My house has plywood siding. It's that reverse board and batten look
stuff in 4x8 sheets. One of the problems it has is that on an
addition it was run all the way down to the ground. Unsurprisingly,
the siding wicked water over the years and is rotting and falling
apart along the ground line.
I've dug out the dirt and cleared away the foundation in these areas.
Now I need to repair it. I could replace every siding panel, but that
would be a lot of work and expense. What I was thinking instead was
to cut off the bottom 12" of the siding with my circ saw. Then stick
some z-flashing up there, nail it in through the siding panels, and
then stick a piece of 5/8" 1x12 hardiboard (or equivalent) under the
Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Should I be caulking any of
these joints? I was thinking it at least makes sense to try and caulk
along the back bottom of the hardiboard where it meets the slab so
that space is as closed up as possible. This way I replace the rotten
stuff, and put back in place something that won't rot.
Thanks for considering my plan.
Oh, to cut the siding off I figured I'd nail a 2x4 to the wall to act
as a guide for my circ saw. Other ideas welcome.
On May 7, 4:50 pm, email@example.com wrote:
I had the same problem. A builder cut the bottom 2' off as you are
describing. He then installed metal drip, like they install over
window and then cut pieces of siding to fit below. It looks good and
is working out great. Good luck, let me know if you would like me to
send you a picture of the repair.
Just about. The siding overlaps the foundation by just a tiny bit,
but the sill plate is probably only a quarter-inch higher. So yes,
there may be some framing issues. If there are I'll deal with them
once I can see them.
No idea if code permitted it. I'm in Urbana, IL. Part of the problem
is that the addition was built on an old carport slab. The slab was
not elevated like the house's foundation, but they didn't do anything
to build it up. It's idiotic to say the least
Another question: for the z-flashing, should it be a 5/8" deep z-
flashing, like the siding? Or does it need to be a little deeper so
it hangs out a little bit?
On May 7, 3:50 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
No, you need to rethink your plan. Hardiboard wicks water also and
cannot be installed within 4" of ground or any horizontal surface.
Think PVC lumber instead. But there again PVC is 3/4" and your
existing paneling is probably narrower than that. As far as I can
find they do not make z-flashing to fit over 3/4" boards so you will
have to find someone with a metal brake to custom bend you some z-
Interesting. I didn't realize hardiboard would wick water. There's
no way I can get 4" above the ground with anything unless I dig out
half my backyard (right now there are areas where it's about 1" at
I had considered PVC but didn't find any that was 5/8" as you
suspected. If I went with 3/4" PVC could I just caulk where it meets
the siding instead of using a flashing? Also, I presume the
hardiboard would last a lot longer than the plywood siding did, right?
My sympathies. When I was house-shopping a few years back, I had to pass
on an otherwise-interesting house because it had one corner like that,
where Previous Owner had graded one corner of yard higher than the
siding, and there was obvious water intrusion inside. Life is too short,
etc. Drove by there six months later, and the folks that bought it had
trenched the back yard, and put a retaining wall several feet back from
the wall, to expose a few inches of foundation and dry things out.
Still looked awful dicey in case of heavy rain, but at least it was dry
most of the time.
About the only suggestion I can offer, short of removing the bottom 2
feet of the framed wall and replacing with concrete block, is to remove
the lower foot of siding, replace with as thick a flashing material as
you can find, sealed to the slab in some manner. Not a correct fix, and
it will leak when the seal fails, but better than having wet wood. Or
trench the area and put in a retaining wall. put in a drain to a low
spot, fill trench with gravel, and dress it up with some potted shrubs.
So you mean to remove the lower 12" of siding, then put in some kind
of metal that is 12" tall, bonded to the foundation, then to cover it
with new siding?
I just looked it up and Azek makes a 5/8" trim piece as wide as wide
as 15" so that may be my best option for a replacement.
I wouldn't cover the metal with anything but paint, assuming you can get
paint to stick to it. If you do, you are back to wicking water. They
sell flashing in colors, hopefully they have one that will look
tolerable with the color scheme of your house. Not at all sure how you
would get anything close to a water-tight durable bond with the
foundation edge- Steve Bell has a whole lot more recent hands-on
experience with the various goops out there. I would assume lay down a
bead of waterproof construction adhesive or roofing tar, and press the
lower edge of the flashing onto that, and then stake it with metal
stakes to hold it tight against the foundation. Don't put any nail holes
in the exposed part of the flashing- nail the top edge through the 'new'
bottom edge of the siding where you cut it off, or through any trim
board you add (with Z-flashing between the trim and siding, of course.)
Idea is to not have any cracks that gravity or wind will drive water
into. You may or may not want to dress up the bottom edge of the siding
with a trim board- only you can judge what looks right. Just make it so
at least six inches of flashing shows above the dirt.
If and when I get around to reskinning my deck, the method above is what
I plan to do with the part of the siding that Idiot Previous Owner
nailed the ledger boards directly to. Gee, wonder why it rotted out.
I'll cut the siding straight across, seal the cut edge, shove flashing
up under there as far as I can, and run it down below sill plate level.
I'll lag-bolt the new ledger boards into the joist ends through the
flashing, using some sort of water-resistant standoff bushing that I
have yet to find or invent (maybe drill out some hockey pucks or
something). That should give me a good path for water on the deck to
drain, and leave wall dry.
Everything wicks water, including brick and concrete. Some substances
just wick it better. ;-)
Code here requires six inches of exposed foundation between the soil
and the siding to fight water wicking and make termite infestations
Yes, it will work. You just need to create that gap above the water area.
The same fellows who vinyl sided my house did a 'patch job' down the street
much like this. They did it with a contrasting vinyl and matched the upper
trim work discretely to it and it looks very very nice. Done almost 10
years ago and looks like new.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.