GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Taping sheathing vs housewrap – which do you prefer and why?

jollygreenshortguy | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

A question for builders and building science geeks –
Part of achieving a good air barrier involves taping all the laps of housewrap on walls.

What are the pros & cons of taping the sheathing joints instead, before housewrap installation?

Also, roof sheathing could be taped the same way. I know there’s more to a full air barrier system (doors, windows, penetrations…) but I just want to focus on the one point of taping. Thanks.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Jon_R | | #1

    IMO, taping the house wrap is wasted effort. But fully adhered house wrap (or roof underlayment) is beneficial.

  2. Patrick_OSullivan | | #2

    > What are the pros & cons of taping the sheathing joints instead, before housewrap installation?

    It's easier to detail sheathing with tape to be an air barrier than it is to turn a normal (i.e. non-self-adhered) WRB into an air barrier. So much so that I would never try to use a normal WRB as an air barrier.

    There's also a risk that when you tape WRB seams, you're potentially creating pockets where incidental water could get trapped and held against a material that should not have standing water against it (the sheathing).

  3. Expert Member


    Taped house-wrap is a very poor air-sealing strategy. You are much better off choosing either the sheathing or an interior membrane as your primary air-barrier and 0nly taping the house-wrap in areas where it will help preclude water infiltration.

    Using the sheathing as the air-barrier doesn't work with vented roofs, and is seldom the best choice on un-vented ones either. You want something closer to the interior.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |