If you read our first post, “Undoing the Damage from Vinyl-Siding,” you know we have been hard at work this summer removing the vinyl-siding (actually aluminum) from our house, scraping, and painting. It is not fun work, but it is worth it in the end.
Well, about a week ago we found the worst water damage yet to our ground sill. In the picture above you can see how extensive the damage was horizontally. The wood chisel we were using to carve out the damage would easily go 4 to 6 inches into the wood before hitting solid material.
In addition to the rot in the sill, the water damage extended up into the wood that the clapboard were nailed into as shown in this picture. I guess if we hadn’t discovered this ourselves, we would have known something was amiss when the house started to sink and the clapboards started to fall off–yikes!
So how did this happen and why was the vinyl-siding responsible? To be sure, this is a trouble area for the siding. This area receives a lot of water splashing from the rain coming off of the valley in the roof–which means twice the amount of water. Also compounding this problem is the deck that effectively raises the ground level allowing water to splash onto the siding rather than the brick foundation.
In the course of putting on the vinyl-siding, the first clapboard was removed and a thicker furring strip was added to be used the initial anchor for the siding–shown below (our apologies for the blurry picture). This wood was unprotected on the bottom side and because it was thicker than the clapboard became a bigger target for the splashing water.
Over time, this exposed wood was slowly wicking more and more water up into the sill. Of course, with the vinyl covering it, the wood never had a chance to dry. And this is the north side of the house so it never receives direct sunlight to bake the water out. So the water damage just worsened.
We managed to chisel the rot out and put in some fresh new wood. But it’s this kind of stuff that can really set your schedule back. We ended up spending an entire weekend doing these repairs when we should have been scraping and painting. Oh well, the joys of owning an historical, old home 🙂
You can see the almost final results below. We went ahead and painted the backboards as another barrier to moisture and we aren’t going to replace the first row with clapboard, but instead will use a hardwood trim board painted, on both sides, yellow to match the rest of the trim. We hope this will prove to be a more formidable foe against future rain splatter. Please feel free to share your vinyl-siding horror stories in the comment section below.