Vinyl siding can be a great option for homeowners who want to improve the aesthetics of their home while creating an attractive low maintenance exterior.
Increasing energy efficiency with proper vinyl siding installation
When retrofitting an existing home with vinyl siding, there are several ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your home:
Moisture barrier / insulation board
Siding contractors should install a moisture barrier and/or insulation board on top of the existing siding before installing the vinyl siding. The insulation board provides a smooth surface for the siding to be installed and tightens the building envelope which will save energy.
Pre-insulated or foam backed vinyl siding
Many siding manufacturers offer vinyl siding that has insulation integrated into the back of the siding itself. This foamed back vinyl siding can add an R-Value as much as 4 or 5 to your wall system.
FAQs For Certified Vinyl Siding Contractors
Replacing your siding with vinyl siding can be a simple process, but there are many key items that a qualified installer should know. Here are a few of the questions you should ask your contractor.
Insulation board is used to give the vinyl siding installers a smooth, level surface to install the siding onto, while also providing the side benefit of extra wall insulation for the homeowner. Just as important, the insulation board will serve as a moisture barrier between the vinyl siding and wall substrate. Vinyl siding has weep holes at the bottom to allow moisture to escape (much like brick weep holes) from behind it and the insulation board will will prevent moisture from entering your home.
There are several different grades or thicknesses of vinyl siding available. The contractor's proposal should clearly specify the manufacturer, product, style or lap, and accessories to be used by the contractor.
While vinyl siding has weep holes to allow moisture to escape from behind it, a moisture barrier will help prevent moisture from entering your home. Insulation board is often used for this purpose as it also gives the vinyl siding installers a level surface to install the siding onto, while also providing the side benefit of extra wall insulation for the homeowner.
It is very important for vinyl siding to be installed per the manufacturer's installation specifications. Vinyl siding will expand and contract as temperatures change. If vinyl siding is nailed too tightly it can fail causing severe wavyness and blistering in the product. Contrarily if vinyl siding is nailed too loose, it can rattle or come loose during windy conditions. This "rattling" can be heard inside the home. If the product is not installed properly, the manufacturer could opt not to warranty any defects with the product.