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Replacing Siding, is this a good time to add insulation to my walls?

Replacing Siding, is this a good time to add insulation to my walls?


Old 01-29-14, 07:40 PM
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Smile Replacing Siding, is this a good time to add insulation to my walls?

I'm thinking of replacing the vinyl siding of my home or just taking it down to put in insulation in my interior walls so... I have a home thats ovwer 100 years old and needless to say it has no insulation on the outside walls between the plaster and lathe and original wood siding. My question is instead of punching holes in every gap and blowing insualtion in where I have to worry about it compacting at the bottom and having no sort of vapor barrier would it be better to just take the siding down, take off the original wood siding then install insulation then cover back up with OSB, then foam then housewrap(not necessary if not exposed to rain etc. in my opinion but im no contractor) and then my vinyl siding? And Yes I do know for sure that the vinyl (which was already put up when I bough the home) has no sort of insulation behind it.

P.S. Iprefer fiberglass insualtion over cellulose/blown in insulation

so if this is confusing anyone this is how I see my layers of outside walls from the inside when I've taken out section to remove old wiring etc.
Inside = plaster then lathe, then no insulation between studs, then original wood siding with gaps in areas where Ican see vinyl siding and light from outside

What should I do
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Old 01-29-14, 08:32 PM
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This sounds like a lot of work and will be a major undertaking, so hopefully your 100+ yr old house is worth the effort! You definitely would want to be careful doing the demo not to beat or pry too hard, lest you cause damage to the plaster inside. The same could be said for nailing up the sheathing and siding. Air staplers would drive fasteners in the sheathing without shaking the walls, and hopefully once the sheathing was installed, the walls would be stable enough that they wouldn't shake too bad when you install the roofing nails that will hold the vinyl siding.

If I understand you correctly, you have no exterior sheathing over the studs, just your wood siding. If that's the case, removing the siding would be easy enough and Roxul R-15 (better than fiberglass) would be a good dense insulation for your walls. Adding 7/16" OSB perpendicular to your wall framing would probably be the minimum thickness of sheathing that I'd recommend. In your climate, you really don't want a vapor barrier on the exterior, so I don't know that I'd recommend adding additional foam insulation, but some have added it with no problems. Perhaps Bud will be along soon and can give you some good recommendations in that regard.

As far as your windows and doors are concerned, adding the OSB and foam (potentially) can cause problems with your wall thickness. Windows and doors would have to be jamb extended so that the trim could lay on the new surface of the sheathing (+ foam?). If you add foam and can tape the seams with a compatible tape (like Dow Weathermate construction tape), it will be your WRB and housewrap is not needed. If you skip the foam, you MUST use a housewrap behind the vinyl siding.

Once you remove the old siding, you may also find that you could upgrade some of the electrical in those exterior walls. If you have outlets in those exterior walls, try to pay extra attention to insulate well behind the electrical boxes, where the insulation will be very thin. Some guys will stick a bit of foam behind their outlets since foam is thin and has greater a r-value per inch.
Old 05-12-14, 09:25 PM
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XSleeper, why no insulation barrier in WV? Just curious, no knowledge.

You did have a good point about getting electrical done. Also, any cabling for computers, phone, and tv, while your walls are open.
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