Tyvek Over ZIP System (Is It Recommended?)

When building a house, you need to be cautious about moisture and air. These two can significantly affect the comfort level in your home while accelerating the damage of materials such as sheathing and drywall.

Tyvek and the ZIP system are products you can use to prevent air and moisture from getting inside your home. These two are often used independently.

That is, you can either go with Tyvek house wrap or the ZIP system. But can you use Tyvek over the ZIP system? Let’s find out.


What is Tyvek?

Before Tyvek was invented in 1955, contractors often used tar paper to waterproof walls. After its invention, Tyvek house wrap was way more advanced than other methods of waterproofing walls. That’s why it’s still a popular choice today.

Tyvek is a synthetic house wrap that is made out of polyethylene fibers. In construction, Tyvek is used as a house wrap to keep moisture and air away from your home. It can also be used for packaging.

This house wrap is quite breathable. Therefore, it allows your walls to dissipate moisture while preventing water from passing through.

With Tyvek on your walls, you also get a microbial barrier. It prevents harmful construction materials such as mold, fiberglass, and asbestos from passing through. Though lightweight, Tyvek is durable because of its high tensile strength.

ZIP System

What is the ZIP System?

Ever since the ZIP system was introduced, there have been many arguments amongst contractors claiming that it marked the death of house wrap.

If you look at the evolution of wall waterproofing and air barrier products, the ZIP system is the latest and most innovative invention. And by the looks of things, it’s here to stay.

The ZIP system is a sheathing integrated with air and water barriers. This sheathing makes installing walls relatively easy because it eliminates the need for installing a house wrap.

It’s a high-quality sheathing that will serve you for years while ensuring comfort thanks to its built-in air and vapor barrier.

Can You Install Tyvek Over the Zip System?

Yes, you can install Tyvek over the ZIP system. But you need to ask yourself, is it necessary?

Tyvek and the ZIP system perform the same job, which is to prevent moisture and air from passing through your walls. Installing Tyvek over the ZIP system is unnecessary.

As long as the ZIP system is installed correctly and the seams are taped according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you do not need an extra layer of house wrap.

Not only is installing Tyvek over the ZIP system unnecessary but doing so may void Huber’s warranty. Therefore, should anything happen to your ZIP system, they may not honor your claim if you added a Tyvek house wrap.

Don’t forget that if you install Tyvek over the ZIP system, you will be wasting money and negating benefits such as the two-step installation of the ZIP sheathing.

Why Do Some People Install Tyvek Over the ZIP System?

Tyvek has been around for a while now. Therefore, many contractors are accustomed to using it in every building project.

But what most people don’t understand is that the ZIP system is strong enough to keep moisture and air at bay on its own.

Some argue that adding Tyvek over the ZIP system enhances your home’s ability to repel moisture and air. But that is not true.

The ZIP system, when installed correctly, will protect your building from airflow and moisture. It doesn’t make sense to add an extra air and waterproofing layer of Tyvek.

Does Huber Recommend the Installation of Tyvek House Wrap Over ZIP System?

When you go through the technical sheet of the ZIP system, you will notice that Huber doesn’t recommend the use of its product with weather-resistant barriers (WRBs).

Tyvek falls under weather-resistant barriers. So, if you use it over the Zip system, you may void Huber’s warranty.

The ZIP system is quite expensive. Therefore, you should avoid using other products that may affect its warranty.

ZIP System

Does the ZIP System Need Tyvek?

There are a couple of reports about the ZIP system failure. But that doesn’t come as a surprise because this is a new technology. Most people forget to tape the seams of the ZIP system, which allow water and air to pass through.

However, these ZIP system failures are not attributed to the product’s ineffectiveness. They are caused by installation errors.

If you follow the manufacturer’s requirements on how to install the ZIP system, you won’t experience any failures.

The bottom line is that the ZIP system does not need an additional WRB such as Tyvek. It is self-sufficient and does a marvelous job of keeping moisture and air at bay.

You will only need to use Tyvek over OSB if you messed up during the ZIP system installation.

Is It Advisable to Install Tyvek Over ZIP Sheathing?

It would be best if you didn’t install Tyvek house wrap over ZIP sheathing. There are a couple of reasons for that. One, it adds no value because the ZIP sheathing is air and waterproof.

Secondly, it neutralizes all benefits that you would get from ZIP sheathing. The purpose of the ZIP system is to enable you to skip the house wrap installation process.

If you are determined to install Tyvek over ZIP sheathing, then there is no need for you to use the latter product. You can build your walls the traditional way, using OSB, plywood, and covering it with Tyvek house wrap.

Tyvek vs ZIP System: Which is Better?

Now that you know, Tyvek shouldn’t be used over the ZIP system. You may be wondering which of these two options is the better choice. The best way to conclude is by evaluating the pros and cons of each.

Let’s start with the ZIP system. This system is relatively easy to install because you get to erect both the sheathing and waterproof barrier simultaneously.

Unlike Tyvek, where you must install sheathing and follow up with the house wrap. Here you merge two steps. Another advantage of the ZIP system is that it’s not susceptible to wind damage. Plus, it comes with a thirty-year warranty.

On the downside, the Zip system requires professional installation. Otherwise, the seams can easily let moisture in.

If you settle for this option, you need to have it installed by a professional, certified, and experienced contractor.

It’s also a bit expensive, and the framing materials are not installed behind the waterproof barrier. Therefore, they are exposed to water damage.

On the other hand, Tyvek is highly effective at waterproofing your home because the seams are lapped. It is widely available and has been around for decades. Therefore, nearly all contractors can install it for you.

The problem with Tyvek is that it creates an additional installation step that you can skip using the ZIP system. It is also quite vulnerable to wind damage.

On a head-to-head comparison, the ZIP system has more pros than Tyvek. However, it’s a new technology, and not everyone is enthusiastic about embracing it. But it’s the future of waterproofing exterior walls.

The best option for you will depend on your preferences and objectives. However, whether you settle for the ZIP system or Tyvek, you must install it correctly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

It’s also wise not to use them together. If you prefer the ZIP system, go with that option and vice versa.

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