Proper Application of Felt Paper Under Siding

Felt paper, or building felt, is a type of material used beneath exterior siding or shingles on the walls or roof on homes.

Proper Materials

The felt acts as a barrier to prevent problems that can be caused by moisture buildup or wind. To ensure that the felt does its job and that your siding doesn’t let leaks into your walls, use the proper techniques when installing the felt paper.

The key to ensuring a proper install of felt paper on the house is using the necessary materials at all times. Cutting corners on materials can lead to an insufficient application and shortened longevity of the felt itself. Use nails to secure the felt to the house, and be sure they’re at least 1 inch long. Additionally, don’t skimp on nails. Space them about a foot apart across each piece of felt to ensure that no portions of the paper come undone from the wall beneath the siding. You also will need to make sure the felt is secured around corners. This is best done using special housewrap tape. Available at most hardware stores, housewrap tape is specially designed to be used with felt paper to seal seams around corners where two pieces of felt meet. It will make the joint watertight and secure in those areas where nails won’t help.

Applying the Felt

Installation of felt paper is a job for more than one person. You will want to have people help hold a sheet of felt paper in place while you nail it down securely. This will ensure that the felt remains stretched tight and flat against the wall while it’s secured, preventing any air pockets or gaps from forming.

Start at the foundation of the house. The first piece of felt paper should overlap the foundation slightly so there won’t be any gap once you install the siding over it. Have some helpers pull the sheet of felt taught and keep it pressed flat, extending horizontally across the wall. If you have access to a nail gun, it will prove invaluable in securing the felt. Keep the nails spaced evenly, and go all the way across the felt paper to make sure that no part of it is free to pull away from the wall once the siding is installed over it.

Each successive layer of felt paper that you apply should overlap the one below it slightly. This is why you start at the bottom of the wall and work upward. This way, any water that flows down the wall will flow from one piece of felt over the one below it, not behind it. Be sure to cover the entire wall, including gables near the roof and up to any window or door openings. Some of these areas may require cutting the felt paper to specific sizes. When doing so, be sure to make the cuts exact, as you want to minimize the area that is left uncovered.

If possible, always try and install the felt before windows are installed. This makes it much easier to ensure you cover the walls right up to the window opening.

About the Author

Brian Walker is an experienced writer who has contributed content to a number of print and online mediums, including major players in the financial, sports and news markets. His work has appeared on eHow.com, Associated Content, Yahoo and even financial news outlet TheStreet.com. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism.