No Tyvek on house??

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Old 04-19-10, 10:48 AM
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No Tyvek on house??

I own a 1979 colonial that is vinyl sided. I am not the original owner. I just discovered there is no Tyvek or tar paper under the vinyl siding, there is just the plywood.

I believe the siding is original to the house and thought some sort of vapor/mositure barrier would be code in CT. I'm sure we are losing heat/cold compared to if we had Tyvek. Just wondering if it may be worth it to pull the siding off to install Tyvek - would want to pay someone to do that. We have no leaks around any windows or doors but wonder if the house would stay much warmer in the winter.
 
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Old 04-19-10, 11:35 AM
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Tyvek will not keep your house warmer. Well, it might make a slight difference, but it would really be negligible. Tyvek is primarily a weather resistive barrier for liquid water. Most local building codes and siding manufacturers now require a WRB under most forms of siding- especially vinyl, primarily because water can and does get behind vinyl siding at various locations.

Tyvek can also be a vapor permiable air barrier (it's not a vapor barrier) if it is installed in an air-tight manner, but in most cases it isn't, and it usually isn't possible to completely seal all the edges of the Tyvek completely, so it's not really 100% effective at that either.

If you were going to replace your siding in the future, I would definitely suggest you put on a WRB, but I wouldn't remove your existing siding just to do it.

One thing you might check is how much damage is done to the plywood sheathing under your windows. If you unlock a piece of siding under your windows, the areas at the lower corners of the window would show the most water damage. If you DO have a lot of water damage under windows, you can take some steps to flash those areas without tearing off all the siding. But I won't go into that now unless that's something you are going to check into.
 
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Old 04-19-10, 11:50 AM
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Hi Hammylinky, a house was built down the street from me that way and I thought they were crazy. The code people were aware of it and said it was ok. I still don't agree.

However, the tar paper or house wrap is only a small component of the heat loss. It serves as a rain barrier in case water gets past the vinyl siding and as an air barrier. But since the plywood is a good air barrier, just some seams and left over nail holes are adding to your heat loss. I would be more concerned about any water leaking through to the plywood. You wouldn't see it on the inside of the house, but, over time it could rot away the wood.

But, you can turn this discovery into an opportunity. Since you know there is some extra heat loss and the possibility of damage occuring, a siding job would provide some peace of mind. But, your 1979 home probably needs some extra help with todays energy costs. So, whilr the siding is off, consider upgrading the building shell. You have either 2x4" or 2x6" wall studs. If 2x4, then a thick layer of rigid foam over the plywood before the new siding goes back up would make a big difference in heating costs. And since everything is apart, come new windows would be good timing. Big ticket energy upgrades are bes when combined with other renovations, so now could be a good time.

Bud

XSleeper, sorry if I duplicated, I'm too slow.
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 04-19-10 at 11:52 AM. Reason: late post
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Old 04-19-10, 12:08 PM
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Nothing wrong with more than one reply Bud... especially when we agree!
 
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Old 04-19-10, 12:34 PM
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OK guys, thanks for the input. I did pull up siding near the windows and I do not see any damage. The windows have been replaced so I'm guessing they were at least flashed. And other areas where I pulled up the siding did not show any damage.

I'll certainly address this if we ever replace the siding. Thanks again.
 
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