Tiny House Tar Paper Completed

Tiny House Tar Paper

I did a lot of studying on Tyvek house wrap versus Tar Paper and decided to go with Tar Paper for more than a few reasons:

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  1. Smaller houses build up moisture very quickly and need to breath.  Tar paper makes this easier while still being water resistant.  This is actually what people used before Tyvek and houses, they seemed to do just fine.
  2. Most important – People who live in tiny houses notice a difference.  First hand experience is extremely important to me and plenty who have had both say Tar Paper is the way to go.
  3. Tar Paper is cheap.  Super cheap.  Crazy cheap.  And this guy is on a budget.  Tar Paper, nails and tar paper.  That’s it. No Tape, nada. If you want to build on a budget as well, hit up this guy for ideas on how to build a house for almost no money.  If you don’t have a ton of money its great place to start with getting ideas on how to build for almost free.
  4. It has a super quick learning curve.  Almost a no brainer.  Hold, nail repeat.

Now, I might have gone overboard with my nails but I did so because I knew I’d have about 4-6 months before I could get my roofing/siding complete.  I work full time, have a son who’s older, a toddler, and a wife I need to help.  Building this house is my third full time job 😉

(I’m posting some of these a few months after doing them, but you’ll get the drift!)  These are in no particular order.  But a bunch of pix of how house wrap goes on can’t hurt.  I left one end of the house open for a bit till I could wrap up a few things.  As with most of my weekends in the spring it was raining while I was doing this :/

One thought on “Tiny House Tar Paper

  1. Tar Paper Vs Synthetic Wraps

    Not surprising, tar paper or roofing felt a good choice with wall underlayment. I’ve seen studies (mainly from SIP) that document a tar paper covered envelope without a building-wrap-driven durability problem. On the other hand, builders indicate a tragically high number of calls and emails each year from owners of synthetic/hydrophobic building-wrapped buildings.
    From some analysis of information available and consultations with our respected building engineers, they have made the following list of recommendations: (*Keep in mind tiny house envelopes have these concerns in common, the envelope is ‘tight’ and ‘small’ creating more partial pressure of water vapor – all common in SIPs.)
    • All sheathing eventually gets wet. Encouraging it to dry rapidly is the key to durability.
    • Liquid water can reach the sheathing either from the outside or the inside, but outdoor water penetration is most common by far.
    • Liquid water management is at least as important as water vapor management.
    • To reduce wetting the sheathing from the inside, the most effective air- and vapor-control layers must be on the warm side of the envelope. Everything to the cold side of these retarders should be of increasing permeance.
    • To reduce wetting the sheathing from the outside, use the most proven and durable flashing details, use “rain-screen” siding and vented or “cold” roof designs, reduce water concentration as much as possible, and understand that large overhangs are cheap insurance.
    • Use house wrap and roofing underlayment’s that allow water vapor AND liquid water to slowly pass through.
    • Provide a 1/4” or greater vent-space/capillary-break between the roofing or siding and the sheathing. This is among the most effective durability enhancements we’ve found. Capillary breaks can be made with strapping or furring strips or with a super-porous mesh product like Home Slicker or Cedar Breather.
    “Because of the difference in partial pressure of water vapor between indoors and outside, water vapor always diffuses outward during active winters. The “peel & stick” membrane stopped the outward diffusion of water vapor and, being on the cold-side of the assembly, condensed into liquid water at the wood sheathing. This diffusion rate was slow but, over time, the moisture content of the wood rose to the level where it supported fungal growth. The water had no ability to migrate anywhere else so it stayed in wood sheathing and rotted it. The rate of water accumulation is relatively slow as it is limited by the cumulative permeance of the envelope assembly interior of the Ice & Water Shield.”
    With the main idea to reduce wetting, we used mesh product like HomeSlicker between cladding and tar paper. We’ve had excellent results in extremely humid environment with high incidence of extreme wind blown rain without sheathing rot.

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