Vinyl siding too close to ground

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Old 05-04-14, 03:00 PM
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Vinyl siding too close to ground

Hello,
I have a problem with the ground on the back side of my townhouse being in contact with the vinyl siding. The ground is part of a large lawn shared by multiple townhouses and has no grade. This has caused issues with water drainage and a french drain was recently installed ~ 6 ft away from the townhouse. In spite of this I still have some water seeping into the crawlspace. The termite inspector recommended to increase the ground level in the crawlspace by adding sand and to dig around the outside perimeter to avoid the ground from being too close to the siding.
Redoing the grade of the entire lawn shared by multiple townhouses is not an option.
How wide and deep should I dig behind my house? What should be used to fill this "trench" to avoid water from accumulating there? Sand + a top layer of pebbles?

Thank you very much for any suggestion
 
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Old 05-04-14, 03:11 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Of course we can't see what you see without pictures, but if siding is at grade level, that means the bottom sill plate is at grade level and water will enter at that point. Is there any way you can confirm this, or attach some pictures for us? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 05-04-14, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply! I'm attaching 2 pictures: one shows a corner where I digged ~2" to the bottom of the siding, the channeled downspout and the ground in contact with the siding can be seen.
The second picture shows the ground in contact with the siding near the vent for the crawl space.
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Old 05-04-14, 03:43 PM
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I would say that is not good. Even though vinyl siding is impervious to water it does not stop water from seeping around it and into the wood behind. I don't like to see siding or wood any closer than 6" to the ground and generally more distance is better.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 06:14 PM
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Ouch!! I agree with Dane. It is too low. If there is a starter strip, it is attached to wood, then the vinyl starts at that point. I can't imagine any loony tunes contractor doing that, or allowing back fill to reach that point. The landscaping must be severely modified to make this go away. I would say at least 6" at the building and tapering it out to allow for proper drainage.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 06:15 PM
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Digging a trench is an asinine idea since that will only invite water to go toward the house.

Adding sand in the crawlspace doesn't solve anything either... it would just create a wet sandbox. IMO if you won't regrade the lawn you need to remove siding... excavate the perimeter and install waterproofing membrane up the wall and down the foundation below grade... possibly all the way to the footing if you want a dry crawlspace.
 
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Old 05-04-14, 06:24 PM
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Thank you. So if I dig 6" below the siding, how far out from the building should I taper back to the existing ground level?
 
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Old 05-04-14, 06:29 PM
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Thank you XSleeper, your post makes sense to me. Would I just need to remove the siding which contacts the ground and install the waterproofing membrane up to that point? Do you know which product may work and where I can find resources on how to install the membrane?
 
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Old 05-05-14, 04:32 AM
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The termites are going to love that design.
What I've done many times is dig out around the base of the wall 12" deep, remove the bottom row or 2, of siding and the starter strip.
Add dimple membrane to the wall, sitting at least 12" below grade and slipped in under the house wrap at the top. (Google it)
Then I install 1 X 8 PVC lumber making sure to set it at the height needed to sit below the bottom plate of the wall and come out even with the bottom lap on the siding minus 1/2".
Install Z moulding, J moulding.
The first piece of siding will need to be cut at the bottom where the lap is.
The outside corner also gets cut so the PVC lumber can wrap around the corner.
Use trim head screws to attach the PVC.
Now it will be water tight, and the weed whacker will no longer tare the siding up.
 
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Old 06-02-14, 06:13 PM
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We have a similar situation where our siding goes below grade. It is steel siding and has been there for about 20 years. Don't know why they ran it so low to the ground. We don't have termites, and the crawl space is so low, we definitely don't go there. We recently had the foundation walls foam sprayed on inside and I had contractor take before and after pics. No water down there luckily.

What we just did, was screw 8" wide pressure treated 3/4" plywood to the siding so it protrudes about 2" into ground. Then filled and sodded to top of plywood to provide drainage away from the wall and form a path for water to run off. We put tip up extensions on the two downspouts to redirect water to same lower level run off.

I am sure it would have been best to remove siding and water proof concrete first. Plastic lumber would also have been better than the plywood, but I didn't see any in the local stores.
 
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