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Old 04-24-2013, 09:42 AM   #1
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Ummm...My house has no sheeting under the siding...


So my fiance and I just bought a house. Some of you guys helped me figure out what kind of siding I have on the house and I believe it's Canexel siding from LP. Not great but it seems to be lasting. When I was digging to find a marking on the back of the siding on the house I saw there was no sheeting beneath the siding. There is only a layer of styrofoam and then the siding. I would say the styrofoam is 1 1/2" thick, might only be 1". My question is: is this normal/okay? If it is that's news to me. We were thinking of replacing the siding eventually with cement board lap siding maybe, or vinyl. If we did either, would we need to pull off the foam and put sheeting on? I'm kind of baffled by this...
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:47 AM   #2
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it was a normal procedure. At all of the corners there will be a bracing that prevents the building from racking.

nothing to worry about.

you can install any kind of siding you wish as the siding is not what holds it together.

Older houses around here have nothing at the corners to brace the buildings, they depend on the siding to keep the building standing.

I assume your building is newer as you have Styrofoam behind the siding. The was common back in the late 80's and 90's.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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To Clarify, you mean there is no plywood sheathing behind (Styrofoam?) You mean EPS (Bead Board)? Styrofoam is blue extruded polystyrene (XPS) Bead Board is white (EPS) Expanded Polystyrene. Big difference.

And I guess there is no secondary moisture protection like Tyvec or felt either, huh? Did you check near an outside corner of the house?
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Last edited by jagans; 04-24-2013 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
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Are you 100% sure there isn't sheathing under the Styrofoam? It's pretty common to add Styrofoam over the top of the sheathing when upgrading the siding to get some more R value for cheap and easy. I would find a spot and take a wire coat hanger or similar metal "poker" and stick it threw the Styrofoam and if it hits something hard just after the Styrofoam you have sheathing behind it, unless you hit a stud. I believe there are insulation sheathing that is also structural but not Styrofoam, the stuff I have seen is blackish in color and is more of a fiber board.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #5
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There is absolutely nothing between the siding and the styrofoam. What I'm calling foam is yellow hard stuff. I'm certain there isn't anything there, I actually cut a hole in the garage wall (attached garage, shares outside wall with two bedrooms) and dug through the insulation and then the foam and I was moving around a joint piece on the lap siding.

It was built in the early 90's so Framer you may be right. I remember my dad telling me about that kind of construction now that you mention it...

Jagans - I did not check near an outside corner. I thought they would probably have felt papered it back then but again, I saw not evidence of it although I would sure think they would have under the J-channel they used for the siding (this j-channel with lap siding was apparently an approved method of install with Canexel siding).

Ponch - I'm 100% sure. I did almost exactly what you said only I cut a hole so I could visually see what was under there. I dug out some foam with a screw driver and then it was the lap siding...
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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The "Yellow" stuff you are hitting is probably foil faced urethane, or polyisocyanurate foam. R-Max, or the like. It is not structural, that is why I asked if you had plywood on the corners for wind bracing. The black stuff that poonch mentioned is wood fiberboard. Whoever built your house may have used metal banding across the studs in an X for wind bracing.

There is something that really bothers me about construction that can be breached with a keyhole saw, or a utility knife, or wherein a round fired at one side will go completely through the whole house. You would never find this in Europe for obvious reasons.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zct6 View Post
There is absolutely nothing between the siding and the styrofoam. What I'm calling foam is yellow hard stuff. I'm certain there isn't anything there, I actually cut a hole in the garage wall (attached garage, shares outside wall with two bedrooms) and dug through the insulation and then the foam and I was moving around a joint piece on the lap siding.

It was built in the early 90's so Framer you may be right. I remember my dad telling me about that kind of construction now that you mention it...

Jagans - I did not check near an outside corner. I thought they would probably have felt papered it back then but again, I saw not evidence of it although I would sure think they would have under the J-channel they used for the siding (this j-channel with lap siding was apparently an approved method of install with Canexel siding).

Ponch - I'm 100% sure. I did almost exactly what you said only I cut a hole so I could visually see what was under there. I dug out some foam with a screw driver and then it was the lap siding...

So you have old lap siding and then the foam/insulation and then the newer siding, correct? If so this is "normal" when updating siding. They go over the lap siding with foam to add R value and also give a "flat" surface for the new siding. then use long nails to attach the new siding.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
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Ponch - No that is not correct. I don't have two layers of siding, just the one. Beneath that layer of siding (which is Canexel) is a layer of foam insulation that seems to be 1-1/2" thick, then the studs with fiberglass insulation between them. I think where I am losing you is where I cut the hole. I cut the hole in the Sheetrock inside the garage, not the outside of the house.

Last edited by Zct6; 04-24-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the clarification, Z. In an attempt to answer your question, you have a couple of concerns IMO. Without sheathing, you would need pretty long fasteners, and the insulation will crush, so you should use screws, not nails, to control depth. If you try to install a cement board product, which is relatively heavy, you will be placing a moment on the end of the fastener. Vinyl would not be as heavy, but I would use screws to put it on. Sheathing the whole house would be expensive, but would probably be worth it in the long run. You will want to run some dew point calcs to make sure you are OK from that standpoint.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:27 PM   #10
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I can't offer any help or advice, but I will say be glad you have the foam between the studs and siding. A house that I rented a few years ago only had black felt paper between the studs and fiberboard siding. Maintenance came out to replace a couple of damaged pieces of siding and showed me what they found. And I was always wondering why there was a major draft coming thru the outlets on the exterior walls
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