Installing new vinyl siding over old wood siding.
Can you do this? Yes, it can be done. But there are criteria that should be paid attention to.
There are always criteria!
This newly sided house looked good from the street. When I got around back I found that the new vinyl had been installed over old wood siding.
If what you can see doesn't look good, what you can't see can be a real bother!
I see damaged wood siding.
Is that inappropriate?
Not necessarily, but what are the "criteria" that should be met before vinyl siding can be installed over wood?
1. Obviously the old wood siding should be in good shape. It should not be rotten anywhere, loose, or damaged. Any bad stuff should be replaced.
The problem I have with what I see here, and this is the only place I could see wood siding underneath, is that the wood looks damaged. Was the new vinyl similarly installed over rotting wood? Loose seams? Bulging wood siding? I DON'T KNOW, I CAN'T SEE IT.
2. Vinyl siding likes a firm, flat surface onto which it is installed. Gaps in the wood beneath would not be good. Any trim around windows and doors should have been removed. Uniformity is important under vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is not nailed onto a house, the nails are left protruding from the surface and the vinyl virtually hangs in place. Bulging underneath, or looseness underneath, can affect the vinly siding's ability to stay together in place and be less weather and wind resistant. The problem I have with what I see here, and this is the only place I could see wood siding underneath, is that the wood looks damaged. Was the new vinyl siding installed over loose wood? There was bulging on the vinyl siding - was that because of the wood siding underneath?
3. Vinyl siding must be installed over a moisture-resistant barrier. Any of the modern wraps would be appropriate. Moisture wraps need proper installation that includes attachment and the taping of seams. The problem I have with what I see here, and this is the only place I could see wood siding underneath, is that the wood looks old, and installed before moisture wraps were common. Tar papers could be used, but prying up the wood siding I could see nothing underneath. And looking into a couple of seams in the vinyl siding I could see no moisture wrap.
4. Windows and doors should have a proper flashing prior to the vinyl installation. The problem I have with what I see here, and this is the only place I could see wood siding underneath, is that I could not tell because I could not see it!
My recommendation: when some things look wrong it is hard to assume that the rest of everything was done right. New vinyl siding touted as a "feature" in the listing information is only a feature if it is done properly, if not professionally. And if you can't tell that from what you can see, what you can't see is very worrisome indeed! An invoice from a professional, well-known company is the best way to proclaim something as a feature.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560