Building Paper Vs. House Wrap—Which One Is Better?

Updated on April 6, 2019
Energy Guild profile image

I am currently a licensed contractor performing remodeling services for residential and commercial customers in Wisconsin.

There has been a debate about this for as long as I can remember. What product works better? Good old fashioned tar paper or house wrap materials like Tyvek produced by DuPont? Well that depends.

House Wrap

The most popular brands of house wrap are Tyvek and Typar. Both come in multiple roll sizes and are installed by simply stapling with a hammer tacker to the exterior sheathing. These products are made to cut down on wind washing as to protect the sheathing from moisture. The unique engineering of this product allows the building the breath without being drafty.

The draw back? It doesn't last. This material deteriorates in sunlight and moist conditions. For some reason the staples tend to preserve the area with lots of staples in them. I removed siding that I has installed only 3 years before hand to find that the Tyvek was gone, reduced to dust except in the area I had used a lot of staples.

This product also allows some moisture transfer through it to the sheething making it a poor product choice for behind masonry or cultured stone.

Building Paper

15 lb tar paper felt underlayment has been the protectant of choice for over 100 years. It requires more work to put up, but performs exactly the way you would expect. If you do a good job with the installation and do it properly, the building paper will last forever (or at least as long as the house). You can use it behind any type of siding because of it's water repelling abilities. it is also pretty cheap compared to Tyvek or Typar. However, with the extra labor involved it may be fairly evenly pricing if time is a factor in your project.

The drawbacks? It has a lot of seams which means that there are more chances for air sealing issues. As I stated before, this product has to be put on 100% correctly to be affective.

In the end building paper allows you to do everything you want to without thinking about it. There is no complicated science behind it and that is what has allowed it to still be one of the most widely used products today... and still one of the greenest.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      one major problem guys ; over twenty years ago mastic and other major vinyl siding manufacturers cause too much movement of vinyl siding products and void warranties. cant use on vinyl siding

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Julio has got it right.

    • profile image

      Julio Fernandez 

      10 years ago

      I replaced siding on a house over 60 years old. It had tar paper behind cement shingles and there was no evidence of rot. I have heard horror stories about "house wrap" and wonder why people pay extra money for this product. Having installed both products I do not find the home wrap to be that much easier to install (or quicker). I would save your money and stick with the old school method (tar paper).

    • profile image

      Utah Carpenter 

      10 years ago

      I am repairing a house that had house wrap installed behind the wood siding. It allowed moisture into the sheathing and studs. The house is only 13 years old. I would recommend tar paper.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)