Home Maintenance – Extend The Life Of Your Siding

All to often vegetation too close to the home is the reason for dry rot and siding damage. The sad part is this is totally avoidable and almost always happens due to either neglect, misinformation or the belief that your landscaper is taking care of it. In homes with wood siding, trim, or overhangs, this always turns up on home inspection reports.
So where do I start?
Start Simple: check to make sure that all sprinkler heads are at least 18″ from the structure and that the sprayers are pointed away from the home. Make sure that all plants are at least 6″ away from wood siding. Remember moisture is woods worst enemy and the more your siding can breath the dryer it will stay. Make sure that all of your gutters & down spouts are working correctly, effective rain water directing can make a huge difference in only a 10 year period.
Go a Step Farther: Check to see that any brick veneer has all edges caulked so no water can get behind. IVY IS BAD. if you have ivy growing on your home and it is a wood frame structure, you need to cut it down. The feelers from the ivy break through the cracks in the weak mortar of brick veneer and delivers moisture to the wood framing year round. Ivy follows the sun upwards and works its way into roof sheathing and eventually roof composition. If you have an entire brick or stone building ivy can not hurt you until it reaches the roof line, the ivy should always be kept off of the overhang.
Keep It Off The Ground! Wood siding and mudsills need to be a minimum of 6″ above grade when dirt and 2″ above grade when concrete. If you do not have this clearance then you need to dig down the soil grade to achieve this. After lowering the grade it needs to have a grade away from the home of 2″ down for 18″ out. if you don’t have this clearance on concrete, your options may be limited. the first step is to locate the hight of the mudsill. if the mudsill is 3″ off grade or more, then you can just cut the siding 2″ off the concrete and still maintain a good siding overlap. if the mud sill is lower than 3″ then the best bet is to cut the siding up 1/4″- 3/8″ off of the concrete grade with an undercut saw. clean out new gap at bottom of siding and fill with Sikaflex premium waterproof caulking.
Keep It Painted! A good coat of primer and paint every few years isn’t just to keep up with the jones’, it’s also to keep up to date the proper protections against sun and rain.

See also  Nine Basic Home Maintenance Tips Guide