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 Post subject: vinyl windows/siding compatability
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 2:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:39 pm
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I know this isn't a siding forum, but I know most contractors have their hands in both. I'm in Minnesota, and with the large temp variations and periodic hail storms, I'm hesitant to use aluminum or vinyl siding on the house (ranch), and am thinking of going with steel---any comments or thoughts on siding selection? (I'll be doing the soffits and everything)

Are there inherent reasons to use or avoid certain combinations of windows/siding? (materials wise).


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
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Location: Illinois
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Johnb

Aluminum should not even be an option for siding in your area. If your concern is hail or dents from rock launching lawnmowers or children, steel may not be the best either. A few years back a contracted a vinyl-coated steel siding job for a retirement housing facility. Although it is much stronger than aluminum, I can assure you.. it dents. The landscapers alone did a number on it. Ever heard the expression, "If you can't beat em'... join em'"? Just like Oak trees or skyscrapers move with the wind, a good quality vinyl sidiing will move and flex with projectile impacts without cracking or chipping as It is a color-through product. You will also get a much more natural look, greater color options, more matching accessories... and the best part, a lower price than steel siding without the heat retention in the summer months. Personally and professionally... I would recommend looking at Alcoa's higher end products. The Grand Sierra line would be an excellent choice (.046 thickness). If you want even more protection, look into Fiber Cement Siding from James Hardie Siding products. No real conflicts between siding and window products if installed properly. Good Luck.

Fenex


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:57 am
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Location: ne ohio
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john, been out of the siding business for a few years now but i can assure you not to put up steel. like fenex said a vinyl with a thickness of at least .046 will do you much better. vinyl is final.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:22 pm
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Location: Peoria, IL
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We have that Alcoa line, and I can assure you it is excellant!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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For extremely cold climates, I'd go with a foam backed vinyl panel such as are offered by Crane, Norandex, or several others. The glue-attached foam keeps the siding from much of it's expansion/contraction, and during the sub-zero months it will hold up to breaking better than hollow backed panels. This type of siding also affords the opportunity to go with lap styles such as 6" because the panel is solid. Here is a photo of Norandex double 6" vinyl siding with Schuco 4000 windows.
Image


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 Post subject: reply
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
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Location: Illinois
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Although an insulated vinyl siding product can offer some advantages in more extreme climates, there are better ways to increase the R-values of a wall in most cases. Continuous and parallel thermal (insulation) and pressure (air barrier) boundaries are by far the most effective way to go.

If those alternative measures are not feasible then a good siding suggestion might be the Alcoa Structure insulated vinyl. Structure is backed with Dow polypropylene foam as opposed to the polystyrene (EPS) used by both Norandex and Crane. The polypropylene is 30% more impact resistant, has a higher R-value, and an extremely low moisture absorbtion rate. EPS has a perm rate of 5.0+ and will absorb moisture which can destroy it's structural integrity during freeze-thaw cycles. In addition, when it is does absorb moisture even in the form of water vapor it loses over 60% of it's R-value while the Dow Polypropylene retains 97% of it's R-value.

I would still recommend addressing the wall itself first... before any siding.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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Yes, the blue dow foam does have a slightly higher r-factor and the composition of EPS is less tightly bonded.
The main decision not to use polypropylene by these other manufactures has to do with the inability of the polypropylene foam to breathe and dissipate the water that gets behind the panel. The EPS breathes and lets the water escape.

Each manufacturer, as in windows, has their own sales pitch and data to show that their products are the best. Which one to go with and believe is sometimes a hard decision. I was burned in the past by Alcoa on their Lake Forest siding when it first came out, so I will reserve judgement on this product until I see it up for many years. I am skeptical of them or quite frankly anyone else until I see many years of in the field results. I try my best through my experiences with siding in both the extreme arctic where I was in charge of installing windows and siding on entire Eskimo and Aleut villages, to my experiences with siding in the tropics, to pick out products I think will best serve my customers.
That's all anyone can do with new products until they are time-tested. All the sales pitches in the world won't change that fact.


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
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Location: Illinois
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Window4u

Quote, "The main decision not to use polypropylene by these other manufactures has to do with the inability of the polypropylene foam to breathe and dissipate the water that gets behind the panel. The EPS breathes and lets the water escape."

Every other vinyl siding panel on the market would have the same airflow behind it... they just wouldn't absorb it's moisture and lose R-value in the process. Airflow is NOT the solution to moisture... as a matter of fact, it's the primary carrier. If you are referring to infiltrating or exfiltrating moisture in the form of water vapor that affects a wall cavity or a structure, that needs to be addressed on the immediate inside and outside of that cavity.

A properly installed masonry or siding "Shell" is only a secondary defense against bulk water or the elements as it is not sealed to the primary... it floats. The ONLY reason for a secondary barrier to "Breathe" is to sustain it's own life expectancy "if" it absorbs moisture... not the wall's of a home.

I don't follow manufacturer's sales pitches... I apply proven, "modern" building sciences in my decisions and suggestions. Alcoa and Dow are two of the most proven product manufacturers in existance... but maybe lessor known to Eskimos with limited resources.

Fenex


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:23 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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I have to go with FenX on this one. No disrespect to W4U in any way. The Alcoa Structure product is very good as far as I can tell. I haven't seen any delamination of the product or failure so far. I've always hated that bead board (EPS) white garbage any way. It's a constant mess and those tiny snowballs are always flying around every where. I also feel the Dow Foam will be more forgiving under pressure. It will stay together and not break down. The EPS on the other hand will break down and fall into those little beads. Example: I was on a job site watching some kids throw rocks at a piece of the EPS backed vinyl they had vertically stuck in the ground. Each time a rock would hit the vinyl side a piece of the EPS would pop off the other side. They thought this was funny. Kind of made me go Hmmmmmmmmm! Just my two cents!!


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 Post subject: Re: Reply
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:56 pm 
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Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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FenEx wrote:
Every other vinyl siding panel on the market would have the same airflow behind it... they just wouldn't absorb it's moisture and lose R-value in the process. Airflow is NOT the solution to moisture... as a matter of fact, it's the primary carrier. If you are referring to infiltrating or exfiltrating moisture in the form of water vapor that affects a wall cavity or a structure, that needs to be addressed on the immediate inside and outside of that cavity.
Fenex


You are missing my point. I am not speaking of air flow carrying water vapor behind these type products, because there is no air flow. They are up tight to the vapor barrier just like a piece of glass on a coffee table. Water is the issue I am trying to address in my concerns.
Let me go back for just a moment to my work in Alaska working for NPRHA through HUD to explain what I have seen to make me have concerns.

The first year I went to a village, siding had already been done the previous two years with "modern" building methods. What we found upon arriving was beyond belief. Siding that had been done 6 months before was laying in piles on the ground from the galvanized nails rusting off. On slightly older year and a half old jobs, T-111 siding behind sheathing-taped Tyvek had completely rotted away in places and much of the "protected" T-111 siding was nearly at maximum readings for moisture content when checked with a Protimeter. Even every staple that originally held on the Tyvek was gone. We were working very closely with NPRHA and HUD after these failures to come up with new procedures to waterproof, flash, and hang these products successfully in wet extreme environments. This particular village I worked in receives about 200 inches of annual rainfall. Just one 4-unit building sustained $250,000 in damage, so there was no messing around with the procedures we were told to use. These procedures the engineers came up with I still largely use today. I even believe engineers at NPRHA were the original people who came up with the idea to use bituthane strips to flash window nailing fins. We used it much more than just around the windows on these buildings. It was several years later that I saw the first use of this type of window wrap being used on new construction in the lower 48.
One instance that changed my view of vinyl siding forever was a rainy day my first year there. 50+ mph winds had driven the rain through the vinyl siding, up the wall, past the soffit channel, and into the attic where it ruined the ceilings below. After ruling out a roof leak, we took the siding off to investigate what the cause might have been. I was shocked to see just how wet walls can get behind vinyl siding even out in the middle of a wall.

Even in more moderate climates, the vinyl J-channel around windows and doors funnels the water straight down the sides where it then ends up behind the siding. If anyone thinks all the wall area behind vinyl siding stays dry, they are mistaken.
OK, back to my expanation of my concerns about the dow foam.
The blue foam is overlapped in a ship-lap fashion when installed, leaving virtually no way for drainage I can see, except straight down and out the bottom. With two slick surfaces tightly together (the vapor barrier and the blue foam), water tension will surely hold the rainwater from quickly draining. I would suspect that water could stay trapped for days if not weeks.
When homes are wrapped in a home wrap, there are many weak spots in most installations, such as around windows, doors, electrical outlets, dryer vents, as well as the thousands and thousands of nail holes created by the installation of the product. Traditional vinyl siding has been designed to get this water away from the home wrap and through drain holes as fast as possible to minimize the chance of water breaching this barrier.

This is my only concern with this blue foam backed siding. It's inablilty to get water out from behind the siding as soon as possible before it starts to cause water infiltration problems around nails, staples, and areas with improperly installed wrap and flashing.

This is my opinion that I am entitled to the same as if someone won't use a certain window for a particular reason.
Everyone else..... feel free to use and sell it all you want.

That's all I have to say on siding. Now... back to talking about windows.


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