Installed with nails or staples: By design, housewraps are installed using nails or staples. Each nail or staple hole through the housewrap (and on a typical home, there could be THOUSANDS of holes) creates a break in the system. And each hole in the wrap represents a potential failure of the basic intent of a wrap…to keep out liquid moisture. Once liquid moisture or air gets past the wrap, it is free to move behind the wrap, and find a path to the interior of your new home.
Surfactants: Surface active contaminants are found in mortar, stucco, wood and cementitious siding, paint, soaps used to clean siding, and other sources. These surfactants interact with housewraps, and can significantly decrease the wrap’s ability to stop water from leaking through the wrap, even without holes.
Not permanently attached: The fact that so many nails or staples are required to affix the wrap to the outside of your house is a clear indication that wraps are susceptible to tearing or blowing off. The more nails, the better it’s attached…and the more holes in the system. The more holes…the less effective the barrier.
Vertical and horizontal seams: Every inch of seam that you see in any installed housewrap is a likely spot for air and moisture leaks. Often, you’ll see these seams covered up with tape. But tapes fail, too…and when tapes fail, so does the protection. The result? Energy-sapping unconditioned air leaks and moisture intrusion.