When you're building your new house and are thinking about insulation, you need to look at the layers of materials that make up your walls and roof. Adding a building wrap inside your build gives you an extra layer of insulation. This helps keep your home warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather. It also helps protect your home from weather extremes.
You have a few options when you choose wraps. Here are a few things you should look out for when you're comparing products.
Some building wraps are basic. They're still useful because they give you an extra insulation layer, but they aren't always as good as wraps that have additional features. For example, building wraps that have reflective surfaces handle heat better. This boosts their thermal capabilities.
The insides of your walls and roof structures can be damaged by condensation. If condensation gets into these spaces, then your whole home could be affected.
For example, excess condensation can lead to problems like mould growth. Over time, condensation can attack timber frames, weakening them and making them rot. Fixing these problems is difficult and expensive if their root cause is inside your walls or roof.
A good building wrap is designed to tackle condensation. For example, a wrap that uses a breathable material or one with microscopic holes manages condensation well. The holes allow condensation to disperse so it doesn't settle in your walls or roof.
However, these holes aren't big enough to reduce the protection they give your home against the weather. If you use a wrap that has a waterproof layer, then you get even more protection.
To protect your home and your family, you should use fire-compliant building products whenever you can. Look for building wraps that are fire resistant or that have low flammability. If you did have a fire, at least your wrap wouldn't make things worse.
Plus, if you live in a bushfire area, you should buy a building wrap that is bushfire resistant. Your home is at more risk of fire in these areas, so it's particularly important that your structure works to keep fire out as much as possible.
Various building manufacturers produce wraps that might be a good fit for your house build. For example, James Hardie products have all of the above features and have been designed for the Australian climate.
If you need advice on which wrap to choose, talk to your building contractor or supply company.