What I'm Seeing Now

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Installing New Vinyl Siding Over Old Wood Siding

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 17 commentsJay Markanich • December 20 2015 01:36AM

Comments

Oh yes, that looks like it's probably a recipe for disaster.  It's most likely worse i the areas you can't see.  Expensive mistake for the seller.

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) over 3 years ago

Who knows Debbie.  Things like this are almost always sold to people who overlook such stuff!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

 Good morning Jay. Although the standards require a moisture barrier, it's not required in this area. I have seen some real terrible installation jobs. I think they must've worked as a butcher in a meat market. – LOL

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Required or not, Michael, Mother Nature will enforce her codes rigorously and with impudence!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Jay Markanich every local siding company I know will refuse to install vinyl over old siding of any kind.... they strip the house...

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 3 years ago

Likely so Barbara!  Key words:  siding company.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

This is pretty common around here.

Posted by Greg Cremia (Shore Realty of the Outer Banks) over 3 years ago

Jay, we see this all the time in this area. It's a quick cover-up "fix" for a home that is looking sad. Unfortunately, someone down the road is going to inherit a problem.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 3 years ago

Ahhh, the ol lipstick on a pig routine!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

Greg - my son has a house in Wrightsville Beach.  I have seen that it's common there myself!

Mike - a historic home in Manassas resided with vinyl and the city made them tear it down!

I'm sorry Fred, but I did not know lipstick was made out of vinyl.

Oh, I see what you mean now.

Or did to begin with.

You'll never know, will you?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay- Fred Hernden said what I was thinking.  It reinforces what I suggest all of the time... make sure you have a really good home inspector!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 3 years ago

Hi Jay Markanich, Thanks for the very informative blog post.  It is important to know how to do this and I'm sure like me, most people wouldn't know how to do this properly.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 3 years ago

Kathy - it was lipstick, indeed, but expensive then they sprayed stuff on the deck and got it over a lot of the siding in the rear.  There was sooo much more to see at this house too!

Sybil - THAT is why Flippers are so troublesome!  What they do they often don't do properly.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

And someone who doesn't know any better and probably cannot afford to properly fix the problem buys this problem house.  A couple of years later once they realize the magnitude of the problem they walk away from the house and it goes into foreclosure.  Let's hope nobody buys this property.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 3 years ago

Stephen - the guy who does is the one who thinks home inspections are a waste of money.  I've met them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Like most humans Jay Markanich you can't cover up ROTTEN and make it go away

Posted by DEANNA EARLY - - ( NMLS # 268590 ), Highest Ranked Mortgage Loan Originator Virginia (American National Bank & Trust) over 3 years ago

Dat true Deanna!  And I have uncovered a lot of rotten humans.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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