Vinyl siding with attached insulation


Old 05-02-07, 12:03 PM
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Smile Vinyl siding with attached insulation

Is this type siding with the insulation "already attached"to the vinyl planks as good as they claim or is the traditional method of using a good vinyl over insulation board just as effective ?? The "attached" stuff is more expensive. Is it worth the extra cost?? Anyone ever used it ? Are there any draw backs ? Undecided. Thanks
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Old 05-02-07, 04:06 PM
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I'm not impressed with the stuff. Insulation is most effective when there is an air barrier. 4x8 sheets of 1" rigid foam that has all the seams taped is probably the most effective insulation to add under vinyl siding. Some add 3/4" or 1/2" depending on how much they can reasonably add without building the siding way out past the windows. Rigid foam is usually about R-5 to R-7 per inch, depending on the type used.

The foam on vinyl siding is of varying widths. Some of it is about 7/8" thick, some of it is only 1/4" thick. So you are not getting a consistant R-value with it. Instead of being in big 4x8 sheets (fewer seams), the pieces are only 10-12" wide. That makes for a LOT of seams, and none of those seams can be taped, thus on a windy day you would get a lot of air infiltration behind the foam which decreases the reported R-value of the product.

It's also a pain in the neck to work with in some instances, such as when you want to put it into a finish trim, you need to rip off the foam backing... when you want to put it into a Mastermount, you need to shim out the Mastermount and then rip off the foam backing around that area. Just some of my personal complaints I can recall.

The benefits of it is that the siding usually lays a little straighter, and larger more natural looking profiles can be used (like double 6") which will keep their shape better than non-insulated siding would.

Personally, I don't like it and don't think it's worth it. You can definately do a better job of insulating and air sealing by putting on large sheets of Thermax and taping all the seams.
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