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oilcloth instead of tyvek/housewrap?

 
Posts: 38
Location: Canada, Zone 3
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Hey Building Folks!

I'm trying to build a tiny house without the use of any artificial materials; do you think traditional oilcloth might possibly work rather than house wrap? I'm considering putting it between Shou-Sugi-Ban siding and wool insulation.

Thanks for your input!
 
pollinator
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The spun-bonded nature of Tyvek is a distinguishing characteristic that you are not going to find in a woven material, no matter how the woven material is other-wise treated.  It is this spun-bonded quality that makes for excellent resistance to air infiltration, and using a woven material is most likely going to end up short in that department.  

So let me challenge you on your no artificial materials requirement.  Would it be alright to use an artificial material if it was on its way to clog up a landfill?  Would it be good if you could reduce waste somewhere else by recycling and reusing?  Because there are many, many mailing envelopes made of this same spun bonded polyethylene, and if you started collecting those and using sheets of them, it wouldn't be long before you had enough area to wrap a tiny house.  Polyethylene can be solvent welded with both acetone and toluene, so it might take a little experimentation to get the overlapping and gluing process down right, but you could make your own do-it-at-home Tyvek and be green in the process.
 
pollinator
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D. Moonstone wrote:Hey Building Folks!

I'm trying to build a tiny house without the use of any artificial materials; do you think traditional oilcloth might possibly work rather than house wrap?



This is an interesting challenge!   Maybe one layer would not be enough, but if you had several layers of oilcloth, this might work?  Like a traditional thatched roof of reeds.  If the layers are thin the water would soak inside the roof, but since it is made of thick layers, the water runs off the reeds and the inside of the roof stays dry.


John Elliott wrote: Because there are many, many mailing envelopes made of this same spun bonded polyethylene, and if you started collecting those and using sheets of them, it wouldn't be long before you had enough area to wrap a tiny house.  Polyethylene can be solvent welded with both acetone and toluene, so it might take a little experimentation to get the overlapping and gluing process down right, but you could make your own do-it-at-home Tyvek and be green in the process.



This is an interesting idea!

 
D. Moonstone
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Hi John, thanks for your innovative idea! However, this will most certainly not work for my project. The biggest reason for attempting this project is my health: I have a severe toxin sensitivity. I'm attempting to discover if my general health will improve if I live in a toxin-free environment.
 
D. Moonstone
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Michelle Bisson wrote:

This is an interesting challenge!   Maybe one layer would not be enough, but if you had several layers of oilcloth, this might work?  Like a traditional thatched roof of reeds.  If the layers are thin the water would soak inside the roof, but since it is made of thick layers, the water runs off the reeds and the inside of the roof stays dry.



Interesting idea! I like it. If I try this, I'll let you know how it turns out!
 
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Location: Lopez Island, WA, USA
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D. - I saw you on the personals too and would love to talk and get to know you. I'm in search of friends. I live on a small island in WA state. I keep bees and chickens. I have three children. I have been lonely in my marriage of 13 years and am recognizing I need to connect with people I click with. The farm I live on with friends is a goat dairy. I have had a 20-liter stock pot going with goat bones for the last three days. The cabin smells good! Anyway, back to your tiny house! You don't really have to use house wrap. That's a new idea of industrial culture. There are natural ways to chink between siding boards. Like clay and moss mixed together. But oil cloth would definitely work if you want to do that. It is nice to block drafts. It is also good if your building shell actually allows water vapor to move out from inside, so vapor-permeable is good. I'm excited about your siding and insulation choices! It will be beautiful! By the way, I'm a builder. I do conventional modern construction. I'm a certified building performance analyst. But also, as a teen, I attended natural building workshops. I traveled to Zimbabwe at age 16 and visited villages with earthen round houses and thatch roofs. I want to create buildings like that! And the cedar longhouse of the Northwest, and cattail mat summer houses. Thanks for reminding me of all this. Find me on facebook. Don't know if I should put my phone and email out here.
 
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