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  1. #1
    Thomas Guest

    Default Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    I know Tyvek is an air infiltration barrier and not a waterproof membrane. Should I remove the Tyvek and install 15 lb roofing felt before my bricklayer begins? I see other builders using just the Tyvek, as the secondary weather barrier. Would you recommend that I install the roofing felt over the Tyvek? The home is located in Michigan. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Glenn A. Davis PE Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    I would install 15 lb felt. I believe that the code requires it. You can put it over the Tyvek. Just pretend that the Tyvek isn't there.

    Everyone here uses Tyvek. It doesn't meet the requirements of our code for a moisture barrier, however the state made a formal "interpretation" that it could be considered equivalent (political, I believe). Therefore it passes the code here, but if you have a problem, it will be your @ss not the Building Inspector.

    Chances of a problem showing up in less than 10 years is nil, however the Tyvek will not protect the sheathing as well or as long as felt and ultimately there will be premature failures.

    I don't know what your rainfall rate is, If it is less than 30 inches per year, you may never have a problem. If it is closer to 50, there is more likely to ultimately be a problem that will show up as mold and mildew on the interior wall.

    I can make the argument that the Tyvek is not adequate for brick veneer. If there is ever a mold problem, you (the builder) are in deep do-do if it occurs within the time contrainsts of your statute of repose. (In NC, that time is 6 years. It varies widely from State to STate).

    glenn

  3. #3
    Thomas Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Thanks Glenn. I'll install the felt. It's a cheap insurance policy.

  4. #4
    Mike OHandley Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Hi Thomas,

    I'd recommend that you also visit the BIA site and scan their FAQ's. The link is below.

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike


    The Brick Industry Association Site

  5. #5
    Glenn A. Davis PE Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Many of the builders here are now going back to no. 15 felt instead of Tyvek and other housewraps for everything except vinyl siding.

    The Tyvek distributor is now sponsoring a local construction radio talk show and they are advertising heavily on the radio. Can you imagine, all day long hearing ads that tell you that Tyvek will "help you minimize mold and moisture" problems. At the end they include a list of "smart builders" who are choosing Tyvek.
    If I didn't know what I know, it wouldn't be so sickening. It's a tough life when you are informed. :)

    glenn

  6. #6
    Danny Waite Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Glenn,

    If the felt manufacturers would get smart they would label their product in huge white letters with the word FELT every 5 feet or so. Soon the public would get the idea that FELT is THE product to be using on their new house! The ONLY reason that tyvek house crap has attained such a high market saturation is because of the fact that everybody sees their name emblazoned across so many new homes and assumes that it is THE product of choice. Kind of like lemmings going over a cliff. If it's good enough for the other guy then it's got to be good for me!

  7. #7
    Glenn A. Davis PE Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Danny, You reminded me of a funny experience.

    I visited a condo project which had Densglas Gold (or similar sheathing).

    In red letters about 4 inches high, it stated on one side "Put this side to the inside". About half the sheets were turned the wrong way.

    I took a picture of this but have misplaced it somewhere. I couldn't believe it.

    glenn

  8. #8
    Jim Tredeau Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    I think the bottom line here is to just stay away from perforated House Wraps, there are a lot of people still using them. In my area some builders don't use anything behind brick veneers or vinyl siding, I think that's just nuts.
    Check out the links below.

    http://www.umass.edu/bmatwt/weather_barriers.html

    http://www.umass.edu/bmatwt/housewraps.html


    Bay Shore Building & Design, Inc.

  9. #9
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Glenn:

    If one were to install felt over Tyvek, cost aside, would one have the best of both worlds, an air barrier and a water barrier?

    Can you explain to me why Du Pont somehow got the codes to accept Tyvek, when it has never passed ASTM D 779, commonly called the "boat test," which is recognized as the industry standard? As an alternative, DuPont put Tyvek through AATCC 127, the "hydro-head" test that they somehow got the codes to accept. Have any of the cases you have been involved in brought this out in the evidence? What in the World can Du Pont even say? My understanding is that the perforated housewraps are much worse, they leak like a sieve, which is what they are. What does Du Pont say about the fact that Tyvek traps water? And what word can we use if you won't let us use "breathe", I feel like I am typing with one arm tied behind my back.

  10. #10
    Glenn Davis Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Of course, you can use the word "breathe". It just makes my skin crawl.

    I don't know why except that I had heard it so much and then on one particular case, where my client was getting slam dunked by the system this red neck, tobacco chewing, country hick, jerk ball of a contractor, known to be a crook, testifies "It wood man. It godda bweethe" . You sit there 10 feet away wanting like hell to slap the @#$% out of him for being stupid yet having so much power just because he owns a large construction company, knowing it got large because he hoodood so many people and got away with it (so far). He's still around but I think somebody finally got him.

    I think the correct terminology is "vapor permeable", and related but different terms like "water resistant", "waterproof".

    Dupont Tyvek housewrap is one of the most misused products and the word has finally gotten out around here, at least. They have a large distributor in Raleigh that has a full time "moisture management specialist" promoting Tyvek, who practically lives here (2 hours away), sponsors and moderates a radio talk show, where the local lumber yards call in and tell folks how great it is.

    I honestly can't think of anything its good for except mailing envelopes. It makes good mailing envelopes.

    Dick, I have never heard the info you profferred regarding the testing. Where did you get that? It sounds believable but I need to verify before I add that to the lists.

    Also, I can't help but wonder about these testing labs. If Arthur Anderson will do the things they have done, don't you think a testing lab would gee-haw for a company the size of DuPont? I have a hard time believing anything anymore until I can verify it. After you hear so many lies and deceptive truths, you get a little skeptical.

    I remember a public works director who had to have the town's water tested for its two wells. One of the test was Total Chloride. One well was usually around 100 ppm and the other about 50. He had gotten one sample but got distracted and the UPS truck was arriving so he just split the sample but labeled them Well #1 and Well #2. The test came back 105 and 48. The invoice was enclosed, of course, and everybody got what they wanted. This lab is certified by the State for testing drinking water.

    In advertising it seems that large companies say what they know will sell the product and hope someone in engineering can back it up with something. It seems the case on many things I am knowledgeble of to the point that I am extremely skeptical about the things I don't know about such as the medical practice and prescription drugs. (I have never taken a precription drug and I havn't been to a doctor since I quit flying 15 years ago).

    When they get challenged they start parsing words. It reminds me of the Clinton statement that will follow me the rest of my life- "It depends on what the meaning of the word _IS_ is." We are living in a society where needy people are being destroyed by greedy people. If we could annihilate greed, the world would be a better place. I'm now thinking of all the people who just got screwed by Emron.

    I'm doing my part. For every hour I charge for, I give at least one away. I don't plan it that way, it just happens and its ok with me.

    glenn

  11. #11
    Dick Seibert Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Glenn:

    I share your frustration with testing labs. I use to respect them, then I was trying to get to the root of the window problems and found that the NFRC's definition of u-factor encompassed all kinds of things including air leakage. I had occasion to contact a testing lab in Pennsylvania that was testing a new triple glazed unit that I was going to be buying, and I posed a question to one of the testing engineers: "How is it that one manufacturer's casement and sliding windows, with identical glass packages, show almost identical u-factors on the labels; however, in the real world I am seeing the casements perform much better than the sliders". He responded: "That's because we tape up all the windows while testing to take air leakage out of the equation." So much for labels on windows, as well as respect for the process.

    I got that information on Tyvek from Paul Fisette's website:




    Paul Fisett's Site on Housewraps

  12. #12
    Danny Waite Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    I have found a good use for tyvek. A few years back I was involved with my sons' Boy Scout troop and we came up with the idea to try tyvek as as an alternative product to Gore Tex to make some bivy sacks for backpacking. We simply cut a piece of tyvek large enough to fold over and be sewn into a large envelope, open at the top, and with a flap to fold back over the opening. We turned them inside out to disguise the tyvek name and called the bags kevyt bivy bags. They worked great! We have used them in ice caves winter camping on Mt. Rainier, summer hikes where we simply brought a fleece sleeeping bag liner and used it inside the kevyt. I have used mine for nearly five years now and it's just starting to get ragged. When the bags are new they need to be thrown into the clothes dryer and tumbled for a while to get the "rattle" out. Best use yet for tyvek! And they sure beat the heck out of paying for Gore Tex.

  13. #13
    Glenn Davis Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    I suspect the Tyvek exhibits properties with these bags that would also be desirable in a house. The big difference perhaps may be that they are accessible and not permanent, and can be thrown out when they cease to work well.

    Dupont is giving away Tyvek jackets to certain builders (doing everthing they can to counter the delinc in use). They are in demand. I wouln't mind having a tyvek jacket, but I don't want it in my house in place of a moisture barrier.

    Jim, I believe the facts would support that Tyvek is better than the perforated stuff, but I don't believe Tyvek is useful either.

    glenn

    glenn

  14. #14
    Jim Tredeau Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Glenn,

    What exactly don't you like about Tyvek? What did or didn't do for you that makes you think it not acceptable to use on a home?

  15. #15
    Glenn Davis Guest

    Default Re: Tyvek or 15 lb felt behind brick veneer

    Jim,
    In a nutshell,

    It doesn't seem to do anything for very long.

    It keeps out air (but not mositure) if it is put on well but there are other more efficient ways to do that.

    And, I have had the opportunity to open up many new homes after 1-3 years with several different exteriors, and find that the Tyvek has deteriorated in some cases and most often has failed to keep out moisture.

    I have talked with DuPont personnel from time to time and they seem to be in denial. On one occasion, I talked with one person about the product failing to keep out moisture, and the response was "When have we ever said it was a moisture barrier." They havn't. Now their hype is directed to its stated ability to minimize mold. Go figure.

    Its a great example of how marketing can sell anything. There is a sucker born every day. And there are people out there building houses that don't care about anything but price and ease of installation. Yes, Tyvek cost more than felt, but it cheaper to get a house wrapped in Tyvek than felt. Some refuse to use felt at all. They don't like the way it feels and the black stuff on their hands.

    I have read Paul Fissett's work as well as Joe Lstiburek. While Joe has softened his position of late, Tyvek obviously doesn't meet the definition of a moisture barrier which is required for brick veneer by all codes that I know of, and should be required behind many others exterior products.

    The NC Department of Insurance has issued a formal opinion that Tyvek and other housewraps are acceptable anywhere where felt has been appropriate. What a sham.

    All housewraps, not just Tyvek fall into this category. Felt is the best thing to use but not perfect either. I think that this is currently Lstiburek's opinion, down from stating that Tyvek will be the next class action law suit.

    I'd rather install Tyvek but that has nothing to do with what is best for the structure.

    That's the short version. It just doesn't do much. It's kinda like a placebo.

    Do you know anything about the performance of Tyvek that you can share with everyone?

    I'm not interested in another exercise in sharpshooting here. This has been discussed here and on every newsgroup that exists, a number of times. Your use of the words "exactly" and "makes you think" kinda lead me to think that's where you are heading.

    No need to attempt to pin me down here. I ain't going there. IF you want specifics, you'll have to become a client and you'll have to pay for my time. The purpose of my taking the time to post messages here is to give my opinion based on my experience and stimulate others into doing their own evaluation on their time not mine and hope that I have been helpful.

    If I have misread your intent, you might consider softening your approach and spend some of your own time adding a little comentary to your messages in the future. Notwithstanding, I do apologize if I have overreacted.

    glenn

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