Remodeling Tips and Reviews

How to Install Tyvek Barrier

How to Install Tyvek Barrier

Jan 20, 2012

An example of a terrible Tyvek install. This house had a poor repair job done that resulted in a leak over the window.

Installing Tyvek is not a hard process. But, doing it wrong can be a very expensive lesson a few years down the road when the siding has to be removed and the house’s shell has to be repaired from water damage and wood rot.

In its simplest form tyvek must overlap top to bottom 6″ much like shingles in your roof. Staples are the easiest way to install it but, but roofing cap nails have a much better hold. I recommend installing these approximately on a 12 x 12 grid, catching studs when possible for a better hold. I have seen poor install jobs with too few nails that were blown off by a good Spring storm and had to be redone. When installing the first row plumb, at the bottom of the house you should leave a 2- 3 inches at the base which can be cut back if needed. DuPont recommends using a sealant at the base such as their tyvek sealant.

Proceeding around the house I usually have someone install nails across the top as I pull the roll from one corner to the next, being careful to keep the tyvek taught and straight. You don’t want a large wrinkle in the surface that has to be worked out later. Window and door holes will be cut out later. When you have a vertical overlap it should be 6-12″ to ensure coverage. Once the house has been wrapped you will then need to cut out the door and window holes. Dupont has a great page with instructions here on the doors and windows. Generally speaking you will need to cut the hole in half, stopping 6″ from the top creating a “T”. The sides are then folded back and wrapped inside the structure and nailed to the studs inside to create a barrier.The windows/ doors are then ready for flashing tape.

Once all the doors and windows have been cut out the vertical and horizontal seams need to be taped off with Dupont Tape. Dupont’s guide covers several other problem areas such as cuts and tears as well as protusions.