How House Wrap Can Protect Your Home

How House Wrap Can Protect Your Home

House wraps, also known as building wraps or weather resistive barriers, can help you protect your investment or family home from mold and help your building envelope function properly. This blog will help you understand how to keep your home healthy and energy-efficient with the use of house wraps.

Weather Resistive Barriers (WRBs) are designed to prevent moisture in vapor or liquid form from infiltrating wall assemblies to protect your home from damage. This also helps to keep moisture from getting through the outer layers and helps keep the air inside your home clean and free of mold.

The 4 Control Layers

Effective building envelopes are designed around four main control layers: water, air, vapor, and temperature. Each layer serves to regulate different environmental factors that can affect a building’s performance.

The water control layer works to prevent liquid water from entering through leaks or condensation by creating a moisture barrier for walls. In wet environments, additional drainage capabilities may be required. WRBs with higher drainage normally have some type of embossed or textured face to help drain water more effectively.

The air control layer serves to lock down uncontrolled airflow through gaps or cracks. This helps to prevent uncontrolled air leakage and maintain interior conditions of the building.

House wrap vapor barriers manage vapor permeability, allowing walls to “breathe” correctly. WRBs can be either vapor permeable or vapor impermeable with most residential buildings typically using a vapor permeable weather resistive barrier. 

For comfort and health, it is important to insulate against heat transfer to maintain consistent indoor temperatures. The thermal control layer achieves this using installation products or trapped gaps filled with air or other gases.

Types of Weather Resistive Barriers

Traditional House Wrap

A waterproof house wrap is a standard barrier made from commercial-grade paper or synthetic materials that prevents liquid water ingress. This is an affordable option but must be installed with tapes seams for effectiveness. 

Drainable House Wrap

Drainable house wraps feature grooves or spacers for enhanced drainage capabilities. This allows trapped water to drain away from siding materials. While offering better moisture management, it does come at a slightly higher cost than standard house wrap.

Integrated Panels

This type of house wrap combines sheathing with air and water barriers in one product. The benefits of integrated panels include streamlining installation and providing strong air sealing alongside water resistance. This typically comes at a higher cost but may offer savings in labor and material overlap. Seams must be taped thoroughly to complete the building envelope. 

Fluid-Applied Membrane

This type of house wrap membrane can be applied by spraying or rolling onto substrates and comes in varying permeances. It can form a continuous barrier against air and water while being suitable for complex geometries. It is also an energy efficient option due to the use of self-sealing nails. One thing that must be considered however, is that this option does require professional installation.

Self-Adhered

Self-adhered WRBs are peel-and-stick membranes offering good air sealing capabilities. They involve quick installation with shingle-style lapping for effective sealing. They promote energy efficiency while reducing air leakage and repelling water but come at a higher cost than traditional house wrap options.

Rigid Foam

Rigid foam is an insulative panel that serves as a WRB, but only if specifically approved for that use. It adds thermal insulation value in addition to moisture control but does require careful attention to manufacturer’s installation instructions due to potential shrinkage issues.

Installation

The International Building Code (IBC) requires the installation of weather barriers in exterior walls with draining provisions, except for masonry or solid concrete walls. The barrier should be placed within the draining cavity of the exterior wall and ensure it is appropriately integrated with the draining system and flashings. This allows for effective resistance to the entry of water.

Placing the WRB in the proper location is extremely important for the effectiveness of its thermal and moisture performance. Buildings located in extremely hot, extremely cold, or humid climates should be designed with the proper vapor, air, and water barriers within the wall assemblies.

Grip-Rite® ProWrap- Self Adhering House Wrap

Grip-Rite® ProWrap – SA makes transforming your building projects simple. All you have to do is simply unwrap, apply, and let ProWrap-SA do the rest. This self-adhering and vapor permeable WRB consists of a moisture protection barrier and an air barrier. ProWrap-SA is made from spunbonded polypropylene and is intended for use in both residential and commercial construction.

Our new ProWrap FLEX Window and Door Protector tape will provide your home with added defense against rain, wind, and extreme weather conditions. ProWrap FLEX Window and Door Protector tape is a primer-less self-adhering membrane that helps to reduce water leaks as well as drafts.

To view additional weather resistive barrier options from Grip-Rite®, visit our website.

Grip-Rite® is the preferred choice by professionals nationwide for building products that provide solutions to common construction needs. Trust Grip-Rite® to help you accomplish your next residential or commercial project.

Learn more about the ProWrap  product line at https://grip-rite.com/.

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