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Best insulation choice before new siding is installed

Best insulation choice before new siding is installed

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  #1  
Old 06-12-11, 05:06 AM
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Best insulation choice before new siding is installed

Straight-line winds and two downed trees means I will be getting the aluminum siding replaced on my 100-year old house. Under the aluminum, I believe, remains the old wooden clapboard siding. After the aluminum is removed, I would like to insulate. A contractor I spoke too says I just need to wrap the house with some kind of panels (over the clapboard) before having the vinyl siding hung. I was thinking blown or foam. I would appreciate advice on what is feasible and what are these panels the contractors is speaking of?

Elizabeth
 
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  #2  
Old 06-12-11, 05:28 AM
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Hi Elizabeth and welcome to the forum.
It looks like you are in cold country so you can use all possible insulation. Generally, the siding guys will be advising something to make their work easier rather than addressing what you need for insulation. Do you know what is inside your current walls, zero, some fiberglass, anything?

Foam would be great, you just need to check the cost and the ability to add it to your existing walls.

If you add a lot of new insulation over the old siding before the new, then some carpentry or trim work is needed to finish around all windows and doors.

On some old homes, the old clapboard siding was installed directly over the framing, thus it must stay, but it leaks air like mad.

Are you considering new windows at the same time?

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-11, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply, Bud! There is no insulation in these walls currently. I'm glad you said the clapboard must stay. There would be nothing but boards and plaster left without it. I did have most of the windows replaced in 2003 but I kept the three original picture windows because I liked them. I agree with you that the contractor just wants quick and easy. I told him that I did not intend to let this opportunity to do things right pass by. I want to be well informed before speaking with him again. Do you think the panels he spoke of was fan fold?

Elizabeth
 
  #4  
Old 06-12-11, 07:04 AM
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Usually fanfold as it is thin and will not alter the depth of trim. It gives them a smoother surface to work to and, if taped, can serve as an air barrier. But, as stated, opportunity knocks and as part of this project it begs to improve the wall insulation. Have a couple of foam contractors come in and give you a quote. Listen to the details they find, like if there will be any problems with the walls. Adding new siding, as you suspect, would be a huge mistake without addressing other issues, like insulating those walls.

Since it sounds like you want as much energy improvement as possible, there are other areas you should be looking at as well. In some cases, the contractor that comes in can handle more than one job while his crew is there. Air sealing is one and basement rim joist foam is another. They usually won't come out for just a rim joist, but if they are there for the walls, they can easily do that at the same time.

If foam is beyond your budget, blown in cellulose may be an option. Let us know.

Here is some reading on air sealing as much of what needs to be done can be DIY.
http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf

Your timing is good as you have a lot of warm weather to get things done.

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 06-12-11, 09:33 AM
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If you have any active knob and tube wiring in your home, insularting inside the walls will not be possible.
 
  #6  
Old 06-12-11, 03:06 PM
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Thank you again, Bud! I will look for an installer of the foam insulation and see about an estimate... at the very least I will use the cellulous blown insulation in addition to the fan-fold. I appreciate the link to the document on air sealing! I'm learning so much!

Droop - thank you for the warning tip about the condition of the wiring. I had the house rewired in 2003 so that is good to go!

Elizabeth
 
  #7  
Old 06-12-11, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
If you have any active knob and tube wiring in your home, insularting inside the walls will not be possible.
Why would you say this? I have seen plenty of walls insulated with blown in cellulose insulation around know a tube wiring without any problems. IMO this would be the perfect time to do this with the old siding off.
 
  #8  
Old 06-12-11, 06:02 PM
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I say it because it is information that I have heard. I don't remember specifically the source so I poked around online to see what was out there. In 1987 the NEC forbid the installation of insulation over K&T. From what I read, the reasoning was that so many K&T systems have been improperly modified over the years to allow the circuits to carry more current than they were designed for. That provided a potential for overheating of the wiring. I also read that some states have overruled this part of the NEC because there has been no evidence of fire started by insulation in contact with K&T. However, those states mandate and inspection of the electrical system before they will allow insulation to be installed in contact with K&T. Here is an article reporting on the topic: Welcome To Home Energy Magazine Online
 
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Old 06-12-11, 06:38 PM
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The past and current NEC books I have (02 and up) make no reference to the 1987 code mentioned in the article. The artical is also 20 years old. However there two lines pretty much says it all:

"However, James O'Bannon, Chair of the Statewide Loosefill Insulation Task Force, performed an extensive survey of all the fires that took place in California over a ten-year period, and found none that were attributed to knob-and- tube wiring."

"As a result of these meetings, on February 15, 1991, they amended the State Electrical Code. The amended code allows insulation that envelops knob-and- tube conductors as long as (among other things) a licensed electrical contractor certifies that the wiring is in good condition, and an appropriately sized fuse that cannot be altered is installed."
 
  #10  
Old 06-12-11, 07:12 PM
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I believe it is section 324-4.
 
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