Fix Buckling Cedar Siding
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Betty in Connecticut who needs some help with the exterior siding. What’s going on at your house?
BETTY: Hi. Our house was built about 20 years ago and we have vertical siding on the outside. It’s a two-story ranch; it’s like an embankment ranch with two stories on the back.
BETTY: And the siding is pulling away – like the vertical siding, which used to overlap – we’re seeing the paper they put underneath the siding – you’re starting to see that paper on the spaces.
TOM: So is the siding starting to sort of buckle and twist a bit?
BETTY: Well, yeah; almost separate. Almost like maybe …
BETTY: … they didn’t overlap it enough or …
TOM: Mm-hmm. Well, what happens, as siding – you’re talking about some sort of a vertical siding board here?
BETTY: Yes. Cedar.
TOM: Cedar. Yeah, well, what happens with cedar is as it dries out, it curls and cracks and shrinks and it will start to – depending on which way the grain – which way the rings of the tree were, believe it or not, it’ll either cup up or cup down. And that’s not an uncommon situation and generally it’s nothing to worry about; although, if it gets pretty bad and you can see behind it, you may want to try to re-nail it and/or silicone caulk those seams as a maintenance point so that you don’t let a lot of water in behind it. But that’s actually not unusual for cedar as it wears.
BETTY: What kind of silicone caulk would you use …
TOM: Clear silicone.
BETTY: … where it’s like a brown cedar?
TOM: Well, you could use a – you could use a colored caulk. You could use a brown silicone but clear is fine because usually the color of the cedar comes right through it and you don’t see it when you’re done.
BETTY: Oh. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project.
BETTY: You guys are terrific. Thank you.
TOM: Thank you. Thank you so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.