the smallest air or water leak can lead to mold or water damage over time.
Personally, I would rather play it safe by adding this weather and moisture barrier to my home.
Does Water Get Behind Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl siding is a waterproof material that keeps water from flowing toward your exterior. However, water may flow through a small crack or gap in the vinyl siding.
I have done some research and found that vinyl siding is not affected by water flowing behind it. Nevertheless, it is best to take care of the problem before too much water flows to the exterior and causes water damage. The best way to take care of it is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
When the temperature drops, you may put up heavy curtains to ensure cold air does not leak into your home. The curtain is an extra layer of protection from the cold. My home is insulated, but I may still add heavier curtains to ensure my family is not cold at night.
Installing house wrap is similar to hanging those heavy curtains. Just as the curtains protect your home from the cold, the house wrap protects your home from water damage. Vinyl siding is strong enough to withstand water flowing behind it, but the house wrap keeps the water from damaging your exterior.
Can Tar Paper Be Used As House Wrap?
When I researched various materials used for house wrap, I noticed tar paper on the list. Tar paper is a heavy-duty material that can be used as house wrap, but it is best to weigh the pros and cons of using this material as house wrap before settling on it.
Tar paper is a thick, heavy paper that is durable enough to withstand high moisture levels. However, the cold, wind, and sun may cause this material to crack and deteriorate over time.
Overall, tar paper is actually better for interior walls instead of your exterior, but you do have the option of using tar paper as your house wrap. It is best to make the decision based on your home and environment. You can also find instructions on how to properly install tar paper on your siding.
Now that you have learned about house wrap, it is time to decide if you want to add this material to your home. I recommend adding house wrap because it increases your protection against the weather, moisture, and mold. This way, you can take comfort in knowing your home is safe, healthy, and comfortable all year round.