Can Tyvek Be Installed Over Foam Board? (Explained)

Tyvek has been around for years, and during that period, it acquired many uses. For example, Tyvek protects materials from water damage in the construction industry. Considering its durability, Tyvek is an excellent choice for almost any project.

For homeowners interested in using Tyvek over a foam board, you may wonder if this project is possible and whether it will last. The good news is that Tyvek, made by DuPont, can be used over or under foam boards.

Therefore, if you have a project that requires the use of Tyvek and foam board, you can install the former material either over or under it. As long as you get it to stick, Tyvek should last for fairly long over foam board.


What Can I Use to Fasten Tyvek Over Foam Board?

Now that you have a go-ahead on using Tyvek over the foam board, you are probably wondering how I get it to stick.

First, you have to know that installing Tyvek over the foam board can be very difficult, especially if it’s windy. The piece of paper is easily blown off because it’s lightweight. The best time to install Tyvek over foam board would be on a calm sunny day.

There are a couple of things you can use to install Tyvek over foam board. The most popular choice is a staple gun. A staple gun allows you to fasten the Tyvek house wrap over foam board in minutes.

It doesn’t require any technique or special knowledge. However, for homes or properties that are in areas that experience a lot of wind, the best solution would be plastic cap nails.

Unlike staples, these penetrate deeper into the foam board, creating more resistance against wind. As you choose the ideal tool to install Tyvek over the foam board, you need to evaluate the climatic conditions of that area.

What Benefits Does Tyvek Provide to Foam Board?

You have probably seen Tyvek covering ongoing construction buildings. But besides the protective features of this house wrap, have you ever researched the basic features of Tyvek?

Here are some of the reasons why you may consider using Tyvek over foam board;

• Tyvek is Water-repellent

Most foam boards are water-resistant. But frequent exposure to moisture can speed up the wear and tear these boards experience.

Wrapping Tyvek over foam board enhances the water resistance of Tyvek. Tyvek will cover the foam board from direct moisture exposure if you live in areas with a lot of rainfall.

• It’s Highly Breathable

One feature that makes Tyvek stand out from its competitors is its permeability. Above, we have discussed how Tyvek is water-resistant. But it’s also permeable.

Tyvek enables moisture escaping through the foam board to pass through. This feature makes Tyvek a highly breathable material that prevents water from coming in but allows moisture to pass through.

• Creates a Protective Barrier

If you are worried about making contact with pieces of foam board, Tyvek can create a protective barrier over the surface.

It will not let materials from the foam board pass through. And neither will it let materials from outside get through. It adds an extra layer of protection.

• It’s Quite Durable

Made using nonwoven fibers, Tyvek is tear and puncture-resistant. That means it will last over your foam board for years.

Since it’s a durable cover, Tyvek also prolongs the life of the foam board it has been wrapped over. That’s a double advantage.

• It’s Recyclable

The final reason you should use Tyvek over foam board is that it’s recyclable. When you no longer need it, Tyvek can be recycled to make other things such as playground equipment and much more. Using Tyvek over foam board is quite sustainable.

How to Install Tyvek Over Foam Board?

This is a pretty straightforward process that doesn’t require you to hire a handyman or a construction contractor. As mentioned earlier, Tyvek can either go over or under the foam board.

We will discuss more where you should use it later on. But for now, let’s focus on over. First, you will need to lay the foam boards over the surface. What follows is the Tyvek, which should be taped using quality tape.

Then you can proceed to install the Tyvek using staples or nails. It’s up to you to choose which is more effective. To ensure the Tyvek sticks, the staples must penetrate through the foam board to the OSB behind it.

If there are openings such as windows, these have to be cut. On edges that have been cut, it’s best to add a Flex Wrap before installing windows or frames.

Doesn’t Tyvek and Foam Board Do the Same Job?

When you inform friends or colleagues about installing Tyvek over the foam board, they may tell you both do the same job.

Even though there is some truth to that, people need to understand that these two materials also have certain differences.

For instance, foam boards offer insulation to a home. Whether you use them on the roof or foundation, a foam board will offer advanced thermal resistance. A piece of Tyvek can’t offer you such.

But it can waterproof the surface and ensure the materials behind it can breathe by letting moisture through. They may seem similar, but homeowners can realize many benefits when used together.

Should Tyvek Be Used Under or Over Foam Board?

When discussing Tyvek installation, we mentioned that it can be used under or over foam board. This topic has been debated for years by both DIY and professional constructors.

When it comes to installing Tyvek either under or over the foam board, you have to understand that both options have their benefits.

For example, when you wrap Tyvek over a foam board, you don’t have to worry about the tape on the joints letting water in.

With Tyvek over the surface, there will be no room for water to seep through even through the joints. Tyvek significantly waterproofs the foam board.

On the other hand, some people prefer to install Tyvek beneath the foam board. The assumption is that any water that hits the surface will be drained as long as the foam boards are overlapped correctly.

Whether to install Tyvek under or over the foam board is a personal preference. You should weigh out your options and figure out how Tyvek will best be of service to you.

Another factor that can help you determine where to install Tyvek over foam board is whether there are windows. At the end of the day, you should ensure proper drainage; otherwise, things can get messy during the rainy season.

The other thing you have to know is that there are different variations of Tyvek. We have the HomeWrap, which is perfect for over-foam installation. In case you are considering installing it under, go for the Tyvek DrainWrap since it will be more effective.

Taping the seams of a foam board also has certain consequences, such as preventing the wall from breathing. Don’t forget that tape’s durability can’t be compared to that of Tyvek.

Styrofoam insulation

Does Foam Board Need Tyvek?

Even though foam board can be used on its own, adding a layer of Tyvek comes with several benefits. First, it waterproofs the surface of the foam board and helps with drainage.

Tyvek, unlike tape, covers the seams and prevents moisture entry. Also, thanks to Tyvek’s permeability, it allows the wall to breathe. Something you won’t get from other house wraps.

Is a Foam Board Better than Tyvek?

So far, you should know that Tyvek and Foam board can’t be compared on the basis that one is better than the other. Both options have their benefits which can best be enjoyed by using them together.

Foam board has its insulation properties, which come in handy in building a home. And Tyvek protects construction materials from damage.

Is Taping Necessary When Installing Tyvek Over Foam Board?

Taping is crucial in ensuring better adhesion of the Tyvek over the foam board. But you have to be mindful of where you are taping. If you tape over the bottom flange, there is a chance of blocking the drainage path.

Make sure you analyze the foam board’s drainage system before taping it. However, as long as you have stapled the Tyvek over the foam board, it should adhere for a long time.

The Tyvek will also have seams that will require taping. These can be taped using the special tape made by this brand.

You can use other types of tapes, but to ensure there aren’t any incompatibility issues in the future, go for specially-made Tyvek tape.

Should You Seal Tyvek Over Foam Board?

Sealing the bottom of Tyvek on a foam board guarantees better waterproofing of the house wrap since there will be no room for water to enter. Therefore, you need to use a quality sealer that will resist the elements.

To ensure the Tyvek sticks to the foam board using a sealant, you can apply a considerable amount of hand pressure.

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