Dupont du Nemours - Tyvek rots houses

Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 9:12pm CDT by Michele D.

Product: Dupont Tyvek

Company: Dupont du Nemours

Location: WILMINGTON, DE, US

URL: Dupont.com

Category: Building, Construction

May 15, 2014

To whom it may concern:

We built a custom house in 1986 using the best of materials and highly qualified contractors. Dupont had just released Tyvek and we were impressed with the pervasive advertising about an environmentally sensitive product that promoted energy conservation. Unlike tar paper, it was not petroleum based and was not0a fire hazard.

We purchased custom milled red cedar novelty siding. This siding has been used since Colonial days and is extremely durable. We used first generation Tyvek and followed the installation instructions, pre-staining the siding and installing the siding promptly as a matter of good construction practice and not because of Dupont?s instructions. We built our beautiful house to last.

In 2012, we discovered that the red cedar and the sheathing was rotting. We conducted research and learned that Dupont became aware of the problem with Tyvek and its interaction with cedar. We contacted Dupont, the company sent special inspectors who had a system set up to deal with consumers. We learned that Dupont modified the Tyvek formula and advised the Western Red Cedar Association to recommend pre-finishing both sides of the siding.

Further research revealed that the rotting problems occurred with siding other than red cedar and even with vinyl siding. It appears that the problem continues to occur and many homeowners have been required to re-skin their houses due to rot under the siding. Dupont has effectively buried the information, ignored consumer complaints and refused to be responsible for the problems that Tyvek has created. Perhaps Dupont settled with some homeowners with confidentiality agreements.

After delays, lame excuses and failure to respond, and after numerous efforts to address the problems, Dupont refused to do anything other than to offer replacement Tyvek. Any architect, design professional or contractor that uses Tyvek is at risk of a major law suit. Dupont is a company that refuses to step to the plate and be a good corporate citizen. It is a company that tries to bury its problems, just as it buried its environmental degradations over the centuries of its existence. I sold my Dupont stock.

We must re-skin our entire house and we are aware that many people have been forced to do the same. Beware of Tyvek. Even if it is more expensive than other house wrap products, it has inherent defects that are not identified until years later, when Dupont considers itself to be protected from liability.

We recently resided another house we own that was built in 1954 using tar paper. The underlying sheathing was as new as the day it was installed ? no rot, no degradation. So much for new- fangled notions with latent defects.

Michele Donato and Peter Weeks


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