Remodeling Tips and Reviews

Properly installing wood Siding over Tyvek and other barriers

Properly installing wood Siding over Tyvek and other barriers

Sep 21, 2010

Installing siding seems like a pretty simple project. It is usually just a matter of nailing it up level and making sure the lapping and cuts are all square and properly spaced. This would be a naive perspective to assume when installing wood siding on a new home.  With the advent of wrapping houses in Tyvek and similar products builders have done a great job of keeping water and moisture out of homes. Normally if siding is installed on this type of newer home the choice is a fiber cement siding type board that is impervious to water and insects. But on some occasions wood is preferred for its look or characteristics. This is where a poorly trained installer can really destroy a home.

We are replacing the wood double tear drop ( #117) siding on a large 3500 sf two story home that was built in 2001. Not only was the siding poorly installed the first time, the builder came back in 2006 and did it again. Both times they installed the wood incorrectly and the result has been large scale dry rot. How does dry rot occur you might wonder? Simply put if wood is allowed to get wet repeatedly and more or less soaks in water it will rot over time because of fungi that feed off of it. It must be allowed to move water off of it quickly or else this is liable to happen anywhere. You would think siding would be the last place water would accumulate, you would be wrong.

Siding by its very nature is susceptible to dry rot because water can be driven behind it during a productive rain storm. If there are not furring strips behind it to allow for the flow of water and air then the water can easily accumulate between the Tyvek and the wood. The wood must also be primed on all 6 sides to prevent water from seeping in it. These 2 facets of installing wood siding can make the difference between a successful install and one riddled with problems.

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