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Repair Cedar Wood Siding


We are remodeling our carriage house and need some advice on the siding. It is pretty damaged in places - gaps and bubbles.

If we can repair it, what is the best way to do so? Replace sections? How can we tell which sections need to be replaced? Can we just strip the bubbled paint and repaint or do we need to worry about the wood that has gotten wet? How do you fill in those gaps you can see from the inside?

We think it is dolly varden style cedar siding.

(Yes, we have other interior issues - like water damage around the windows - work in progress. :) )


Re: Repair Cedar Wood Siding

From all the rusted nail heads that I see on the face of the clap boards, I would remove it all and replace with new. Not something that I would like, but it would be much easier and less expensive than trying to repair what you have now. This will also give you the opportunity to repair the damage around the windows and the stud walls. There really is no repair for clap board siding other than replacement. Since the nail heads are already rusted, that tells that water is already getting to the inside of the clap board. Even if you just paint over the existing, it will continue to rot from the inside.

Make sure that when you replace all the clap boards, that you use a high quality breathable primer and high quality breathable paint. We use milk paint on the siding of our Victorian house. The wood has been on there for 125 years, and is still in perfect condition.

Handy Andy in Mt Airy NC


Re: Repair Cedar Wood Siding

Clear demand for new siding.
Please understand that there is no structural sheathing. That is another unmet standard that needs to be looked into. Without adequate rack bracing, a structure can literally get badly bent out of shape by the wind (or other forces that come to bear).

Re: Repair Cedar Wood Siding

I am just a humble ex-painting contractor, but a few things do bother me:

As noted, there is no sheathing at all, although there appears to be diagonal bracing notched into the studs to keep the house from racking. The house does seem to have remained fairly square. Still, were it mine, I would try to integrate sheathing, knowing that that would add additional depth to the wall.

One side has what appears to be cement stairs very close to the siding. This would really get in the way of a re-siding job, especially if additional sheathing built out the depth of the wall.

Any re-siding job should have a rain screen to block air infiltration and shed flowing water, should it get behind the siding.

It looks like there might be some grading issues on the side with the door. Moisture needs to be kkept away from the foundation and lower courses of siding.

Sorry, I am not a carpenter and am not sure what to advise. There are far more knowledgable construction guys on this site than I, but I do recognize potential problems.

Re: Repair Cedar Wood Siding

Okay, I was just doing some research after reading these replies and looking at sheathing, the Tyvek moisture barrier stuff, and new cedar siding.

I don't know if I mentioned - but I'm pretty sure this is the original stuff from 1906. Not terribly surprised it does not meet today's standards of sheathing, moisture barrier etc. - But it's done very well for 110 yrs!!

I did not think about the stairs causing a problem - I will have to think about what to do about that.

This looks like the right way to go about it - but it seems very expensive. I called a company to come just to give me an estimate next week - but based on the price of wood siding (or even vinyl) and rolls of the Tyvek, this looks like it could go upwards of 10k very easily (I'm using 20hx17w per side of the rectangular building for my estimate - it's really 16.4x16.9 but I'm just ball-parking).

Does that cost estimate sound correct? Is there any way I can do this for less than that? (Don't know if I can afford that at the moment). I'm an electrical engineer happy to DIY other items - I had been hoping to replace the siding myself. I can also do a little wood work myself (though I do have to do it mostly at the community woodshop).

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