Do I Need a House Wrap for a Shed?

October 17, 2019
Robert Manziel

(Last modified on March 4th, 2020)

What is a house wrap for a shed, and do you need it? If you find yourself asking ‘Do I need a house wrap for a shed,’ then chances are that you know about it and need it. For everyone else that simply reads the site and plans on building a shed, then perhaps you’d be interested in learning about this easy way to protect your man cave shed from the elements. This is an aspect of shed building that’s rarely talked about, even though it’s critical to making your shed last for years. If you skip a house wrap for your shed, then you can expect to replace a lot of rotting wood in just two or three years. There are many simple ways to create a house wrap and many types to choose from, so sit back and learn which one you need!

Benefits of a House Wrap

A house wrap is a simple layer of insulation that creates a barrier from the weather and temperature outside the shed. For places with high humidity, fluctuating temperatures, frequent rain, or pests, then a house wrap is almost essential. The only time you don’t want a house wrap is if this is a temporary structure or completely weather-proof on its own. It’s often cheaper to install a house wrap than weather-proof the exterior of your shed, so this is usually the best option for people that want a long-lasting shed for their man cave or otherwise.

Before you grab for that Tuff Shed house wrap, learn what benefits the house wrap has. First, it prevents humidity from penetrating the interior of your shed. Even if you don’t have electronics, carpets, or other humidity-sensitive objects, high humidity can still lead to molding and rot on any of the wood structure. That’s super expensive to replace, so of course you can see the benefit of a house wrap preventing that. Along with its mold-fighting properties, it keeps the temperature inside your shed nice and steady. It is essentially a type of insulation that keeps the shed comfortable in all types of weather. Your shed will still need circulation in the form of a small vent, windows, and (of course) doors, but the insulation will keep your shed from turning into a freezer or an oven.

Do I Need a Vapor Barrier in my Shed?

Do you need a moisture barrier for shed walls? Generally, yes! You always need to weatherproof your shed in some way. If you don’t have pressure-treated wood prepared to weather the storms as your building material, then start looking for a vapor barrier. Keep in mind that ‘house wrap’ is not synonymous with ‘vapor barrier.’ Check the product you are buying carefully to make sure it meets your needs. Almost all house wraps are water-resistant, so you might be able to get away with any house wrap in areas with little rain.

As I mentioned before, you absolutely need some way to keep out humidity. The danger of humidity goes unseen for a long time. Mold can grow in between the siding and your interior, and you’ll only notice it as the wood and walls become discolored. Yikes! By that time, you’ll need to replace portions of the wall entirely. That’s a huge cost that could have been avoided by simply nailing a house wrap under the siding. Don’t skip the water-resistant barriers!

Is it Really Necessary for Me?

You know you need a house wrap when you live in a zone with fluctuating weather. As discussed in the last part, rain is a big part of it, but you also have to consider temperature. On top of that, you need to take care when adding your siding to the home because of temperature. Due to changes in temperature, the materials of your home expand and contract, and the siding appreciates a little bit of leeway after you install the house wrap. Just enough to let it expand will do.

Anyways, what does temperature have to do with it? A house wrap is quite literally insulation. It keeps your shed safe from rain, sure, but it also keeps your temperature stable. When it’s sweltering hot outside, you can hop into the shed without it feeling like an oven. Similarly, you can navigate it in the winter without freezing off your fingers. If you plan to add air conditioning to the shed, the house wrap is even more essential. It prevents your cold air from leaking out quickly.. Your home still has plenty of ventilation, even with a house wrap covering it. The windows and door gaps provide enough, even when they’re closed, but a vent at the top of the shed helps as well. The only disadvantage of a house wrap is its initial cost and installation time.

Because weather is constantly changing and I can’t think of a single place with perfect weather, chances are that you need a house wrap! It’s absolutely necessary for your shed.

How Long does a House Wrap Last?

If you’re looking for the best wrap for a shed, there are a few things to consider. The first of this is how long it lasts. Even if it’s perfect for keeping out things, it might wear down quickly. In fact, completely exposed house wraps are a cause for concern for many homeowners! How long can house wrap be exposed before you cover it? The first factor in how long it lasts is how water resistant it is. Most house wraps are spectacular at keeping out water, and combined with heat, they still don’t take a hit. However, they have trouble fighting against the UV rays of the sun. Manufacturers account for construction delays, so they’re not totally defenseless, but the UV rays gradually break down the structure of the house wrap.

Ultimately, a house wrap can be exposed for four months. High-quality house wraps can last up to 9 months and specialized house wraps last up to a year. If you don’t know the length of time your house wrap can withstand the elements, simply assume four months and finish your siding before then. Wind can tear at expose house wraps, especially during storms, and dirt can accrue on them. Whatever you decide to do, keep your construction project on a tight schedule. Delaying costs you materials in the long run and reinstalling a house wrap is a pain.

So, You Need that House Wrap?

Yes. Yes, you do need a house wrap for a shed. Since there is no place in the world that has perfect humidity, 70*F temperatures, partly cloudy days, and no mold spores, put that house wrap on your shed as soon as you can. It’s practically mandatory if you plan on spending time in that shed. Hopefully this helped you answer the question ‘Do I need a house wrap for a shed.’ If you have any further questions, feel free to comment down below! I am always eager to answer questions about building projects, man caves, and everything in between.

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