Can House Wrap Be Used Under Shingles? (Explained!)

Have you ever wondered why houses are wrapped like Christmas presents mid-construction? Well, this is done to keep them from sustaining external damage.

As the name implies, house wrap is a synthetic product used to protect homes from the elements. In other words, it is protective wrapping paper for houses.

If you’ve ever seen homes wrapped in house wrap, you will notice that it’s only ever used on the outer sheathing of walls. It’s, after all, made to protect wall cavities.

People often think that house wrap and roofing felt are the same, but this is not the case.

In this article, we’ll be answering one question on the minds of many DIYers, which is, can you use house wrap under shingles?

Here’s if You Can Use House Wrap Under Shingles:

Not all types of house wrap can be used under roof shingles. The best material to use to protect the internal framework of your roof or under your shingles is an underlayment or roofing felt. House wraps can also be used but make sure it’s stated on their package that it can serve as roofing felt/underlayment.

What is House Wrap?

House wrap is a company-made material often used to wrap the outer walls of buildings in order to keep moisture and other weather elements from causing damage.

Leaving a home exposed to the elements before construction is completed can cause all kinds of costly problems not just for your home’s exterior but for the interior as well.

House wrap works to keep the walls of your home well protected from downpours, wind, and other external elements while adding to the overall insulation.

It is easy to apply house wrap over a building. It is quite expansive, so it remains firmly in place even when responding to temperature changes.

House wrap is typically used in place of old asphalt felt or tar paper. It might be paper thin but it works quite well.

This product also prevents mold and mildew from growing on your home’s framing and keeps wood rot from occurring.

Furthermore, house wrap makes HVACs function better.

Is House Wrap OK for Roof Underlayment?

Roof underlayment and house wraps have one thing in common and that is they can both withstand water or moisture.

Now, the question is, can they be used in place of each other? Let’s take a closer look at their features to find out.

The primary purpose of roof underlayment is to protect the inner framework of a roof and prevent water from seeping in through the shingles.

Although house wraps are vapor repellant, in most cases, they are not designed to be used on roofs but on walls.

This is because house wraps have breathing pores or tiny holes in their material which allows for the inflow and outflow of water/moisture.

In other words, these products are water resistant and not waterproof.

If water should get on the house wrap used as roofing underlayment, it will seep into the inner framing of your roof, and damage will be caused to your decking.

Most house wraps are breathable but keep out vapor. As I mentioned earlier, they are not waterproof.

Generally, house wraps do not make good materials for roof underlayment. Hence, please do not use them as roofing underlayment unless it explicitly says you can do so on the product’s package.

Do You Put Anything Under Shingles?

Shingles are a type of roofing material commonly used in modern houses and arranged in an overlapping manner. Beneath the roof shingles are structures that support the roof.

Underlayments are usually placed under the shingles on the roof to serve as a waterproof material and add extra support to the roof shingles. The most common material used as underlayment is roof felt or synthetic underlayment.

Although, some experts say that making use of underlayment beneath your roof shingles is not necessary.

While this might be true, you have more to gain if you incorporate these products into your roofing structure than if you leave them out of the structure.

Can Tyvek Be Used as Roof Underlayment?

No, it is not recommended to use Tyvek as underlayment for your roof. There are other products you can go for that are more suitable for this purpose.

Tyvek is made for exterior use on walls. It would be product abuse to use Tyvek material on your roof. Get a suitable product as roofing felt for your underlayment.

What Materials Go Under Shingles?

Roof shingles happen to be the first and only thing you are likely to notice when you look at the roof of your home.

However, there are other things beneath the roof. The shingles do a good job of covering them up.

Beneath the shingles, we have:

  1.  Frame
  2. Insulation
  3. Roof sheathing
  4. Underlayment 

Frame: It is the last structure that forms part of the roof. It bears the weight of the other parts of the roof that are built on it.

Insulation: Insulation is added on top of the frame to help regulate the house’s temperature and keep it warm during cold, cool and hot weather. Conserving energy is the main purpose of this material.

Roof sheathing: you can also call this component roof decking. It is situated above the frame and insulation. It is usually made with plywood and forms the shape the roof would take. The sheets of plywood also hold the drip edge that would later be attached to the roof.

Underlayment: This material is situated directly beneath the roof shingles. The purpose of an underlayment is to serve as extra protection to the roof by preventing water from seeping into other structures beneath it and ensuring that the house is still covered should a shingle fall off the roof.

The underlayment can be made of natural felt or fiberglass paper. There are two common types of underlayment. The asphalt-saturated underlayment is commonly called tar paper and the synthetic underlayment.

The synthetic underlayment is considered to be more effective than the Asphalt felt that has been in use for ages.

However, if you are considering getting an affordable underlayment, then consider getting tar paper.


House wraps have a different function from roof underlayment. The former protects the exterior part of your walls, while the latter is suitable for use beneath the roof shingles.

Tyvek should not be used as roof underlayment. It is a brand of house wrap and should be used according to its purpose.