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Housewraps – Tyvek vs. tar paper

Randy Ransom | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Is there a performance advantage to using Tyvek instead of #30 tar paper when considering house wraps? Thank You.

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  1. User avatar GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Randy,
    These two water-resistive barriers (WRBs) have different characteristics. The one you select will depend on your wall design, your climate, your siding, and your preferences.

    Plastic housewraps like Tyvek can be taped. This helps reduce air leakage. Asphalt felt cannot be taped.

    When dry, asphalt felt has a low level of vapor permeance, and is therefore relatively resistant to inward solar vapor drive -- an advantage in some climates and with some types of siding. Asphalt felt is also a "smart" vapor retarder -- meaning that its vapor permeance rises as it gets damp. This can also be useful.

    For more information on these issues, see All About Water-Resistive Barriers.

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