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Aug 16
2012

House Wrap: A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Housewrap

by Sean O’Neill, Marketing Coordinator at Benjamin Obdyke

House wrap. How do you choose the right house wrap when there are so many product specs to consider? What does “perms” mean? Why should any of us care? Perforated vs. non-perforated? Spare me, you say! Some of us just want to know what housewrap is the right housewrap for our projects, and a little bit about “why.”

So, with that said, where do we begin? Without further ado, here are the top 4 factors you should always consider when choosing a house wrap:

1. Water Resistance: At their core, housewraps should at least hold out liquid water. That’s one of the most basically fundamental purposes of a housewrap. How can you know if the housewrap in question truly “does the job”? Check out its “Water Ponding” and “Hydrostatic Pressure” test results. That will tell you much more about a product than its manufacture-published specs.

2. Durability: Simply put, can the housewrap: a) be installed easily without having its water-resistance capabilities comprised, and b) resist tearing. It’s generally a good practice to have your housewrap installed within 30 days; however, if you don’t think you can manage, check out the product’s UV exposure rating.

3. Vapor Permeability: I know—I used that “perm” word and added “-eability” to its end. All jokes aside, this is an important consideration. As I noted earlier, housewraps need to at least hold out liquid water. However, water vapor can still cause moisture issues. Long story short: grab a house wrap with a perm in the 10-20 range. That’ll keep vapor moving, and limit its movement to more of a “one-way street.”

4. Drainage: Sure, a housewrap may block liquid water, and it might even allow vapor escape, but what happens to all of that H2O? If the housewrap in question doesn’t effectively drain water, you could be in trouble. Trapped water is a leading cause of structural damage due to mold and mildew.

There you have it! I hope I’ve made the oft-confusing housewrap selection process a bit less… confusing. If you liked this blog post, consider checking out this house wrap white paper.

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