House wrap creates an air and moisture barrier that boosts a home’s energy-efficiency and creates a healthy, comfortable indoor environment. House wrap is a weatherization membrane. It creates a protective envelope against moisture and air infiltration into the wall cavities. A buildup of moisture within a home’s wall cavities is serious because moisture can lead to wood rot (caused by fungi) and costly repairs. High moisture can also cause the growth of mold, which is unhealthy to the occupants of the home. Uncontrolled air infiltration lowers the effective R-value1 of the wall assembly and reduces the air quality and energy-efficiency of a home. To minimize air infiltration and prevent accumulation of moisture within the wall assembly, the design of every home must include house wrap.
House wrap is a synthetic and lightweight material that goes over the sheathing and behind the siding (vinyl, wood, stucco, brick, or composite). A home’s first defense against air leaks and water infiltration is the siding or cladding. House wrap is a home’s secondary defense against air and water penetration and is the backup barrier that keeps water off the framing and structural sheathing and stops air movement through the wall cavity. Installing house wrap not only creates a high performing home but helps the home meet the International Building Codes (IBC) minimum requirements for exterior walls. According to the IBC 1403.2, exterior walls shall provide the building with a weather-resistant exterior wall envelope, including a manner to stop water from accumulating within the wall assembly by providing a water-resistive barrier behind the exterior veneer. When properly installed, house wrap protects a home against air and water intrusions. House wrapping a house creates an energy-efficient, healthy, and comfortable home.
Proper installation of house wrap is essential to its performance. Homeowners should hire a professional to install house wrap. Incorrect installation can affect a home’s ventilation and lead to a buildup of moisture in the wall cavities. Also, if house wrap is left exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays at a job site for a length of time, it can photodegrade, discolor, and loss tensile strength and water repellency. After placing house wrap, a professional is more likely to ensure timely installation of siding. Skilled house wrap installers follow several important steps when installing house wrap:
Correctly installed house wrap increases energy-efficiency, prevents mold and wood rot, eliminates air leaks, provides some insulation value, and makes a home healthy and comfortable. Improperly installed house wrap will cause more problems than it solves. To ensure all the benefits of house wrap, have a professional install it for you.
When shopping for house wrap for your home, there are seven features, often listed by the manufacturers, to consider: water and air resistance, drainage, UV inhibitors, tear strength, temperature resistance, and vapor permeability.
Installing house wrap on a home will save money and energy. It will also create a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. For more information on why your home needs house wrap, visit Barricade®.
1The effective R-value of a home’s wall assembly is a measure of its resistance to airflow. The effective R-value includes all the materials used in its construction: the drywall, studs, fiberglass batts, plywood or OSB sheathing, water control plane, and siding. The lower the R-value, the higher the conductivities of the wall assembly and the more susceptible a wall assembly is to air infiltration.