LESLIE: Now we’re going over to Alaska where Mary has a question about siding. How can we help you today?
MARY: We recently sided our house with concrete siding. It’s 25 years old and underneath is plywood and then Tyvek. We used 4x8 or 4x12 panels that are prepainted but I can’t remember if they’re 4x8 or 4x12. And they’re attached to the plywood walls and they’re attached vertically. On that, we attached 2-inch batten, which was also prepainted at the factory. And those 2-inch battens run vertical on 8-inch centers.
MARY: My first question is: do I need to caulk where the batten attaches to the panels? And secondly, do I need to caulk the nail holes on the batten?
TOM: Well, you wouldn’t caulk where the batten attaches to the panels. You might use an adhesive in that area if that’s recommended by the siding manufacturer. In terms of the nail holes, generally, you don’t have to caulk nail holes. You know, as long as you’re not smashing the nails and breaking the siding, they’re usually tight enough around them where you do not have to caulk each individual nail head.
MARY: The nail holes have broken through the painted surface.
TOM: So, if they broke through the painted surface, it’s not a bad idea to touch them up with a little bit of caulk. But I wouldn’t be too concerned about it.
MARY: OK. And then you think that it needed to be caulked or adhered to behind the batten before it was attached?
TOM: Well, no. What I said was I don’t think you need to caulk it, because there’s really no seal between the siding and the batten or the strip of wood. What you might need to do there is – or an option might be to use an adhesive, like a construction adhesive, to help adhere the siding pieces to the batten. But I wouldn’t do that unless it was recommended by the manufacturer of the siding. They’re going to have specifications for how to install the siding. And if it tells you to use an adhesive, use it; if not, you just fasten it with the nails.
MARY: OK. Thank you very much.