Air Flow is more important then you think when it comes to wood siding!
Recently I was called to a home that had siding that had some problems. The pre-painted wood siding was curling, cupping, splitting and the knots were starting to bleed through the paint.
I was shocked when the homeowner told me that the siding was only 2 years old, I had assumed that it was 10 plus years old and the damage caused to the siding was from years of weather and the southern exposure to the sun.
How could siding that is put on so many new homes start to fail so quickly on this home?
What I discovered was that there wasn't enough space at the top and the bottom of the siding to allow air to pass through it to allow the siding to breath.
That's right wood siding needs to breath.
Wood is a natural product and like every natural product there are certain things you have to do to make sure that it will last as long as it can. One of the main things that you have to do is provide proper air flow.
How do you accomplish this with wood siding that is nailed to a house wall?
Every manufacturer of wood siding will send out an installation manual with the product, your siding installer will need to at the least give it a glance. Why does a professional need to read the manual on siding that they have probably installed hundreds of times? Because every siding manufacturer has a slightly different installation method and has slightly different products to accomplish it. If your installer doesn't complete the installation exactly how the manufacturer states then you could be risking your warranty.
The reason for the exact way they require you to install the siding is to make sure that the siding lasts as long as it should.
On this particular job the installer had installed the siding without leaving enough space (they actually left no space at all) at the bottom and at the top to allow air to pass in behind the siding. To achieve this you have to leave a minimum of 1/2 of an inch gap at the bottom and also 1/2 an inch at the top. There are special flashing's that are supplied with the siding from the manufacturer to help achieve this, these flashing's limit any water, rodent or bugs from entering these gaps while letting the air to pass through as freely as possible.
These area's require special attention as they are the biggest difference between all the siding manufacturer's. Each manufacturer supplies different flashing's and a different installation method because of said flashing's.
These flashing's and the time it takes to install them usually make the difference in sub-trades prices. The sub-trade doing the installation the right way should be charging you more because they are taking the time to do it right, the one with the rock bottom prices is usually doing things as fast as possible with little regard to what is required for the warranty.
Something as simple as air-flow could destroy your expensive siding.
Hire a professional and get it done right the first time.
Great Lakes Custom Homes Inc.