Type of Insulation to Use Under Vinyl Siding

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Vinyl siding and insulation costs much less than painting long-term and lowers heating and cooling costs drastically, according to Tim Carter of the on-line home improvement publication, AsktheBuilder.com. Many styles of insulation exist that can be placed under siding. The Vinyl Siding Center, an on-line vinyl siding resource and retailer, states the most common methods include complete wall protection insulation, permeable house wrap insulation and rigid foam insulation. Insulation thickness and style will vary depending on location, affordability and desired level of savings. Consult local contractors and builders for advice about the best insulation for particular areas.

Complete Wall Protection

  • Complete wall protection insulation typically features molded shapes conforming to the interior of vinyl siding. This prevents negative spaces from trapping cold and heat between the siding and the insulation, and thus the insulation functions at peak levels. Complete wall protection, due to forming and specificity, typically costs more than other styles of insulation. The many styles of siding, from seamless to vertical siding, require many styles of complete wall protection insulation, as well. The Vinyl Siding Center recommends contacting local contractors to discover which siding and insulation styles will work best for different structures.

Permeable House Wrap

  • Permeable house wrap insulation protects homes from the intrusion of wind or water, while allowing moisture buildup in the home to escape into the atmosphere. This permeability protects the home from dangerous mold or mildew growth and wood rot. If moisture could not escape, the wood framing of homes would slowly rot and cause the buildup of mold and mildew, several types of which cause health issues for people and pets. Permeable house wraps typically install just under the final outer layer of a home. House wraps must cover entire structures and completely seal the home to function at peak efficiency. Most permeable house wraps utilize interior impermeable vapor barriers to halt condensation damage experienced when cold and hot air meet inside home exterior walls.

Rigid Foam

  • Foam board takes several shapes, thicknesses and names. Most foam board utilizes plastic foam technology, whether through expansion or extrusion, and attaches directly to the outside of the structure, just under the exterior siding or even under roof shingles. Rigid foam insulation will insulate most any part of a home down to the foundation. Rigid foam offers a variety of thicknesses, from 1/4 inch on up. Rigid foam board does allow the tunneling of insects. These tunnels will reduce the effectiveness of the insulation and allow air to pass through insulated areas. Though difficult to ignite, once alight flame rigid foam insulation burns steadily and releases toxic gases.

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