Vinyl Siding Insulation Options

Choosing the right insulation is a critical step to installing vinyl siding

With a new emphasis on energy efficiency homeowners looking to reduce the energy footprint of their home are turning to exterior products to help.  If you are considering residing your home or just looking for the best ways to insulate on your new build we will guide you through the choices.

Insulated backerboard, still the most common siding insulation

Simply put, these an easy to use product you nail onto the sheathing of a home before installing your siding product whatever that may be.  They are still very popular because of the ease of installation and relatively cheap cost of acquiring the materials.  Also, made from a variety of products that can greatly increase the R Value of the total wall.

Styrofoam Styrofoam Siding BackerboardAvailable in a wide variety of thickness from 1/4″ to over 1″ in depth can provide some insulation value.  However, created a MESS when cutting and installing, little white beads everywhere. With so much better products out there now the only reason to use this stuff is it’s cheap price.  Really it isn’t worth it.

 

Hard Foam Board (Extruded polystyrene foam) Hard Foam insulation fanfoldMost commonly available in 1/4″ to 3/8″ depth and sold in 4’x50′ packs than fanfold out over the surface of home.  Creates a smooth surface. Sandwiched between two layers of clear plastic.  At least start with this product and go as thick as you can. The best of these include a reflective radiant barrier in place of the clear plastic on one side. The best have a radiant backing on one side.
Poly ISO Board Poly ISO siding insulationLong used in roofing applications as well, just finding it’s way into the residential market. This is a very highly insulating type of foam board sold in rigid panels(so we highly recommend taping any seams.  Otherwise at up to around R-7 per inch a real winner. Shown here backed with a radiant reflective layer.
Fiberboard Insulated Sheathing Fiberboard insulationFiberboard Insulated SheathingMost commonly found under old wood or aluminum siding installations no longer used today. Old brand names include Celotex, Homasote, and Masonite. With a low R Value and prone to water damage more modern age products have taken the place of this once highly used construction insulation. When wet mold growth is prevalent.  Wood fibers can attract insects.
Profile Matching Insulation Form fitting fullback insulationProfile MatchingSpecifically designed with all the most common vinyl siding profiles in mind this is a separate product that matched exactly the profile of the siding. Clapboard and dutlchlap are available in multiple widths. This foam insulation board also adds additional strength as it fills the usually hollow void behind the panels.
Alignment Backerboard Line alignment backerboard fiber cementCommonly used with the installation of fiber cement siding this backboard is becoming more popular as a way to speed up install times while saving energy.  No need to snap a line for every board, also gives the extra insulation depth under the overlap. Vinyl manufacturers are also embracing its qualitys

 

Direct adhered insulated siding

Built in Insulation in Siding – The Most Efficient way to Side your home

Newer siding products with actually attached foam board are by far the best type on insulated siding you can install.  Much like the profile matching backerboard as above however adhered(usually glued) to the back side of the product.

The max R value on these type of products is R-5.3 which is pretty darn goo, add that to your existing wall cavity and count in the added benefits in reduction of air infiltration and your well on your way to an efficient home.

2 comments

  1. will radiant barriers under vinyl siding impact the vinyl siding because of the reflected heat?

  2. Can all of these types of insulations be installed over the existing finished wall or does the existing finish wall have to be stripped first down to the sheathing? If not all of them which ones is the installer able too use? And if we are installing a new roof first what would you recommend a roofer use on the sides for drip edge or whatever to make the installation process easier, more economical, producing the best overall results related to the finished product?
    Thanks for your help!
    Paul

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