House siding provides some measure of insulation and resistance to rain, but building codes typically call for a weather-resistant layer between the siding and the sheathing. Tyvek, which is the brand name for a house wrap product marketed by the DuPont Co., is a lightweight and weatherproof option that isn't difficult to install. It comes in 3- to 10-foot rolls, and the longer ones can be challenging to support without the help of a co-worker. Although you can use a staple gun to secure Tyvek to the sheathing, a hammer tacker is easier and more efficient.
Things You'll Need
- Hammer tacker
- Utility knife
- Tyvek tape
Unroll the end of a roll of Tyvek at an end of the wall you're going to cover and overlap it by 6 to 12 inches onto the adjoining wall. Move the roll down to the bottom edge of the wall and hold it in a vertical position. Staple the bottom edge to the sheathing with two or more staples, being sure that the edge runs parallel to the bottom of the wall.
Move along the wall, unrolling the house wrap as you go and stapling it in place with a hammer tacker. This is easier to do if you have a helper. Align your fastenings over the studs and space them about 18 inches apart vertically.
Pull the Tyvek over all window and door openings, covering them completely. Staple around each opening, then cut out the opening with a utility knife, leaving enough material in place to later wrap the sills and jambs. The best time to install Tyvek is before the windows and doors have been installed. If you do it after, you must take special steps to ensure the wrap is integrated with the door and window flashing.
Work your way from the bottom to the top of the wall, installing each new layer above the one you just installed and overlapping it by at least 6 inches. Cut the house wrap flush with the top of the wall, using a utility knife.
Create a vertical seam when you reach the end of one roll and must continue a layer with a second roll. Overlap the layer by at least 6 inches and cover the seam with Tyvek tape. This is an installation requirement. If you're installing the product to act as an air barrier, you should also tape horizontal seams.