What type screws for wood siding?

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I live in central Texas and my house has 6" wide pine siding. Nails have been popping out at an alarming rate. I'm getting ready to paint, so part of my prep will be taking care of the nails. Some are sticking out over 1/2 inch. I'm sure that if I just hammer them back in they'll just pop out again.
The question is, why not replace those nails with screws? They won't pop out, right?
Do I risk splitting the wood using screws? (maybe I should countersink?)
What kind of screws should I use (galvanized deck screws, stainless steel)?
Background info: The house is 16 years old, on it's orignal paint (which is pealing badly). The north side of the house gets no sun exposure, thus no paint peeling, and no nails popping out. The sides with the most exposure have the most peeling and the most nails popping out. The nails used originally are the ring shank type.
Many thanks in advance, Hank
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Hank,
You're fighting a loosing battle. Small diameter stainless screws will hold for a while (look at what McFeeley offers) but wood and the Texas sun are not compatible. In some municipalities around Dallas the code now prohibits all but vinyl siding or masonary materials...no wood siding.
Boden
Hank wrote:

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Yikes! So what's my best plan of attack, short of replacing all the siding?

part of

steel)?
badly).
and
nails
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Hank wrote:

I'm not in Texas but summers here in Calif get pretty hot. This is what I did three years ago and I have no problem so far. Used those self starting drywall screws. I drill three holes. First a snug clearance hole through the siding. Second, a smaller hole to pilot the screw, (I used 3/32" for 3" long screws). Third, a bit of a countersink. Before screwing the screw in I dabbed a little Elmers glue on the screw.
If you wish to cover the screws with putty I would recomend making some sort of downward indentation (nail or small drill) in the countersink area to discourage the putty from falling out later. Good luck.
Frank
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(Frank), About the downward indentation to keep putty from falling out you mentioned - I may not be clear on exactly what you mean. I do want to use putty, but I'm trying to figure out where you put the indentation exactly, and how doing that keeps putty from falling out. Perhaps what you mean is that the indentation will act as a catch holding the putty in - kind of like the putty now has an arm or 'peg' that fits into the hole (indentation) and provides some resistance to outward pressure, effectively holding the putty in?

siding?
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Why would you ever use a screw on wood siding? Just get yourself some good siding ringed galvi nails and if it is clapboards make sure you hit the wall studs with at least a 2 1/2 inch nail. If its shakes it doesnt matter. If the siding is buckling it is because not enough space was left for expansion.
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The siding is not buckling. It is just those type of nails that are popping out at an alarming rate. I don't know anything here, but I just don't want to repeat something that already doesn't seem to work.

good
wall
the
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replying to Randd01, Buc wrote: Galvanized nails suck. Waste of money and time for this type of job. Screws are the only way to go.
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Hank wrote:

That's it exactly. I used a small drill downward at about 60o in the bottom surface of the countersink right at the edge of the screw head. Doesn't need to be all that deep. The screws don't tend to screw out but I wanted to be on the safe side, especially since it takes no time to speak of.
Frank
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Drywall screws rust and have a higher tendency to split than regular "wood screw" form factor screws.
Better to use treated decking screws or even stainless (especially in coastal areas or with certain woods) - besides, they're available in square drive.

Unless the wood is very brittle, predrilling (and countersinking) is totally unnecessary, especially with standard "wood screw" form factor screws.
With most modern screws you don't need to do clearance holes even you do need pilot holes. Drywall screws tend to be "all thread", which means you can "bridge" the siding (not getting the siding hard down against the substrate). Wood screws have a bare portion near the head, same diameter as the "ideal" pilot hole, so they won't bridge, and don't need a different diameter clearance hole.
The glue is completely unnecessary and doesn't do anything useful.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Chris Lewis wrote:

5 1/2 to one 6 1/2 to the other.

Matter of opinion.

My goal was to pull the siding flush with a minimum of pressure and have it stay that way.

How much a factor this is would seem to depend on how thick the siding and how long the "bare portion" is. Different strokes.

Debatable.
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of
steel)?
and
the nails are "popping" because they were not nailed into the studs. try re-nailing the siding into the studs and remove all popped nails.
screws are not necessary. galv. or S.S. spiral nails work better than ring shank nails.
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What studs? A 16 year old house in central Texas is likely to be more like a plywood tent. Construction in Texas, in my experience is the worst I have ever seen. Most likely it is 2x4 studs covered with tar paper and cedar boards placed vertically over that. There may be a nail at the bottom and top in a 2x4. Nails along the cedar boards at any other place only pass through the overlapped cedar. Looks good for a while.
Boden
3GCPO wrote:

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part
badly).
nails
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Right on. If they can sneak across the Rio Grande and get a hammer and saw at the BORG the are carpinteros.
Boden
3GCPO wrote:

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(with possible editing):

I think the clue is that the north side is ok and the paint is peeling elsewhere. That usually means that you don't have the proper ventilation between the siding/sheathing and the back of the fiberglass insulation. If you have soffits which expose the back of the walls, you can cure this problem by drilling one inch holes near the bottom of the walls between the studs and inserting vented plugs. If not, you have to provide a way to ventilate the top of the wall cavity behind the insulation as well.
I think the paint is peeling due to trapped moisture. If that's the problem, you have to solve it before you paint as the new paint will just peel as well.
--
Larry
Email to rapp at lmr dot com
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Larry, Your post is very compelling to me because it addresses a potential root problem. Being a first time homeowner, I'm not very familiar with certain terminology, soffit being one example. The dictionary and a cursory web check didn't help much. Let me describe the structure of the exterior walls, and ask a couple of follow up questions to be more clear about the potential ventilation/moisture problem and how to solve it:
The outside walls are built with 2x4 studs with insulation in between the plaster sheathing (this is some kind of material that is meant for this purpose, it looks like 5/8" sheetrock with a darker paper). There is no backing to the insulation, it is just the pink fiberglass insulation.
The siding covering the attick wall has no insulation behind it.
A tree shades one half of the south side, and that part looks more like the north side - no peeling or nails popping.
The house sits on peirs with ample crawl space to drill holes to ventilate the spaces between the studs from the bottom.
The attick allows this opportunity to ventilate the tops of some of these spaces, if this is what you're talking about, but not all the spaces easily. The east and west walls are most accessible from the top, the south is difficult because there is not much clearance between the top plate of the walls and the roof. I don't know how I would drill 1" holes there, I know a Milwakee hole hawg won't fit there, as I was recently up there with one drilling 1" holes to run phone and data cables in the walls. I could probably drill a few 3/8" holes thru there though.
An info item to add: When the sun comes up in the morning, I can hear cracking or popping noises form the siding, presumably from the heat causing expansion. I'm assuming this is what's causing the nails to pop out.
Where is this moisture forming and how does the moisture affect paint peeling?
Why is there no moisture problem on the north side, is it because the temperature does not swing as greatly because of no sun, if so, how do temperature swings cause moisture to collect and affect the paint?
Is there any way to know for sure if I have a moisture problem that's affecting the paint?
Assuming I have a moisture problem affecting the paint, will fixing this help with the nails popping out?
Thanks! Hank
wrote

of
steel)?
badly).
and
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(with possible editing):

Assuming your roof overhangs the sides of the house, the horizontal surface of that overhang is called the "soffit". The vertical section of the edge of the roof (where the gutters are normally hung) is called the "fascia".

Sounds like "homasote" (probably spelled incorrectly). There should have been some kind of moisture barrier between the sheetrock and the insulation. The purpose is to keep warm moist air from penetrating in the winter. What happens is that at some point between the warm inside and cold outside is the dew point, the point at which water vapor condenses to form a liquid. If there is no ventilation, it is trapped there and can form mold and warp the siding in the summer.

Probably because there is little direct sunlight in the summer.

That's good, just be sure to put those screened vent plugs in the holes to keep insects and rodents out.

If you can't drill a 1" hole, a few smaller ones would probably work ok. You probably won't be able to use the screened vent plugs. Maybe you can lay strips of screening over the holes and staple it down?

It might also be from the moisture turning back into vapor which could do the same thing.

The moisture forms as I mentioned earlier: trapped in the wall during the winter and saturates the siding. That is guaranteed to cause paint to peel. If you don't cure it but repaint, the paint will continue to peel.

I'm not sure, but it sounds like it might well be caused by the lack of direct sun. If the moisture problem is still there, it can form mold and eventually the siding will get a bit "pulpy".

One sure way is to peel the paint during a warm morning and see if the wood feels wet.

Yes, it will.
Good luck!
--
Larry
Email to rapp at lmr dot com
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Larry, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me like this. I had come close to pulling the trigger to get the house painted without having learned about this moisture problem. This advice could save me quite a bit of money, not to mention anguish.
It sounds like I should ventilate the wall spaces. I assume I should drill a hole in the top and bottom?
One thing perplexes me: the siding covering the attick space has peeled at the same rate as the siding covering the insulated walls of the living areas of the house. The attick walls do not have any insulation, there are vents at the top (near roof peak) as well as 2 fake dormers that each have a big vent instead of a window. The airflow up there seems quite good to me, as I can feel the temperature cool fairly rapidly from the warm day to the cooler evening from being up there working. This begs the question: if moisture is getting trapped in the insulated walls and soaking thru the siding causing peeling, then what about the attick boards? I would think that since there is quite a bit more ventilation in the attick compared to none in the insulated walls, that the attick siding boards would not have peeled at the same rate.
Having said the above, I should point out that there are ventilation holes in the verticle board under the roof overhang that go into the attick space. Most of these are blocked by insulation.
I should also point out one of the 2 bathroom's exhaust fan's vent pipes terminate about 8" away from the roof vent. My inspector told me to get that fixed so no moist air from the bathroom goes into the attick. I put my hand over that pipe and could barely feel any flow at all - I think it is just a real cheap piece of junk put in there by the builders. It really doesn't seem to move much air at all. The other bathroom vent's pipe is terminated near the dormer window vent. Also, the kitchen stove vent pipe is terminated about 10" below the roof vent - making a 10" gap between the roof vent and the pipe.
Event with these exhaust termination gaps, I still think that there is pretty good ventilation in the attick, but I don't know anything.
Any comments?
Hank
wrote

have
part
1/2
pop
countersink?)
peeling,
nails
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To tell you the truth, this doesn't sound right. Stud walls normally aren't ventilated. While it's true that, for example, brick veneer exterior walls should be ventilated, that's _not_ in the stud bays. The ventilation is between the brick and exterior sheathing. Similarly, the natural gaps in vinyl siding provides ventilation between the sheathing and the siding. This should also _should_ be happening with wood siding.
These days exterior walls usually are (from inside to out), wall covering (eg: drywall), vapor barrier (6 mil plastic), studs and insulation, sheathing (eg: plywood or OSB), house wrap (eg: Tyvek or Typar) and then exterior finish. Vapor barrier is often left out in warmer/dryer areas.
Missing vapor barrier can be _part_ of the issue you're having, but adding "real" vapor barrier is quite expensive. Good quality "vapor barrier rated" interior paint would help in that case. But the fact that you're also having trouble with the uninsulated attic walls too suggests that isn't the problem either.
Improved ventilation is usually much more of an issue with attics, where the ideal is to have inlet vents in the soffits going to exit vents near the peak of the roof. Most times this simply involves making sure that the ceiling insulation doesn't plug air coming from soffit vents into the main part of the attic.
It sounds like the root problem you have is with the existing paint covering on the siding. An apparent moisture issue is caused by the paint problems, not the other way around.
I could be way off-base here, but it sounds more like you should have a chat with a professional house painter who specializes in problem jobs.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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