Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos
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A. Spruce
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos
Jared C. wrote:

Very good to know. Thanks.

I can't stand stucco, but if it's on a 1940s charmer, and everything else checks out, it's worth considering. I'm glad to know about the newer stucco. Sounds like a headache.

I would rather buy a vinyl clad house than stucco. It's easier to see what's going on underneath. But really I can't stand either option. In our price range, though, we're going to have to make some compromises.

One house on the list for tomorrow has dreaded popcorn ceilings. Yep, asbestos again. But there are many redeeming qualities, and it's my understand we can have that sc****d down and a the ceiling resurfaced.

I have no idea how much that would cost, and it's not something we want to do ourselves. It would have to be done before we move in. I'll have to get an estimate on what that would cost on a house that's no more than 1300 square feet.

With any house, as long as the siding is in good shape, you probably don't have much to worry about the structure behind it. The one exception I make is for vinyl siding, which is frequently used to cover damage up, as well as it leaks and causes more damage to occur and remain unseen.

I would not be afraid of popcorn ceilings, yes, some of them may contain asbestos, but it isn't a guarantee. The best thing to do is require the seller to prove that it is asbestos free, which is a free/low cost test. If there is, you can either have it removed, or you can encapsulate it with paint. You can even remove it yourself SAFELY, with relative ease. I can expound on this if you'd like.

Jared C.
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

Great, the cat ran across the keyboard when I was typing my last comment. I just now caught the asterisks and typo.

The dummy.

A. Spruce
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos
Jared C. wrote:

Great, the cat ran across the keyboard when I was typing my last comment. I just now caught the asterisks and typo.

The dummy.

It wasn't the cat, it is the word censor. We've had problems with spammers, so key spam words or "bad" words show up as asterisks. The problem with that is that the censor only sees the "bad" letter combination, it doesn't take the whole word into account. Case in point, scr-aped gets flagged because it has ra-pe in it, so just do as I've done here and put a hyphen or space within the "offensive" word and all is well.

dj1
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

Let me take you back to stucco.

Around here 99.9% of the homes have stucco, the real stucco that is. It's inexpensive, easy to maintain, long lasting and attractive IMHO.

About the popcorn: a 1300 sf ceiling should run about 2K to remove. It's a very messy job. Finishing the drywall not included, and if you're good with joint compound, you can do it yourself.

Jared C.
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

Thanks for the heads up on stucco. I wouldn't have known about this.

So we withdrew our offer on the house I mentioned. Just now our realtor forwarded a copy of a test report for the vermiculite. Based on two samples the report says it test negative for asbestos. This is an excerpt from my response to the realtor:

"Setting aside the asbestos and air intake concern, we were told that $14,000 in termite damage is significant. We would have to disclose that should we decide to sell the house someday.

Included in the $14,000 was $8000 in damage caused by wood boring beetles. None of the exterior walls were inspected, just the cement foundation where evidence of termites was found. It's very possible that with so much damage under the house, there are problems in the walls. It was also suggested to us that there could be problems in the bathroom walls due to leaks and moisture, which termites love.

So not having access to the structure under the siding worries us. Because of the termite and beetle damage, we would want a thorough inspection that would require pulling down some of the siding. We won't pay for the inspection or repairs to the siding.

We also don't know how old the roof is. Since the pest inspectors didn't enter the attic, there could be problems up there, too."

Do you agree with my assessment? I know very little about termite and beetle damage.

dj1
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

You don't need a scientific report to explain why you chose not to buy this house.

Any termite report that doesn't include an attic and exterior walls inspection is incomplete.

The more you write about your experiences, the more I say go find another house. And maybe another real estate agent.

Jared C.
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

Thanks for the feedback. I thought perhaps the inspection was incomplete, but I wasn't sure. I sure appreciate the feedback!!!

Jared C.
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

Here is a closeup of a section where the vinyl siding has slipped down from the roofline. There are several sections like this along the roofline. For the sake of education, we would like to know your take on what this could be. It's not on the siding, just the wood, which tells me it could be fungus or dirt from termites. I think we may also be seeing dry rot on the corner.

Shoot, I'm not sure the photo upload is working. I reduced the size to 1000px wide, but it's still not showing up. Any suggestions?

A. Spruce
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

It is best to use an outside pic host site, then link the image here. Due to spam, many restrictions have been placed on this site that make uploading difficult/impossible.

Don
Re: The Mystery Behind the Vinyl Siding — Termites, Water Damage and Asbestos

My humble opinion is that you shop for another realtor before you shop for other houses.

Clearly, he/she does not have your best interests in mind.

With rates and (relatively) building materials and labor low, have you thought about building?

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