Tyvek vertical seams

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Old 08-24-07, 08:05 AM
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Tyvek vertical seams

Becoming more and more disillusioned by my siding contractors each day, I decided to double-check some of their methods. I read Tyvek installation instructions yesterday and, much to my dismay, it said all vertical seams are supposed to be taped... something the installers have failed to do. I have no idea how many untaped vertical seams are hidden behind the siding they've already got up, but I pointed out to them yesterday that according to Tyvek's own instructions, they were supposed to be taping those.

Well, I just walked outside to see what they're doing today and sure enough, they're putting more siding right over untaped vertical seams! I'm thinking that if water ever finds its way behind my siding, it could easily roll through one of these vertical seams and damage the sheathing. Am I right to be concerned about this?
 
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Old 08-24-07, 11:17 AM
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If it makes you feel any better, you won't find very many contractors who tape the seams. They treat the Tyvek like #15 felt and omit the taping of seams because they feel it is not necessary. And as far as water infiltration goes, in most cases, it usually is not needed to prevent leaks provided they are lapping those vertical seams by 12" or so.

It's crummy that they aren't doing it, and they are not going by the IRC codes regarding "weather resistive barriers" since during a high wind situation, the exposed Tyvek would not be "weather tight"... but to put your mind at ease, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Your Tyvek will be just as effective at keeping water out as any house built where the builders used #15 felt as its building paper. And there are millions of houses that have been built that way. Not saying they are right... just saying that I'm not suprised.

The disappointing thing is that Tyvek can also be an effective air barrier when all the seams and edges are taped. By not taping the seams you are really not getting 100% of the benefits that the product is advertised to do. But again, it's no different than a house where felt was used.
 
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Old 08-24-07, 03:26 PM
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Thanks, that actually does make me feel better. I was wondering if the instructions to tape vertical seams was one of those things that YOU MUST DO or if it was one of those things that, in a perfect world, "should" be done. I guess if our house has withstood 80 years of rain without any significant water damage to the sheathing, it'll probably survive a little longer

I just wish I didn't have to babysit these guys everyday. It's getting exhausting. Last week, we had another company in here that cut open the top of our house and built a dormer. And oh how I wish those guys did Hardi Plank siding! They were fabulous -- did a great job and even *gasp* talked to me when they had any questions. What a night and day difference. These siding guys don't give a crap about my house. The dormer guys did.
 
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Old 08-24-07, 03:41 PM
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Yes, it sounds like you've experienced two different types of work ethics.

There's the quality/customer conscious workers and the git-er-done workers. Of course the worst category are the ones who really don't know what they're doing and their work looks bad on top of it. I'm guessing your siding guys have plenty of experience and maybe just aren't good with customers and maybe are a little overly concerned with getting done ASAP. Bake them some cookies and maybe they'll warm up. LOL

Doing a quality job usually takes a little more time, but some of us feel it's worth it.
 
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