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Understanding Home Siding & Insulation Options

21 March 2020

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions addressed by calling or texting 651-989-9226.  Here’s the must-know information our COO, Andy Lindus, shared on 3.21.20.

Homeowners in need of new siding are wise to consider all of their options.  While foam backed vinyl siding can seem like an appealing option, other materials offer better durability and long-term satisfaction.  Seamless steel and LP® Smartside® prefinished in DiamondKote® win high marks for their aesthetics and iron-clad manufacturer warranties.  Furthermore, stainless steel siding and LP® SmartSide® are better suited for the extreme temperature fluctuations of the Midwest than vinyl products.


When it comes to heat loss within your home, the spot that’s most vulnerable is the home’s attic.  If you’re looking to make upgrades, seek out an expert that can offer to inspect and make upgrades to your attic’s insulation and ventilationAttic air sealing may also be necessary to get your attic to the minimum recommended R-50 for our climate.  Spray foam insulation used in tandem with cellulose often renders the best results.  Signs your contractor is an expert in insulation is if they are utilizing tools such as digital smoke sticks, infrared imaging, and moisture meters.  If needed, a blower door can be used to pressurize a home in a manner that will emphasize all of the air leaks within a home so that they can be identified and remedied.

Explore Blower Door Testing:

Homes with cathedral ceilings, particularly those that are a story and a half, can prove challenging to insulate because of their architecture.  The most notable issues are the lack of space to incorporate the correct levels of insulation and ventilation.  Therefore, it’s best practice to remove the preexisting roof including the roof deck.  From there, spray foam insulation can be added, or the dense packed cellulose insulation can be repacked.  After that, the sheathing can be put down, followed by polystyrene and then a metal roof.  While this creates a hot roof, the chance for air movement has been eliminated.  This, in turn, curtails the ability for ice dams to form on the roof.

hot roof

One sign that your attic needs attention is the walls in your home are cold to the touch.  This is evidence of the stack effect.   When exterior temperatures plummet, there becomes a difference in air pressure within the house and outdoors.  This causes cold air from the attic to be pulled down a home’s walls.  Air movement can then be felt around window trim and outlets.  This proves particularly problematic for homes with attic rodent issues, as air that is pulled downward can compromise a home’s air quality.

Browse Our Insulation & Ventilation Projects:

minneapolis metal roof

Jack’s Minneapolis Metal Roofing & Insulation Project

spray foam

River Falls, WI Insulation, Ventilation & Bath Fan Project

spray foam insulation

Gerald’s New Richmond, WI Insulation & Ventilation Project

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