One side of our otherwise cedar clapboard house has a single row of
8" cementatious looking clapboard siding below the metal drip edge --
presumably it was put there because the row is essentially in contact
with the ground.
Since that part of the house was added/renovated in the mid-40's, I'm
assuming that it could be asbestos-cement siding.
After 60 years, that cementatious siding row has a top flexible,
putty-like, painted layer that is peeling away in a number of
places. (it's thicker and more pliable than just built up paint -- I
don't know whether it is the top layer of the siding peeling away or
whether it is some product applied to the surface at some point)
I have considered three choices:
1. Scrape away the peeling layer and repaint the row (but if the board
is fiber cement, that may not be a good idea, also the surface
beneath the peeling layer is rough looking like old cementatious
siding and doesn't match the rest of the smooth cedar clapboards)
2. Cover the row with a layer of new (non-asbestos) fiber cement siding
(like from Harvey Industries). I could probably get a 5/16" board to
still fit under the drip layer. I would presumably caulk along the top
both to adhere to the top of the underlying old board and to the
3. Remove (carefully with asbestos precautions) the single row of old
cement-like siding and replace with a new row of fiber cement
clapboard (or other rot resistant board).
I am most seriously considering #2 or #3. I like #3 because it gets
rid of the problem though if the original is asbestos, I could be
exposing myself to some risk (even wearing a respirator and wetting
down the siding), though it is only a single 20 ft row so it probably
couldn't be too bad. Also, any time you remove something, I could be
creating more problems than I am solving.
On the other hand, I like #2 because it avoids the need to remove the
original siding but it may not look as good aesthetically and I don't
want to do something that is just a patch solution.
Also, given that the bottom row of siding (below the drip edge) is
very close to ground and that it is not easy to regrade the property
there to get the current code requirement of 6" clearance, what type
of synthetic siding or trim is best used in such a near ground
The original cementatious siding seems to still be pretty
intact after 60 years, so I am pretty tempted just to use a modern
fiber-cement product since it should be rot resistant anyway. Is this
OK or are thee better products?