Hardie Board: poor installation questions

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Old 08-23-15, 10:08 AM
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Hardie Board: poor installation questions

I am about to purchase a 9 year 2 story home that has hardie board siding. I had the home inspection and they advised me to maybe remove some of the mulch away from the ground/hardie board and the shifting panels needed to be caulked. My inspection period ends tomorrow and I am realizing that maybe the hardie board was not installed correctly with the 6in ground clearance. Is this something I can fix on my own? There are no gutters and so the water coming off the side of the roof has been splashing down I think with the dirt on the siding. I have a google webalbum with pictures. Any thoughts or insight would be truly appreciated!

https://picasaweb.google.com/1018594...eat=directlink
 
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Old 08-23-15, 10:31 AM
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maybe the hardie board was not installed correctly with the 6in ground clearance.
Maybe? yeah I think that's a safe assumption.

See the installation instructions at: http://www.jameshardie.com/d2w/insta...hz10-us-en.pdf

I doubt lowering the grade is a practical solution unless you want a moat around the house... you could always fill it with alligators I suppose. Primarily this will be a maintenance problem, the siding that is too close will need paint more often, it will eventually rot and you will need to replace it. No matter what you do, dirt will splash up on it, so maybe changing the landscaping to rock would be a way to keep the siding clean. Adding gutters would help some.

In those instructions above, figure 10 gives an idea of how you might handle a situation where the grade is too high... the bottom board between the flashing could be made of Azek, a pvc material that doesn't rot. It can be buried in the ground and it won't harm it. Unless you are really handy, I don't know that this is something you would want to tackle.

As for the caulking, I never caulk butt joints, I only flash them, as mentioned in the instructions... Joint Treatment (A.) You would NEVER want to caulk any horizontal gaps (photo 21 and 22)- if the siding does not lay back tight you should either ignore it, or face nail it to the studs. That sort of thing is common when the siding has been blind nailed.

PS: if the pieces are 12' long, it is hardie. If they are 16' long, it is probably LP Smartside.
 
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Old 08-23-15, 12:18 PM
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Thank you for your response! I think having rock there would definitely be beneficial. Would the Azek trim be added after removing the bottom row of hardie board? Do you think this issue (horizontal gaps/lack of ground clearance) could affect the structure/longevity of the house?

Thank you!

PS: I may have to consider the alligator method since we have so many in Florida!
 
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Old 08-23-15, 12:24 PM
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Ha ha! Yeah, the moat would be nice. Yes, the bottom siding would be removed and a flashing installed above the azek and up under the siding.

I doubt it would affect the house being too close but it could wick up and wet the structure. Like I mentioned, this is primarily a maintenace issue... the siding may not last.
 
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Old 08-23-15, 12:32 PM
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Main thing it's going to do is cover up the sheathing so the termites can come up behind the siding without ever being seen.
Near imposable to totaly remove the bottom piece, it would have to be cut out along the lap.
I'd just add gutters, dig out that top soil and add stone and hope for the best.
 
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Old 08-23-15, 12:34 PM
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I see, and of course the Azek PVC is rot proof making sense. One more question...When you say the siding may not last, are you talking about all of the siding or just the row near the ground? Sorry to keep asking questions!
 
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Old 08-23-15, 01:21 PM
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Most of the rot comes from the siding wicking up moisture from the ground. Replacing the bottom portion with PVC will help a lot. It is also important to keep the grass trimmed and/or mulch below the siding. I know that is easier said than done when the house is built on a slab but the siding [and wood framing behind it] should never have contact with the ground or any vegetation.

If you stop the siding from wicking up moisture the only moisture damage it can see would be from rain and if the paint is in good condition and cracks/joints are caulked or flashed - that won't be an issue.
 
 

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