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How To Prevent Water Damage When Installing Siding

May 31, 2023

How To Prevent Water Damage When Installing Siding


Poorly installed siding can lead to water damage and wood rot that can undermine the structure of your home. Make sure your siding contractor understands how to prevent water damage from occurring and make sure you take the time to inspect their work before the next rainstorm — unless you want to be making repairs long before they should be needed.

Water Problems Caused By Poor Siding Installation

Water is a tricky substance. It can travel through the smallest of openings and infiltrate the home several feet away from the point of entry. This makes diagnosing points of entry difficult and is one of the main reasons why it is so important to make sure your siding is installed correctly. Preventing water from infiltrating in the first place is far easier and less expensive than having to make repairs down the road.

Some common problems caused by poor siding installation include:

  • Wood Rot: Wood rot happens when water has been able to seep down between the exterior and interior walls unnoticed for years. The slow build-up of constantly wet wood allows fungi to grow, which eats away at the wood. Wood rot can go on for years before you notice it and by that time you may find yourself in need of major repair work.
  • Water Damage: Wood rot, mold, and mildew are all obvious signs of water damage. But other signs that you have water sneaking in somewhere include discolorations on the ceiling or walls, bubbling plaster or wallpaper inside the home, warped base boards, warped window casings, and cracked bricks and/or mortar.

Techniques To Properly Install Siding

Proper siding installation techniques are vital to keeping water out of your home. A contractor who knows what he or she is doing is going to be sure to include the following in the job:

  1. Drainage holes. Vinyl siding requires drain holes to allow water to flow to the outside of the home, not the inside. Small, unavoidable gaps where the vinyl panels overlap can let in water. Without weep holes, or drainage holes, the water can get trapped behind the siding.
  2. Proper flashing. Flashing refers to special trim pieces that surround the edges of the siding, windows and doors. These pieces are impervious to water and protect the structure from water by forming a barrier to entrance. When properly installed, they direct water to the outside of the home, away from windows, doors, chimneys and joints. It may be exposed or concealed, depending on the type of flashing used and its’ location. Flashing should be used on all types of siding, including fiber cement siding.
  3. Moisture barrier. Moisture barriers, or house wraps, should be used on all siding jobs. In older homes with fiber cement siding, sometimes the moisture wrap was skipped, but these thin barriers are located underneath the siding to prevent wind, rain and moisture from accessing the wooden structure of the home, so today they are installed under all types of siding.
  4. Caulking. Once siding has been installed, all windows, doors, joints and seams should be caulked with exterior, weather-resistant caulking. Caulk creates a seal that prevents water from getting in as well as air and noise.

Take the time to ask your siding contractor about how they intend to protect the home from water damage before you hire them for the job. Your new siding will be a waste of time and money if it lets in moisture. Like most home repairs, the best way to manage water damage is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

About the Author:

Opal Enterprises has been providing homeowners in Naperville, IL with professional exterior remodeling for over 10 years. Energy efficiency is always their goal when installing windows, doors, siding, gutters and roofing.

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