New house-wraps, like this one from ValÈron Strength Films' ValÈron Vortec line, now facilitate drainage. A dimpled pattern channels water away from a structure's exterior wall surface.
New house-wraps, like this one from ValÈron Strength Films' ValÈron Vortec line, now facilitate drainage. A dimpled pattern channels water away from a structure's exterior wall surface.

Originally made to prevent air and water infiltration, housewrap products now are engineered to serve several purposes. They still act as air barriers, but a greater emphasis is now placed on managing moisture generated from both outside and inside the home.

The average home produces up to 7 gallons of water each day from common human activities, says Pat Marcoullier, director of construction products for BBA Fiberweb, maker of Typar housewrap, water that generally escapes into the wall cavity. Today's housewraps not only keep out water and air from the home's exterior, but they also allow water from the interior to escape the wall cavity, manufacturers say.

The material's ability to breathe — which varies depending on the product and its application — is one of the ways housewraps accomplish these goals.

Some housewraps even have drainage capabilities through features like channels, raised wrinkles, and vertical grooves that direct water to the bottom of the wall assembly.

Scott Gettelfinger, North American business manager for DuPont Building Innovations, maker of Tyvek HomeWrap, concludes: “The biggest concern of homeowners and builders today is mold and mildew, so preventing moisture from entering the wall cavity, thus preventing an environment that mold and mildew can occur in, is very important.” —This story first appeared in PROSALES magazine.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog, at remodelingmagazine.com or www.ebuild.com.