Sealing the house with Tyvek
This is a step that is not 100% necessary but if you have an older home with less then perfect insulation you will want to think about sealing off the house from wind and water infiltration.
Tyvek House Wrap is a pretty expensive product but it is many times easier to install and will give your home a lasting base for keeping out the weather and wind.
To apply Tyvek you need to wrap the entire home. This is pretty easy to do if you follow a few simple suggestions.
Tyvek is very slippery so never rest the top of your ladder on the Tyvek that has been attached to the home. If you need to use a ladder then you should make sure to only attach Tyvek high enough to perform most of your work then finish off the Tyvek just as you are are finishing the siding. We will get to this later but when you side the house you attach the siding at the bottom of the wall and work to the roof of the home so don’t attach the Tyvek on the highest parts where your ladder will be resting or it will be like resting the your ladder on Ice.
If you will be replacing windows and doors the first thing you want to do is install the Tyvek in 1 foot wide strips around the jams. that way the jam will be protected.
Since Tyvek comes on 100 foot rolls you want to measure out along the wall a piece to cover the first floor area. You can do this by eye and the extra will be wrapped around the corner so perfection is not necessary.
Climb up on the ladder and attach the top right corner to the building making sure the bottom of the Tyvek is positioned so it will cover the wall. Use 10 to 15 staples in that corner then walk your ladder to the midway point of the house and pull the top of the Tyvek tight and staple that off. Now repeat the process at the Left corner of the home and the Tyvek should be hanging on the wall straight.
To complete the attaching first tack off the bottom corners and then start at one corner of the house and work your way up and down the ladder as you tack the Tyvek once every 10 to 12 inches on center. Smooth out the Tyvek as you work from one side to the other side of the building and always make sure you know where things are under the Tyvek.. You don’t want to staple a window glass.
Now that the Tyvek is attached to the house you need to cut open the areas for windows and doors. You also need to use the Tyvek approved plastic tape to seal all the seams both vertical and horizontal.
The reason we started at the bottom of the house is so the second floor piece of Tyvek will overlap onto the bottom floor. If any condensation or water gets past your siding in a strong rain storm the water will naturally flow down the over lap and to the ground. If we started at the top of the house water might flow behind the Tyvek on to the sheathing.
This is another reason why we want to leave the existing wood siding on the house.
Wood siding that is in solid good condition on older homes is fine for a sheathing material but you would never want to apply vinyl siding over top of old aluminum or old vinyl siding.
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