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Old 03-03-2007, 07:29 AM   #1
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Siding & cold air


Hello,
I thinking of replacing siding the back wall of my home of 3 years. House is about 13 years old. This winter has been by far the coldest temperatures (Western PA)I've had while living here and I've found all of the air leaks due to poor construction. The back is vinyl siding, foam board, insulation, & drywall. No house wrap. I've had icicles several feet long hanging off the siding. I think I'm getting heat loss right though the siding, creating condenstion & freezing.

My question is I see all of these big custom homes in my area going up with OSB & tyvek. I'm thinking of pulling off the siding on the back wall of the house first, removing the foam board, and replacing with 1/2" OSB. Then tyvek and putting on new siding.

Seems like this would seal up my house and I figure if the custom builders do it this, it would be a good idea for my home. I would appreaciate any insight on this. Thank you in advance.
Drake

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Old 03-04-2007, 10:30 AM   #2
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Siding & cold air


the foam board can seal up just as well as tyvek IF it is installed properly and the seams are taped. OSB wont really seal up the home but it may keep it from flexing better. Your corners are probably osb and the straight walls foam board from what you say. Also osb wont give you r factor, foam board will. You really need to check thickness of the wall, r factor of insulation and quality of install. Of course if the foam board was off you could do this. If you have 2x6 walls you can get R21 in there (although it's probably r19 now). You could reinsulate from the outside. If the insulation is Kraft faced, peel off the old insulation carefully leaving the facing up on the inside (this will maintain the vapor barrier on the heated side). Replace with unfaced. If you want more R factor you could add a product such as Celotex on top of that (R10ish I think). Taping the joints this will act like Tyvek. You should also check the insulation in the ceiling particularly where it meets that wall. It should extend to the outside edge of that walls top plate but not block air flow between the rafters (or trusses) for the roof.

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Old 03-04-2007, 11:04 AM   #3
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Siding & cold air


The 2' icicles on the siding is not good, unless you recently had a sleet storm. They are telling you something.

I would suggest looking to see it you have a vapor barrier inside your insulation. If not, you would get condensation dehind the foam board (thickness?) and the siding. Water draining out could cause the icicles. If this is the case, you may have wet insulation, which is really worthless.

Just an observation.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:50 AM   #4
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Siding & cold air


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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
The 2' icicles on the siding is not good, unless you recently had a sleet storm. They are telling you something.

I would suggest looking to see it you have a vapor barrier inside your insulation. If not, you would get condensation dehind the foam board (thickness?) and the siding. Water draining out could cause the icicles. If this is the case, you may have wet insulation, which is really worthless.

Just an observation.

I was thinking the same thing. It sounds like the area that should be investigated first is the insulation.
That includes the insulation in the walls, roof, & attic, ....also.....how well the doors & windows are sealed....
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:28 PM   #5
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Have someone perform an energy audit with a thermal imaging camera. It will show where more attention is needed without disturbing the walls.
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:50 PM   #6
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Have someone perform an energy audit with a thermal imaging camera. It will show where more attention is needed without disturbing the walls.
Good point. - I've seen this done and it reveals EVERYTHING going on in your walls and ceilings in regards to the cold....
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:14 PM   #7
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Depending on the equipment- water leakage, electrical problems, pest problems, venting problems, structural problems... can be located.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:56 PM   #8
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Thanks to all that responded, I really like the idea of the energy audit. I think I've seen this done on one of the Home Improvement shows. I'll have to find one here in the Pittsburgh area. Once the weather breaks and gets warmer, I'm going to pull off some of the siding on the bottom and stuff some lose insulation in the rafters between the basement and first floor. I don't think there is any tape or caulking around the foam board. I think I head to Lowes and look at the celotex. I think my walls on the first & second floors are 2x4, the basement is 2x6 and concrete block.

Thanks again.
Drake
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:37 AM   #9
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Some home inspection companies may provide this service. Some utility companies may provide the service. Some heating installers may provide this service. Call around and the price may be reasonable.


http://www.maverickinspection.com/buildingsapp.html

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