Exterior House Work, House and Acreage Restoration

The Truth About Tar Paper

Tyler’s inlaws came and visited for the weekend to help with the house project. Unlike us, they are technically the first people to sleep on the property (except when there was a squatter in the barn before we purchased the house) in at least seven years.


Worry not! They came and stayed in their camper, which is nicer than our house will likely ever be. Because the RV pad (which was formerly a hog living area) is covered with dead and cut branches, they pulled in next to the garden.

One of the tasks while there was to work on some of the high work. The type of work that is difficult for the vertically challenged and for people who are afraid of heights (or, as is more often the case, afraid of falling).


J and J helped put up more tar paper around the north side of the house. Here are some interesting facts I learned recently about tar-paper.

It’s purpose is to act as a barrier to help protect the wood. On roofs, it helps allow the shingles to have some give and take during hot weather and very cold weather, thus protecting and extending their life. It also smells like a zoo.

We are using the old fashioned tar paper to wrap our house (as opposed to Tyvek plastic paper which you use more often on modern building projects) for a couple of reasons. First, it is more durable. This is important because our home will be exposed for a longer period of time without siding, and the tar paper can protect it longer. Tar paper is also what was used originally for our home, which is fascinating.


The problem with it is that is comes in much small rolls and doesn’t cling (I imagine the Tyvek paper like cling wrap, sticking to studs and beams-though I’m not sure if this is an adequate imagining). So it is more labor intensive and requires more rolls.

Close-up of string.
Close-up of string.

For this reason, you will notice many staples on our house as well as florescent orange string in along the tar paper. The string (magical substance that it is) helps hold the tar paper in place. Very helpful for the midwestern wind that we deal with all year long.


Also, sofets and facia were put up in high areas of the house and we do now, officially, have a couple of completed sides to the house. Painted and looking lovely.


Which, were finished just in time for a massive torrential downpour! I tell you what, August is not my favorite month to be working on the house…it is HOT!


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