Gap behind house siding

outermarkerMay 8, 2010

Hello, we recently purchased a home just north of Atlanta that is about 15 years old. The home had the foam around the foundation which the previous owner removed because of the possible termite issues. I noticed today that due to the removal of the foam, I can put my fingers up underneath the siding pretty far in some places. I think this might be a reason why we have so many bugs in the house. I was planning on using expanding foam and then topping it off with caulking to waterproof it a little. But I was wondering, is it better to just stop at the foam? Does the house need the foam behind the siding to "breath" or get rid of moisture? Or any other suggestions on what I should do with this gap? Thanks for your help!

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brickeyee

What kind of siding?

What else is under the siding?

Siding is not waterproof by itself, but there should be another layer of something (possibly even tar paper) that is the actual drainage plane behind the siding.

If you seal the bottom of the siding any water that penetrates will not be able to drain.
This can result in damage to the siding itself (if it is wood) or the structure (if the water gets past the drainage plane and into the framing).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 12:40PM
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energy_rater_la

Like brickeye asked..whats behind the siding?
is the siding vinyl?

Houses don't need to 'breathe', most are not tight
enough. Very few achieve a level of tightness that
is problematic for the homeowner. When a house does
achieve this low air change exchange rate, fresh air
can be added as long as it is filtered and dehumidified
before entering the house.

In our location (hot humid climate) houses dry to
the interior, foam behind siding is actually a good
thing as it will stop air flow (if installed properly)
and provide a thermal break at the studs.

But foam next to the ground is a termite interstate.
(got that from Joe @ building science.)

best of luck.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 10:21PM
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jamesmrosas

I think that the house should not be too tight so that it will have a good ventilation.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 3:09PM
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