When I have to caulk the bottom of the siding where it meets the foundation,
I'm finding that its a colossal pain. Crawling around on my back through
the weeds and bark trying to seal the gap between the siding, sheating, and
foundation. Are there better ways to do it, or flexible caulking guns that
allow you to at least stoop when doing it? Does anyone do this type of
sealing or am I making my life too hard?
There is a thought that that area should not be caulked as it may cause
condensation or other water to be trapped in the wall and cause rot. In
other words, it acts as a ventilation, drain or weep area. I have
experienced severe rotting due to lack of ventilation in other areas so I
have not caulked that area of my siding.
The reason I concluded I needed to caulk was because I found when I removed
the wallboard from the basement interior I found grass growing INSIDE the
wall. Obviously the solution to that is to remove the plants from around
the house, which I'm doing, but if grass gets in there so do beetles,
spiders, and other nasties (like rats and mice). So I figure if I caulk the
seam, nothing can get in.
Nothing can get in but the siding isn't supposed to keep things out, it's
supposed to shed rain. By caulking it you will seal in water and encourage
rot. Hate to say it but if you thought caulking was hard you'll be amazed at
how hard un-caulking is.
What he said. You're trying to combine functions, which is usually a
death sentence for one of the components of the system.
If you have grass growing inside the wall your grade level is too
high. That has to be addressed before anything else. Then you deal
with air infiltration and critter entrance. Caulking or expanding
foam between the sill plate and foundation is the typical method.
You're really just trying to slow things down as you'll never preserve
sanity if you try to eliminate all possible means of entrance. That
leaves the siding to do what it is designed to do - keep out weather
and look good - and that's a maintenance thing.
I doubt that you will shorten the life of your siding very much by
'trapping' moisture. The siding likely breathes an adequate amount to
prevent problems and there really shouldn't be enough moisture behind
the siding to actually need draining. Caulking will keep out the
grass and beetles and even keep out the hot or cold air that you are
paying to condition, so I see a net benefit in your case.
On Thu, 5 Jul 2007 19:42:43 -0700, "Eigenvector"
You don't do this for a living, do you? The OP didn't mention what
type of siding he has, and you're saying there won't be a problem. Do
yourself a favor and read any vinyl siding manufacturer's installation
info. They specifically say that the siding should not be considered
waterproof, and that any water getting behind the siding must be
allowed to drain. Caulking the bottom of wood siding or fiber cement
siding is pretty much guaranteed to trap moisture and, at the very
least, cause paint failure at the most exposed part of any siding -
the bottom few courses - which is precisely where it needs the most
Your advice is akin to covering your teeth with chewing gum to prevent
cavities. I realize you're trying to help, but you're not.
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