How To Install House Wrap

How To Install House Wrap

Yellowblue installer Eric Mortenson goes over the thorough process of installing house wrap onto a home. Eric details the tools you need, the application process, and how to make sure you know you’ve done the job right.


Today we’re going to be putting on a house wrap from yellowblue.

We’re going to be wrapping this nice new home with our house wrap all the way around the sides that are subjected to the heat gained from the sun. So we’re going to go over the tools that you’re going to need to be prepared to start your job.

Everybody knows what these are. You just got a standard scissors — a nice scissors that will stand up and keep a sharp edge is nice (a standard razor knife). Then you may want your standard pull handle stapler, but you’re definitely going to want a tack hammer or some people call them “slap hammers”, but what’s really important here is to make sure that when you’re going out to acquire these tools, you get tools that will shoot t-50 staples. The reason you want t-50 staples is — when you’re out there in the field — you want to make sure that you can find staples for your tools. These are the most common brand and they’ll fire in most staplers that you find out there on the market.

Just like most construction jobs,  you want some protective gloves for your hands.

So what we’re going to do is get our tool pouch, and you get our tools organized. We’re going to grab some house wrap and we’re going to get started.

We’re getting ready to start apply in our house wrap. So what I want to do is prep a few pieces because I don’t need a full piece to go below my window. I’m going to prep a piece that goes below so I can you use full pieces in what we call the field. The “field” is the big areas where you can use your big rolls and just go. So we’re just going to prep a couple  pieces. I’m going to measure off my foam insulation up to the bottom of my window. It doesn’t have to be super super tight. You just want it to be fairly close. Right now, we’re at 22 and a quarter and I want to check the other end of my window. If I cut this piece 22 and a quarter and it’s not 22 and a quarter here, I just don’t want to be short. So I always measure twice and cut once. It looks like 22 and a quarter is going to work for us there so we’re going to go ahead and prep this piece to get a good result. It’s nice to have some sort of a straightedge, and as you can see, Jason’s got a 2×6. We’re going to use that 2×6 as a straightedge.

The reason we cut off the other edge first is this two inch flat doesn’t have the foam backing. The manufacturer does that so we can overlap this two inches without doubling the thickness and causing pressure on the staples that hold this.

A clean jobsite is a happy jobsite. Always keep all of your material rolled up and make sure we keep any loose debris from blowing into our neighbors’ yards. We’re out here saving energy so we might as well make sure we’re not littering as well. We’re just going to keep this rolled up and we’ll be ready to use this piece when we get on top of the window when we can use that overlap flange.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the slap stapler, there’s a magazine in the handle that holds your staples. There’s a spring-loaded pressure mechanism that forces the staples into the head. There’s a hook on here and that hook holds itself in and allows that magazine not to pop out as you’re hammering against the wall. We’re going to go ahead and pop the magazine out and these things will hold one clip of staples at a time. You’re usually better off to empty it out and load full clips.

The next thing is we’re going to start right here in this corner. Like I said, we’re going to come right off the foam and we’re going to want to treat that bottom line as our straight edge. The thing with a slap hammer is if you drive it too hard, you’ll just go ahead and break the material and that staple will be rendered useless, so you don’t need to swing too hard. If you go ahead and swing too hard, you’re just going to blow the staples right through your material and by the time you get around the corner, this piece is going to be blowing off into the neighbor’s yard. Make sure you’re paying attention to how hard you set your staples.

We need to go ahead and make sure that we’re tucking underneath our weep tape. The best thing to do is to work from the bottom up and take all the slack out. I’m probably going to want to trim my piece just a little bit. I got a little big on my cut. I make sure that my tape seals appropriately. I’m going to take my razor knife and at this point, you need to be very careful that you don’t cut the watershed application that’s already been applied by the contractor. That allows for our material to tuck up nice and tight underneath a window tape and that would be how you apply your first piece underneath the window that’s appropriately flashed.

We’re getting ready to take our full-size rolls and go up the wall. We’ve got our starter rail lines and we’ve got our material placed so that our flap is going to overlap appropriately on the bottom edge.

I want you guys to know there’s a couple options. You can go ahead and attack it like Jason and I are here — one guy’s going to have to fight the roll or you can go ahead and use a tape measure to measure your piece and cut it off so you don’t have to fight the roll. Jason and I are a little bit more experienced with this so we’re just going to go ahead and go with it as it is.

I stayed back from my window from my j-channel edge on these windows so that the stucco applicators can do what they need to. I believe they’re going to add one more piece of window tape. So, it can usually be a good idea to stay a couple inches away from your window with your staples like we did here. So we’ve got our piece cut and fastened. Go ahead and go over to the other side of the window.

We have an option here. We could go ahead and take our full piece in the field right around the corner, and if we’re going to do that we need to go ahead and add on add onto our bottom row first, so we’re going to need to come back and prep another piece real quick.

We’re finding out here and what you’ll find out on a lot of homes is, for aesthetic reasons, these window heights are typically set the same.

We can cut that first piece the same, apply that, and get back into the field. It starts to go faster as you go. We’re getting ready to take our material back up the wall into the field and around the corner but as you can see, you’re going to find our first amenities in our outside wall so let me show you a trick to working your way around one of these penetrations. What I want you guys to do is make one slit to where that penetration is going to run through. We’re going to leave it at that for now. We’re going to go ahead and start our overlap like normal.

Now that we’ve got this piece tacked up and in place, I’m going to go ahead and deal with this penetration and clean that up a little bit. This doesn’t have to be real perfect you guys because all of our installers carry HVAC tape with us which is a silver sided tape we can use to pretty that up a little bit. We’ll come back to that as we’re getting ready to wrap this job up. As we go around the corner, it’s very important to check our overlap.

We’re going to have to come back and clean up a couple things here. We’ll get our HVAC tape out and clean up some of this stuff when we get ready to finish this, but one thing we haven’t shared yet is why these holes are here.

In this yellowblue house wrap, you’re going to see the perforated holes. The purpose of these holes is to not trap moisture inside the house and to allow the moisture to escape from the wood. There’s holes about every inch in every direction going up and down. left and right about every inch.

Okay. So we’ve recently installed our yellowblue house wrap (or reflective house wrap) and we’ve left a piece off. We’re on the west end of the home where the sun is beating on the home. There’s a shadow line that’s made by the sun and the home next door. so what we’re going to do is go inside and we’re going to use a thermal imaging camera to show you the difference in temperature from this one area that’s unprotected to the rest of the temperature from the rest of the surface on this west wall that’s being protected on the rest of the wall.

We’ll be able to look at the thermal-imaging camera and you’ll be able to see the actual temperature differential from this inside portion of the wall versus the the section that has the wrap. You’ll see our temperature get over 108/109 degrees and it’s approximately six o’clock in the evening. On the protected walls, temperatures drop down to 92 degrees can you see that 93-84. It’s a big difference. Back on the right, you actually see it a big orange glow. That orange represents the heat coming in go to the left and it turns pink which means there’s a huge temperature differential. Our heat goes up drastically, so that’s visual proof that the yellowblue house wrap really performs.