Preventing further water damage to hardboard siding

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Area is US Pacific NW (Portland, OR)

My recently purchased home (built 1972) has clapboard siding made of (I've been told) Masonite, probably 10-15 years old. When it was installed the painters painted under the butt edges only where it was easy to get to, i.e. knee high and above, and did not paint under the bottom two courses. This has resulted in some water damage over the years.

See below for pictures.

I'm not in a position to replace the siding or do major repairs, but would like to prevent or at least slow down further damage by sealing the unprotected butt edges.

I am considering applying a clear paintable silicone caulk to the underside of the butt edges on the lower two courses, and any other butt edges that are incompletely painted. Would this work, or should I be doing something different?

Wide shot of the siding

Butt edge about 6' up. It is mostly painted but even this one could use some sealing

Bottom...

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Bleach is king for disinfection. But you have to be careful using bleach as it can bleach the carpet (of course). For general cleaning 5% dilution of household bleach is generally recommended (so, 6.75 fl. oz. household bleach plus one gallon of water). But for the carpet, I wouldn't do it- or I would try starting with a lower (1% or 2%) concentration of household bleach.

Since bleach is kind of sketchy, benzalkonium chloride or n-Alkyl (40% C12, 50% C14, 10% C16) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride would be the next best thing. These antibiotics are the active ingredients from many lysol and clorox products (like wipes, 409, and hand sanitizers). I would recommend the same usage level (for these antimicrobials) for cleaning and disinfecting the carpet, as around the same levels that are used in wipes and 409 (that's 0.3%). In fact, I think that pouring 409 over the spot and then using a wet vac or steam cleaner to clean the spot would work perfectly well.

Now there are...

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We are repairing and painting all of the wooden trim on our (new-to-us) 1930's home. We have a brick chimney on the gable end of the house, approximately 6 feet down from the ridge. The roof is a double-roof (ugh): there's a layer of asphalt shingles (in good condition) laid down on a raised platform over the original roof. Water appears to be dripping down from the flashing (visible in the photo) around the chimney and onto the crown-molding and fascia board (correct term?). I've removed the rotted wood from the end of the fascia board in the photo, and I was going to repair that damaged end with Minwax Wood Hardener and then Minwax Wood Filler.

The crown molding piece appears to be solid, but it needs to be reattached more securely which will reduce the width of the gap between the molding and the fascia board. I will then caulk along the underside of the molding to seal that gap between the molding and fascia board.

But what should I do along the brickwork/wood...

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How to determine if your home has problematic hardboard or pressboard siding.

Pressboard siding, also called synthetic wood siding, or hardboard (not to be confused with HardiePlank®) siding, is mainly comprised of wood fibers, flakes or chips that are held together by glues and resins. This type of siding was extremely popular from the 1980’s to mid 1990’s as a low cost alternative to other existing house sidings.

In 1994, pressboard siding gained national attention when a class action law suit settlement against some of its largest manufacturers dictated that anyone who owned property constructed with their hardboard siding between January 1, 1980 and January 15, 1998 (dates vary by manufacturer) could be reimbursed for damages caused from the siding (if any). Following the class action suit, almost all manufacturers ceased production of their hardboard siding products.

POTENTIAL ISSUES WITH PRESSBOARD SIDING

Pressboard siding naturally absorbs water...

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I've had plenty of phone calls over the years from homeowners who are convinced they have to reside their entire house because some of their siding has been damaged by water. Yet when we take a look at these jobs, we often find that relatively little siding has to be replaced. Even better, the homeowners are surprised to learn that the fiber-cement siding we use as a replacement is often a perfect match for what they have. What's more, it resists damage from water and insects. What causes water damage? We get significant rainfall along the Gulf Coast where I live, and that leads to a lot of siding problems. But even in dryer parts of the country, lawn sprinklers that routinely wet siding or shrubs growing too close to the house to allow sufficient air circulation also lead to damaged siding. Most of the problems we see involve hardboard siding because it is so common here, and it's not always installed correctly. Carpenters might have overdriven the nails, improperly sealed joints...

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|By Danny Lipford, Today's Homeowner Online.

I've had plenty of phone calls over the years from homeowners who are convinced they have to reside their entire house because some of their siding has been damaged by water. Yet when we take a look at these jobs, we often find that relatively little siding has to be replaced. Even better, the homeowners are surprised to learn that the fiber-cement siding we use as a replacement is often a perfect match for what they have. What's more, it resists damage from water and insects.

What causes water damage? We get significant rainfall along the Gulf Coast where I live, and that leads to a lot of siding problems. But even in drier parts of the country, lawn sprinklers that routinely wet siding, or shrubs growing too close to the house to allow sufficient air circulation, also lead to damaged siding.

Most of the problems we see involve hardboard siding because it is so common here, and it's not always installed correctly....

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For people, water is necessary for survival. For a house, however, water can be a destructive force that can lead to wood rot, peeling paint, insect infestation, shorter life span of roofing and siding, and higher maintenance costs.

Investigate, identify and repair all leaks and cracks

The best way to prevent water damage from rainwater and snow melt is to ensure the exterior materials of your home are properly constructed and maintained. Use the following tips to identify and eliminate sources of water intrusion in your home.

Common places where water intrusion occurs

Windows and doors: Check for leaks around your windows and doors, especially near the corners. Check for peeling paint, which can be a sign of water getting into the wood. Inspect for discolorations in paint or caulking as well as swelling in windows, doorframes and surrounding materials. Roof: Repair or replace shingles around any area that allows water to penetrate the roof sheathing....
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Rotten hardboard siding before replacement with fiber cement siding.

Hardboard lap siding has been used on homes for years because it mimics the look of wood siding but is much less expensive. One of the disadvantages of hardboard siding is that exposure to water can cause it to deteriorate over time. This is most common on the bottom few courses near the foundation.

If you have this problem, you might want to consider replacing the rotten courses of hardboard siding with more durable fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding is available in the same look and dimensions as hardboard siding but is more resistant to water damage. It also doesn’t cost much more than hardboard, and it’s a fairly easy to make the repairs yourself.

Tools Needed:

Tape measure Hammer Chisel Pry bar Circular saw with masonry blade Caulking gun Paintbrush

Materials Needed:

Plywood sheathing 15-lb. builder’s felt or housewrap Fiber cement siding Hot dipped galvanized or...
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Problem: Water penetration through wood and hardboard siding.

Water can penetrate through gaps in wood and hardboard siding causing wood rot, peeling paint, water stains, mold and mildew, damaged insulation, warping and buckling and severe damage to the wall structure.

Cause: The presence of gaps in the siding and incorrect joint construction.

Solutions:

Use the following means to prevent gaps in the siding which permit the movement of water through the siding:

Caulk joints at the corners and at window and door openings, except for those ventilation gaps used as part of the rain-screen wall as shown in Figure 29.

For wood, use lumber that is free from spits, knot holes and loose knots. To prevent future shrinkage and cracking, use siding material that has a moisture content of less than 10%. To help drain water away and stop the flow of water through the joints of wood and hardboard siding, take the following precautions: Cut the butt joints...
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I’ve had plenty of phone calls over the years from homeowners who are convinced they have to reside their entire house because some of their siding has been damaged by water. Yet when we take a look at these jobs, we often find that relatively little siding has to be replaced. Even better, the homeowners are surprised to learn that the fiber-cement siding we use as a replacement is often a perfect match for what they have. What’s more, it resists damage from water and insects.

What causes water damage? We get significant rainfall along the Gulf Coast where I live, and that leads to a lot of siding problems. But even in dryer parts of the country, lawn sprinklers that routinely wet siding or shrubs growing too close to the house to allow sufficient air circulation also lead to damaged siding. Most of the problems we see involve hardboard siding because it is so common here, and it’s not always installed correctly. Carpenters might have overdriven the nails, improperly sealed...

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Color/Appearance: Heartwood can vary in color from reddish brown, to a more yellowish olive brown or darker blackish brown; sometimes with contrasting darker brown/black stripes. In certain species, there are powdery yellow deposits within the wood. Ipe can be difficult to distinguish visually from Cumaru, another dense South American timber, though Ipe tends to be darker, and lacks the subtle yet characteristic vanilla/cinnamon scent while being worked.

Grain/Texture: Has a fine to medium texture, with the grain varying from straight to irregular or interlocked. Moderate natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; tyloses and mineral/gum deposits occasionally present; parenchyma unilateral, winged, and marginal; narrow rays, spacing normal; ripple marks present.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable; excellent insect resistance, though some...

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