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colts49 09-24-2012 05:29 PM

downstairs cold want to insulate behind vinyl siding
Hi,, My downstairs is always cold and drafty around the outer walls. The house was built 7 years ago. I can literaly fill cold air coming through the kitchen cabinets, or when siiting on couch i can feel cold air coming from under the couch that is against the wall. I thought about taking vinyl siding off and adding some more of the pink stirafoam sheets around bottom of house. Do you think this ould help or any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you

joecaption 09-24-2012 06:44 PM

I'd start with air sealing the whole house first. Seal all the holes where plumbing and wiring was run though all the top and bottom plates in the walls.
In the attic seal around all to light fixtures and anyplace you see bathroom fans kitchen stove vents ECT.

How old are the windows? Are they all double pane vinyl windows.

Have the rim joist been sealed.
Is there any insulation under the house.
How much insulation is in the attic?
Is there caulking around the window frames?

What I'm getting at is there's lot of low cost DIY things you can and should do before concidering removing the siding.
If you do add insulation on the outside you would not only have to remove all the siding, but all the J moulding has to come off, any trim around windows and doors has to be redone to build it out.
It also may add a second vaper barrier which would trap moisture inside the wall. A vaper barrier needs to be on the inside not outside.

Windows on Wash 09-24-2012 09:32 PM


Air seal and insulate as a minimum.

If you decide to do siding in the future, great and make sure you put rigid foam in the budget.

As for right now, air sealing and insulation is a must anyway and will help considerably with the drafts from the outset.

colts49 09-25-2012 04:43 PM

Thanks for info,,,I had this house built 7 yrs ago and it has been cold downstairs from the beginning. Ive just noticed that the newer houses are being wrapped alot better around whole house before any brick or siding is put on. I have plugged all around the outlet boxes on outer walls. There are no windows on that wall but i still get cold air from that wall. I just thought adding better insulation wrap ( not sure what its called) under siding might keep more air out. Thanks

Windows on Wash 09-26-2012 06:53 AM

It will, however, it is cost prohibitive to rip off siding that is otherwise okay to throw on some wrap or foam.

Make sure that you foam and caulk sealed those outlet gaskets.

colts49 09-26-2012 02:16 PM

Thanks for reply I was planning to carefuly removing the siding in order to re install it after , Im just dumfounded on why the walls that have no windows and maybe 3 outlets on it that I have already insulated around have such a cold draft coming through. The kitchen cabinets are on that wall also, and when i open bottom cabinets it is very cold inside cabinets almost drafty. The couch is on that wall in living room and when you sit on it you can feel cold air coming under couch around my ankles. Been this way since it was built. Its a two story house and I have to have space heaters on downstairs ,cause if I turn up heat then the upstairs bakes.

Windows on Wash 09-26-2012 03:37 PM

Post up some pictures of the interior and the exterior.

If it is in the kitchen, I would be willing to bet there is a cantilever and a bay roof at play.

joecaption 09-26-2012 04:56 PM

Just adding those simple foam seals behind the outlet and switch covers will do little good If no one ever sealed up the holes were the airs coming to the whole wall in the first place.

Gary in WA 09-27-2012 12:42 AM

Did you air-seal the crawl-space/basement yet? All the wiring/plumbing holes as said? Are any exterior plugs/light boxes air sealed? Did/can you easily remove the base trim at the floor, or at least check for leaks there:

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