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They Shoot Horses (Vinyl Siding) Don't They?


mgbinspect
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I'm suspect this subject has been thoroughly hashed, but:

As I inspect a vinyl siding building, for the ten billionth time I am left to conclude that water getting behind the siding at doors and windows is simply an acceptable occurance as long as it isn't volumes. The system drives me nut. It's kinda like us wearing a trench coat in the rain that doesn't zip or overlap and we're supposed to be thrilled that we're not getting any wetter than we are.

I'm just not a fan of vinyl siding unless they can come up with junctions that completely deny water entry. Are there systems like that?

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When properly installed vinyl siding allows 20% of the water that hits it to get behind it. Consider installation defects and that percentage increases dramatically. Excellent installation details can be found at VSI.org or in the Certainteed installation manual.

There is an enormous misconception that vinyl siding is cheap, but when properly installed with a WRB and correct flashing details at every penetration it is very labor intensive. At my day job we average 12 man hours per square to properly detail and finish a vinyl retrofit, making even a very simple project upwards of $1000 per square.

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Yes, it can be the drainage plane.

Vinyl siding can be really easy, fast, and inexpensive to install, and it can work just fine. That's usually on really, really simple buildings. It can be expensive and complicated to install on other buildings.

The Tyvek Installation Guidelines pretty much provide the fundamentals, and the VSI, and Certainteed sites like Tom said.

After that, drip caps and metal flashing broken to fit the requirements for no leaks, i.e., you have to have a competent installer that knows how to use a sheet metal brake.

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Well Tom and Kurt, maybe I'm just like that annoying kid that constantly asks "why"? But, here's my rant:

One would think that in ALL the years (todo las dias) that man has been making and installing vinyl siding that some siding brain-child would have come up with an intrlocking marriage between door/window units and a J-channel style unit surround that channels the water across the unit head, down the jambs and kicks it out over the first piece of whole siding under the unit to the right and left of the jamb. Is that so hard? It seems pretty easy and doable to me.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it is.... This post will self-distruct in 10 seconds... [:-disguis

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A J-channel part that would fit over the window, that could be integrated with the flashing scheme of the opening and that was fused to vertical members on each side to make it shed properly is too much trouble for the manufacturer to make. Too many different widths of windows and doors. Besides, given the popularity and sales volume of vinyl, why would they bother? It's somebody else's house anyway.

Marc

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A J-channel part that would fit over the window, that could be integrated with the flashing scheme of the opening and that was fused to vertical members on each side to make it shed properly is too much trouble for the manufacturer to make. Too many different widths of windows and doors. Besides, given the popularity and sales volume of vinyl, why would they bother? It's somebody else's house anyway.

Marc

True, but the pieces could be lapped and interocked - adjustable to fit snuggly to a range of window and door sizes.

I really can't believe no one's done it.

You listening out there vinyl siding manufacturers?

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The applicator is supposed to do that, notching and tabbing the J channels as they are applied. The flashing is a separate system altogether. Look at the Certainteed install manual, there are over 100 pages of such little details.

that get omitted by most installers... [V]

Thanks for your insights, Tom. I'm encouraged by your responses for a pretty depressing reason: I don't think I've ever seen any such details incorporated into any vinyl siding installation around here - not even new construction. It's always the same: J-channel around all four sides of an opening, which always had me thinking about all of that water literally running down the wall behind the siding. [:-yuck]

I'll be sure to check out that install manual so I"ll have a clear picture of what isn't being done here that could be.

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The applicator is supposed to do that, notching and tabbing the J channels as they are applied. The flashing is a separate system altogether. Look at the Certainteed install manual, there are over 100 pages of such little details.

that get omitted by most installers... [V]

Thanks for your insights, Tom. I'm encouraged by your responses for a pretty depressing reason: I don't think I've ever seen any such details incorporated into any vinyl siding installation around here - not even new construction. It's always the same: J-channel around all four sides of an opening, which always had me thinking about all of that water literally running down the wall behind the siding. [:-yuck]

I'll be sure to check out that install manual so I"ll have a clear picture of what isn't being done here that could be.

Sad, but you can do all the screaming you want, but no builder or owner is gonna do a damn thing about it. After all, you are just a home inspector...[:(!]

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