Common wood siding installation mistakes to avoid.

Installing wood siding does not need to be over thought and we can appreciate professional installers various installation approaches based on the type of material being used and the buildings exterior differences. The following are some general guidelines in helping avoid possible problems after the installation has been completed utilizing the rain-screen installation method.

  • Caulking the top cladding board to trim boards: This can cause a dead end that traps humidity in walls which can lead to structural damage and potential mold growth.
  • Cutting boards short and relying on caulking to fill the gap: Most caulking will eventually fail so boards are best installed tight, a certain amount of shrinking will occur but any water that gets in will be able to dry. Some siding comes end matched allowing for a natural spacing between the ends of boards and can save on installation costs and time.
  • Installing horizontal furring to attach siding: If your siding requires horizontal furring install a first layer of vertical furring to allow a drainage cavity, then a second layer. Horizontal furring strips can stop air flow and prevent water from draining out. Diagonally installed furring is an option that can also work without needing a second layer.
  • Double furring at the corners: corners are often needlessly fortified with furring strips (strapping), where they should ideally be left open and able to dry. If water is going to leak into walls it will be at joints and junctions like corners.

Is air space needed behind siding? Commonly referred to as rain-screening.

Air space between cladding and sheathing is required but doesn’t need to be great. Rain-screening allow’s continuous drainage without creating pockets where water can be trapped inside wall assemblies. It should also allow air to flow through from top to bottom, taking advantage of natural convection to remove moisture. The furring strips must be consistent in size to avoid walls looking warped. Dimensions of furring strips can vary but a common size is 3/8″ thickness.

You can find various video’s and articles online so take the time to research your installation before you start. If using an installer check their credentials and research installation methods prior to speaking with them. This allows you to better understand the installation type they will be using and to ask the right questions when discussing with them. Reliable material manufactures can also assist with installation guidelines and by speaking with them prior to your siding being installed.

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