minimum distance between siding and grade

Old 07-28-08, 12:04 PM
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minimum distance between siding and grade

A concrete walkway runs around my house, front-to-side-to-backyard. There's about 3' dirt bed (with plants) between the walkway and the house. The concrete and the dirt bed slowly rise a few inches from the front of the house to the back of the house.

The problem is that for more than half of the run, the dirt covers from 0 to 1" of vinyl siding. Grade is about 2" below the vinyl siding at the start, so that's about 3" total rise.

How bad is this?

If I tried to even out the dirt grade, what's the minimum comfortable distance between it and the bottom of the vinyl siding?

Note: if I maintained the lowest grade, which is about 2" below the siding, it would set 1" below the walkway at the back of the house - would this be a problem?
Old 07-28-08, 04:04 PM
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I don't believe there is a standard height that is recommended for vinyl siding. Even so, common sense should rule. One of the main reasons to keep ANY type of siding quite a ways above grade is the fact that termites can easily make mud tunnels from the ground level up behind siding. You should leave enough room so that you can easily inspect the area below the siding for termites. It also helps to keep the siding above grade due to rain splashing mud up onto the siding.

2" would be a bare minimum in my book. I'd prefer to see 4". When using cement siding, such as hardiplank, they recommend 6". But you DEFINITELY would not bury any type of siding below grade.
Old 07-29-08, 01:07 PM
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The vinyl siding is not the problem. What is behind it? The grade is supposed to be no closer than 8" to any wood. Sometimes the foundation is furred out and the siding is over concrete or masonry. If they used pressure treated furring this would be acceptable. If the dirt is covering 1" of the siding then it is probably right up to the sill and wall sheathing (most times siding is started 1" or so below the top of the foundation).

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