February 1997 Edition

Insulation Below Grade?

We read the November ‘96 Home Tips about the “Dryvit Below Grade” and we also are having a problem obtaining a termite letter. What can we do to solve the problem?
The solution is very simple: just get rid of the problem by removing the insulated sheathing.
If you have synthetic stucco below grade, we recommend you hire a professional to remove the portion that extends into the ground. They will terminate the material 6” above grade and finish the bottom edge. All you have to do is paint the concrete below the stucco the same color.
If you have perimeter slab insulation, you can correct the problem without hiring a professional.


The concrete parging is a coat of masonry that covers and protects the insulation. A hammer works well in breaking and removing the material. Be sure to wear eye protection.
The insulated sheathing is probably glued to the concrete. Cut a straight line through the insulation along the bottom lip of the siding. Use the claw of the hammer to break away as much of the insulation as possible. Take a putty knife and scrape away the rest.
Clean the concrete as well as possible removing any loose particles and dirt. Do not apply anything over the concrete such as stone or siding. The key is to force the termites to build tunnels on the outside of the wall surface where they can be readily identified. When finished, paint the concrete to match the exterior siding.

Vinyl Siding Option?

The wood siding on our 70 year old house needs painting again. I have mentioned to my husband that vinyl siding might be a better alternative. He tells me that the siding will not last more than 10 to 15 years. If I prevail in this decision and the vinyl performs poorly, I will never hear the end of it. I need your advice. Would you install vinyl siding?
If you take time to select a high-quality vinyl siding, you will have peace and quiet for a very long time. Vinyl siding has come a long way in a very short period of time. It is a great product.

Vinyl Sising

Vinyl siding, when installed with 1/2” insulation board, can actually help insulate your house. This could produce up to 11% savings annually on your heating bills. You will actually recapture part of the installation cost.
The magical performance characteristics of vinyl siding are based in its formulation. All vinyl sidings are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins. Flexible acrylic resins are often added to make sure the siding doesn’t become brittle. Vinyl siding exposed to cold weather, hailstorms or baseballs, needs this flexibility.
Ultraviolet (UV) light will break down vinyl siding. Without adequate protection, low-quality vinyl siding will suffer from severe chalking and faded color. Virtually every kind of vinyl siding has UV inhibitors, but some have more than others. At least one manufacturer has gone a step further, adding an additional layer of sunscreen UV protection on the surface of the vinyl.
Vinyl siding comes in many different colors, exposures and textures. Vinyl manufacturers have gone to great lenghts to recreate period accent pieces such as columns, fancy cut shakes and dental moldings. Practically all the wood trim on your house can be wrapped with vinyl to make it maintenance free.
Send for Builder Bulletin No. 95 listing other facts and figures concerning vinyl siding, energy and paint savings comparison tables, manufacturers and associations. Send $2.00 and your name and address to Tim Carter, P.O. Box 36352, Cincinnati, OH 45236-0352. You can obtain a free order form for a wide variety of individual job bid sheets and other available Builder Bulletins by sending a business sized SASE to the same address. Call Tim toll-free 10:00 a.m. to noon Saturdays at (800) 606-1160.

Source: Tim Carter, The Detroit News,  Internet address:  http://detnews.com/menu/stories/24174.htm





1. Minor Kitchen Remodel (new sink, countertops, paint, flooring, oven, reface cabinets)
2. Bathroom Addition (6’x8’ bath in existing home, including ceramic tile, lighting and plumbing fixtures)
3. Two-Story Addition (16’x24’ with family room, bedroom, full bath and fireplace)
4. Major Kitchen Remodel (new cabinets, countertops, sink, flooring and appliances)
5. Family Room Addition (16’x25’ with atrium doors, skylights, windows and wood flooring)
6. Master Suite (16’x24’ bedroom with walk-in closet, bathroom with whirlpool tub)
7. Attic Bedroom (convert unfinished attic including 5’x7’ bath, dormer, windows)
8. Bathroom Remodel (new tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting)
9. Deck Addition (16’x20’ treated pine with bench, railings and planter)
10. Replace Windows (replace ten 3’x5’ windows including trim)
11. Replace Siding (1250 s.f. of new aluminum or vinyl siding)
12. Home Office (convert 12’x12’ room including custom cabinets, desk, new wiring, carpet)

Source: “Remodeling Magazine” Oct. ‘96

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote of the Month

“Far away, there in the sunshine, are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”
- Louisa May Alcott

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Jim Collier
Re/Max Center
Suwanee, Georgia

**** Thank You****