Hardboard Siding Issues

hardboard siding

Hardboard siding, also known as pressboard siding and several other rather unflattering terms, is common in the Omaha area. It can be a real problem. If you have it you are probably already familiar with the issues it has. It is subject to moisture entrapment and decay. It deteriorates rather easily.

If you have this problem you basically have three options.

  1. Replacement of all siding on your home to something better.
  2. Replacement of the damaged siding with new hardboard siding.
  3. Skirting over the damaged areas on the existing siding.

Your budget will most likely determine your decision. Total siding replacement is obviously costly. Replacement of the damaged siding is more economical and skirting is the most economical choice.

If you rule out total siding replacement and go for replacement of the damaged panels only then the first thing to determine is if there is hardboard siding, that matches what you currently have, available. You will need new siding that matches the profile of what you have. There are sources in Omaha that have it but it is a limited selection so you will want to check before having the bad stuff ripped off the house!

You will be replacing bad siding with “new” bad siding but there are things to do to get the most out of the new stuff.

  1. Prime the siding on all sides with a quality oil base primer.
  2. Caulk the siding after installation with a urethane caulk like vulkem.
  3. Consider skirting the new siding.
  4. Use a quality Acrylic top coat when painting.

If you decide to Skirt the damaged siding you will want to determine that the damage is not to severe. An overlay of a 1×6 or a 1×8 normally looks ok. Beyond that it begins to look a little funny. A 1×12 running down the side of your home won’t look right. The damage is associated with where water penetrates. Usually from the bottom up so measure how far up the damage is. If the damage is less then 6 or 7 inches and there is not damage under the siding then you can probably skirt it.

If you plan to skirt the siding there are things to do to get the most out of it.

  1. Cut the top edge of the 1×6 or 1×8 at a bevel so water does not sit on the top lip of the board. Do this by running the boards through a table saw with the blade at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Prime all sides of the boards with an oil base primer before installation.
  3. Caulk the boards after installation with a urethane caulk (Vulkem).
  4.  Use a quality Acrylic top coat when painting.

We face lots of these challenges each summer. We replace the siding when possible but also skirt many each year.

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