Have you ever driven by a newly erected house and seen it all wrapped up in bright white Tyvek® wrap?  I always wondered what exactly it did, and if my house would get wrapped in the same stuff.  Well, my house did get wrapped up today, but not in Tyvek.  Instead, Barden sent GreenGuard® Classic Wrap.  As usual, I was curious to see what the difference was between the Tyvek I’m used to seeing and the GreenGuard installed on my house.

Building Wraps Overview

Housewrap is a dual-purpose weather barrier. It minimizes the flow of air in and out of a home, and stops liquid water and acts as a drainage plane. One cool thing I learned about a housewrap is that it allows water vapor to pass through it, while blocking liquid water. This permits moist humid air to escape from the inside of the home, while preventing outside liquid water (rain) from entering the home.  Pretty slick!

Some Online Research

I like to check contractor forums for information about specific products because they work with it a lot.  The problem I found with Building Wraps is that there are a ton of opinions!  For example, if you read only the top handful of posts here, you’ll think the GreenGuard products are crap and that Tyvek is the way to go: http://www.contractortalk.com/f33/tyvek-greenguard-ultra-46228/But, if you read the entire thread, you’ll see that that’s not necessarily the case. 

The consensus online was that Tyvek is better than Classic Wrap because it stops more water, allows more vapor through, and stops airflow better.  While that’s a bummer, many people said that they’ve never had issues with Classic Wrap, and that many of the lab tests done have been equivalent to using these wraps as shingles on a roof.  The fact is, they just don’t see that much exposure.  So, while the Tyvek may have better stats, they may be way overkill as well.  Saving the money on the wrap might be worth it, since Classic Wrap is much cheaper.  Who knows!?!?

Choose For Yourselves

If you would like to research the two I mentioned, here are their site’s:

http://greenguard.pactiv.com/residential.aspx?building-wrap#building-wrap.classic-wrap

http://www2.dupont.com/Tyvek/en_US/index.html