Breather membranes for timber frame walls

TRADA image

All timber frame walls are designed to 'breathe'. The term 'breathe' refers to the ability of a wall to allow water vapour to diffuse through the structure. This is an important consideration to the long term durability of the timber structure.

A breather membrane restricts the passage of liquid water, whilst allowing water vapour to pass through.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) covers a number of topics surrounding breather membranes including the requirements of a breather membrane, the considerations which must be made to mitigate risk of condensation, and the measures which must be taken to mitigate heat loss caused by convection currents.


  • Requirements
  • Specification
  • Condensation risk
  • Installation
  • Repair

This Wood Information Sheet was revised in November 2016. Information has been added on the thermal performance of breather membranes and also the specifications for when used with open-jointed cladding.

Suggested Reading

Timber frame building: materials specificationnavigation-arrow

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) outlines the materials normally specified for conventional timber frame buildings. Some variations will occur according to the structural design and detailing requirements of specific projects. Many of the components are also used in innovative forms of construction such as engineered stud and twin stud walls,...

28/02/2017 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Cladding for timber frame buildingsnavigation-arrow

The main functions of cladding on a timber frame building are to provide weather resistance and create the external appearance required by the client.

Materials for cladding can be subdivided into two main categories: those which are self supporting (built from their own foundation and tied back to the...

05/05/2014 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Living in a modern timber frame homenavigation-arrow

This publication will help timber frame companies and insurance organisations encourage homeowners to look after their homes by understanding better how they are built. This document covers a number of key topics including how to check if the house is timber frame, how the house was built and also some...

01/01/2011 |  Info from other organisation