Can I add some insulation under new vinyl siding?

Answered by Brett ~ January 24, 2012 ~ Comments

I have a 100 year old house in Nova Scotia and want to replace the old wood siding with vinyl siding. If I add a layer of styrofoam insulation under the new vinyl siding, will this cause mold issues?

Norm Trainer ~ Kamloops, BC, Canada

Brett Kulina

Norm, installing a sealed layer of rigid foam insulation under your new vinyl siding is a fine idea, because not only can you increase the energy efficiency of your home, but the rigid sheets of insulation also provide a underlying flat surface for the new vinyl panels. In order for the rigid insulation to be most effective, all the seams will need to be taped and all penetrations should be sealed with an exterior grade caulking. Keep in mind that not all rigid insulation is installed the same way, so it is important that you chose an installation method that is approved by the manufacturer of both the insulation and your new vinyl siding. With the harsh winter weather in Nova Scotia, it is important that you select a quality vinyl siding that can withstand strong winds and extreme temperatures. Some siding manufacturers, such as Certainteed, offer vinyl siding panels that are insulated with a foam backing. This upgrade improves the R-Value of the vinyl siding, and can increase the product's durability and life span.

If your old house does not have any wall insulation or a reliable vapor barrier, then you may also want to consider upgrading these portions of your home as well. Remember, a well insulated house can save you money by reducing your overall energy usage and can improve the level of comfort for those inside the house. Good luck with your remodeling project!

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