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How Your Home Exterior Affects Overall House Health

Posted by Rachel Karl

Jan 13, 2015


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The health of your home and your family is likely one of your top priorities. There is an unfortunate tendency for many homeowners to think that the only way to improve the health of a home is to improve internal systems or to clean it internally. This isn’t the only way to increase the health of your home. Improvements to your house’s exterior can greatly affect its overall health.

The way your bay area home is built creates an “envelope” around you. This envelope includes the foundation and floor systems, exterior and interior walls as well as the roof system. If any part of this envelope is infiltrated by water, termites, mold or anything else, it compromises the health of your home.

Your home envelope consists of layers. Each layer is used to protect you and your family from weather, mold, dry rot, and more. These layers are:


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The most obvious part of your roof are the visible shingles on its exterior. Less obvious are the roof vents which help circulate the air of your home and keep moisture from building up.

Also below your shingles is an underlayment to add additional water protection. Beneath that is another wooden underlayment, then your roof’s structural beams. Your attic is actually part of the roof system, providing more ventilation as well as insulation.

This entire system works to help increase the health of those living in the home and to keep the space as energy efficient as possible.

Exterior-facing Walls

There are two obvious sides of the walls which hold up your home. That is the drywall on the interior and the siding or stucco on the exterior. There is quite a bit of area in between which allows your walls to breath and prevents moisture build up.PSC Jan Blog2 3 resized 600

From the exterior to the interior, a wall can consist of:

  • Siding
  • A barrier called a sheathing membrane
  • Insulation
  • Metal wall studs with more insulation between the studs
  • Another barrier
  • Finally, your drywall

Wall insulation is created to help keep internal temperatures the way you would like them - but it is also there to stop any moisture penetration. When it comes to your walls, your first defense against the weather is your siding.


Your foundation is often below ground, which means it rests in damp soil and has to contend with water always trying to seep in. The way the foundation is set up really depends on the type of ground your home is resting on. However, there is generally some type of insulation, a solid footing, more protective membrane, and a foundation wall or other support that lifts the floor away from direct contact with soil. This air pocket prevents groundwater, rain, and other moisture from flooding your home directly.

The entire home envelope is there to help keep your home temperature controlled and free of moisture build up. It is important that each part of this envelope is checked regularly and repaired or replaced as needed. Your siding is not just a beautiful accent to your home - it is an essential part of your home’s overall health.

We really do love hearing from you. Leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. We'll be so thrilled that we'll even answer. 

Steven and Petalyn Albert

S.E.A. & Peninsula Siding

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