Left to right: Dave Johnston (VSI), Tim Holt (Progressive Foam), James Galipeau (Chairman of D20)

The ASTM D20 Main Committee has jointly awarded Tim Holt and The Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) the Findley Award for their work on developing ASTM standard D7793 for insulated vinyl siding. ASTM D7793 was first published in July 2012, after a six-year period of development and balloting.

D7793 will help to insure that certain performance standards are met for a product to be considered insulated vinyl siding. Although there were previously standards for vinyl siding and EPS insulation, it soon became clear that additional coverage was needed for the performance characteristics unique to insulated vinyl siding as a combined product. Completion and publication of D7793 is key to establishing the technical credibility of insulated vinyl siding, and promoting its continued acceptance and growth in the marketplace.

The Findley Award has only been given three times previously, and is intended to recognize the use of ASTM standards to support innovative use of plastics. Tim officially received the award at the biannual ASTM meeting this month. ASTM committee D20, which selected Tim as the award recipient, oversees 475 standards on plastics and has approximately 700 members.

A big congratulations goes out to Tim on receiving this award for his time and effort dedicated to developing the new standard.

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iStock_000016980628SmallWhen new siding is installed on your home, it is important to add insulation under the siding at the same time (click here to learn why). Because the insulation is a small component of the entire job, you may not be paying attention to the details of the warranty. Warranties are designed to provide assurance to customers against faulty or defective products, and therefore are an important element of any new purchase.

There are many different types of insulation products available today. While most of these products have warranties that cover the same key characteristics, they don’t all provide the same level of coverage. You want to be sure that the insulation you choose will protect your home, and your investment, for years to come.

Here are some important aspects of an insulation warranty that you will want to be aware of:

MATERIAL COSTS VS. LABOR COSTS: If something goes wrong with a product, many manufacturers will only play to replace the faulty material, while you are left to cover all labor costs. Although not many manufacturers offer it, look for the products that cover the labor to correct any possible problems as well.

LENGTH OF COVERAGE: Typically, a warranty with a longer term will imply that the product is of better quality, or that the company is willing to stand behind their product longer. Many insulation manufacturers have warranties of 15 or 30 years, while some go as far as to cover the lifetime of the siding job.

TRANSFERABLE TO NEXT HOMEOWNER: If you aren’t planning on staying in your home for the entire length of coverage, a warranty can be an added bonus for a home buyer. However, some warranties expire when a home is sold. Make sure the warranty for your insulation transfers to a subsequent homeowner, and that you are aware of any paperwork that must be filed to do so.

TRACK RECORD: Doing a Google search or finding reviews on a company can tell you a lot about the track record of their products, and the strength of their warranty. Always make sure you are buying a product from a reputable manufacturer that will stand behind their product in the unlikely event that a problem occurs.

To learn more about the warranty offered by Progressive Foam, click here>

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InfoGraphic8 Source:

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Housewrap photo courtesy of the Building Science Corporation

Housewrap photo courtesy of the Building Science Corporation

You may be familiar with housewrap, a common component when building a new home or residing an existing one. Housewrap typically comes in rolls and is installed directly over the structural sheathing, underneath any new exterior insulation or siding added to the wall. If you’re considering building a home or buying new siding, you may be wondering if housewrap is necessary for you. Let’s first take a closer look at what housewrap is and the purpose it serves.

What is House Wrap?

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), house wrap is one type of weather resistive barrier (WRB) that is placed over the structural sheathing.

Housewraps protect the wall system from bulk water, such as rain, on the exterior of the home. At the same time, housewraps allow water vapor that is generated within the home to pass through, instead of trapping it in the wall and potentially causing mold and mildew problems.

How Do Housewraps Work?

It may be hard to believe that housewraps are able to keep out liquid water while simultaneously allowing water vapor to pass through. When water molecules are in their liquid from, they group together and actually act as larger molecules. When water is in vapor form, it is actually individual water molecules. The tiny holes in housewrap are large enough to let the vapor molecules pass through, while at the same time blocking the larger grouped molecules.

When properly sealed, some manufacturers claim that their housewraps also reduce air infiltration, which can help save energy and improve the indoor comfort level of a home.

Do I Need a Housewrap?

Installing housewrap on a new home or new siding job has become a customary practice for many builders and remodelers. At Progressive Foam, we recommend the use of a housewrap under any of our siding insulation products as a best practice, although not all exterior replacements or local codes require them. If a need for housewrap is present, using Progressive Foam insulation does not eliminate that requirement. However, because every home situation is different, your local siding installation professional is the best resource for a recommendation that is customized for your home.

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smallMost people in the remodeling or building industry can tell you their own personal horror story about termites. Termites destroy wood in foundations, walls, and roofs of houses, and treating them and the damage they leave behind can be an expensive and difficult task. Most people aren’t aware of the damage caused by termites until it is too late to eliminate them.

Since the introduction of Fullback®V Siding Insulation for vinyl siding, we have incorporated a termite inhibitor in our insulating foam for several reasons:

1.) We know that a termite will tunnel through ordinary foam insulation for shelter.

2.) The foam conceals the insects, leaving them undetected so they can have easy access to the wooden parts of the home structure.

3.) The tunnels that termites leave behind damage the insulating value of the foam, and termite excretions compromise the strength of the foam.

As you can see, the insulation treated with PreventolTM sustained the least damage from termites during testing.

As you can see, the insulation treated with PreventolTM sustained the least damage from termites during testing.

In 2008, we began using a different brand of termite inhibitor called Preventol®TM EPS, which we believe is a superior product for the war on termites.  Preventol® TM EPS is not a repellant, but a systemic insecticide which protects the foam from termite damage. In testing, Preventol®TM EPS outperformed all other similar or related products by a wide margin.

Preventol® TM is used at very low concentrations, which have been shown to be safe for installers and homeowners. The active ingredient in Preventol® TM is also commonly used for crop protection as well as in collars and topical treatments for flea and tick control on pets, and at much higher concentrations than what is present in our products.

Every product we make at Progressive Foam contains this termite inhibitor, so you can rest assured that your insulation will not become a home to thousands of unwanted guests.


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Table 1In our previous blog post Can Siding Insulation Be Recycled? we explained that products made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) can be recycled rather than thrown in the landfill after their life. The EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) recently published a report showing that over 93 million pounds of EPS were recycled during the 2012 calendar year.

For the full report from EPS-IA, click here>

Prior to 1988, there was essentially no recovery of post-consumer polystyrene for recycling. Although the availability of recycling programs today varies by community, in 2012 more than 36.7 million pounds of post-consumer polystyrene was recycled.

There are two types of EPS material outlined in the report, post-commercial and post industrial:

  • Post commercial= Any material that is recycled after its intended end use. Ex: Old siding insulation that is removed from a home during a remodel and returned for recycling.
  • Post-industrial= EPS manufacturing facility scrap that is recycled but never served its intended end use. Ex: scrap from the manufacturing process that is then recycled at the same facility.

Figure 2

EPS post consumer recycling represents 50% of all post-use polystyrene recycled in the US, and is one of the highest among the plastics family.

To find out of EPS recycling is available in your area, visit the EPS-IA website at For consumers that do not have access to a local drop-off center, the EPS-IA sponsors a National Take-Back Program intended for smaller quantities of EPS, which can be mailed via U.S. Postal Service or UPS to more than thirty locations nationwide. Full instructions and a list of Take-Back locations are available on the EPS-IA website.

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ASTM International, a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards, has recently published ASTM D7793-12 Standard Specification for Insulated Vinyl Siding. This comes after years of hard work by the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI), Progressive Foam, and others.

You may wonder, “why do we need standards?” Today, over 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to protect consumers, assuring that products have been thoroughly evaluated for safety, quality, functionality, and value. Establishing a standard for insulated vinyl siding is a huge step towards maintaining a high performance level for insulated vinyl siding products and protecting the consumers that purchase them.

What is the Insulated Vinyl Siding Standard?

The industry standard for insulated vinyl siding performance is ASTM D7793. Products in this category must meet all the requirements of the standard, which is accompanied by ongoing quality control. Any changes made to the standard must go through a group consensus.

What is the VSI Certified Insulated Vinyl Siding Program?

Insulated vinyl siding products that bear the Vinyl Siding Institute’s (VSI) Certified Insulated Vinyl Siding Label have been independently certified by a third-party, accredited quality control agency to meet or exceed ASTM D7793. All insulated vinyl siding certified through the VSI Product Certification Program also:

  • Demonstrate a minimum thermal resistance, or R-value, of at least R-2.0, as verified by an independent quality control agency.
  • Withstand the impacts of recommended installation procedures
  • Lie straight on a flat wall and does not buckle under normal conditions
  • Weather the effects of sunshine, rain and heavy winds of at least 110mph
  • Meet manufacturers’ advertised specifications for length, width, thickness and gloss.
  • Can be certified for color retention, as long as it meets or exceeds ASTM D7793
  • Can be identified by a VSI Program logo or label that includes the words “INSULATED VINYL SIDING”

For additional questions on the new insulated vinyl siding standard, please contact our customer service team at 330-756-3200.


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Updated LCA Report Proves Vinyl Siding Is Still One of the Most
Environmentally-Friendly Siding Products

A recent life cycle assessment (LCA) released by the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) confirms that vinyl still ranks as one of the most environmentally friendly exterior claddings.

The full LCA report (found here), extensively covers the impact that siding products have on the environment, including global warming potential, criteria air pollutants, ecological toxicity and so much more. The siding products included in the report are fiber cement, brick, stucco, EIFS, cedar siding, insulated vinyl siding and vinyl siding.

If you’re like us, you need data to back up the claim that vinyl is still one of the most environmentally friendly siding products available. Since you probably don’t have time to read through the full report, below are some of the key points from the LCA that combat some misconceptions about vinyl.


As illustrated in Figure 1.4 below, approximately five times more energy is required to manufacture brick and mortar than vinyl siding or insulated siding. The manufacture of fiber cement siding requires almost twice as much energy than the manufacture of vinyl siding and nearly one and a half times more energy than insulated siding.

embodied energy


Vinyl siding has excellent environmental performance when compared to other exterior
cladding options. The chart in Figure 1.1 was produced using BEES software and shows
overall environmental impact by life cycle stage.

Brick has nearly five times the environmental impact of vinyl siding and nearly four times the impact of insulated siding. Fiber cement has nearly three times the environmental impact of vinyl siding and more than double the environmental impact of insulated siding.

enviro performance


Ecological toxicity measures the potential of a chemical released into the environment to harm terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Compared to many other siding options, vinyl siding is responsible for the emission of significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals, including mercury and silver, into the environment. This is clearly illustrated in Figure 1.7. Vinyl siding and insulated siding have very low ecological toxicity impacts. Fiber cement has approximately 10 times the ecological toxicity impact of vinyl siding and insulated siding while brick has more than five times the ecological toxicity.

ecological tox

For more information, visit the website of the Vinyl Siding Institute here>

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