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lots of unsealed gaps on siding


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I just bought my house about one month ago and I am really upset about it now.

First, I always feel like it is vibratating, especially in the kitchen. Everytime I walk through the kitchen, the stuffs on the countertop will vibrate and If I try to push the countertop, It sounds like the whole countertop will vibrate too.

Secondly, there is a really big gap along the whole wall of the garage. Please see the picture below.

Thirdly, there are lot of unsealed gaps between the butt joints of the siding, almost every butt joint. According the report of the inspector, there is no counter flashing visable at joints. However,A weather proof barrier is visible at accessible locations. I am a first home buyer and have no idea how bad it is. So I had an licienced contactor to take a look and he said it is ok and the gap is for expansion and I believed him at that time. However, after I moved in and take a close look at it and found that some gaps are really big and some are even big than 1/8". Please see the picture below.

Is there anything wrong with my house? What should I do? I have no idea. My house is about 6 years old.

Thanks for your patient.

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Hi,

if it was Color Plus siding it requires flashings at the butt joints, if not, flashigns are preferred but if you don't install them they want to see the butts caulked. Caulking is a lousy choice because the siding will expand and contract heat and cold changes and the caulk invariably fails. Then you daub more caulk on the joint and need to touchup the paint. Before you know it, you've got a thick bead of caulk and paint built up after several re-caulkings and the siding looks like hell.

The vibration; is your floor system truss joists by any chance? If so, the Engineered Wood Association published a paper that tells how to dampen some of the vibration folks experience with TJI's.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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The siding manufacturer recommends flashing behind the joints, but still doesn't require it. The joints are required to be caulked/ sealed if not flashed.

Have you identified the manufacturer by the pictures?

Which manufacturer doesn't require flashing behind the joints?

Which manufacturer requires caulking if not flashed?

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Have you identified the manufacturer by the pictures?

Should be Certainteed or Hardie-- installation instructions are similar. Is there another manufacturer of this stuff that I am not aware of?

Which manufacturer doesn't require flashing behind the joints?

Certainteed and Hardie....

Which manufacturer requires caulking if not flashed?

They all require some type of joint treatment, or at least last I checked. If any instructions show otherwise, I'd defer to building code requirements.

I'm too tired to research this stuff right now. The installation instructions keep getting updated/ changed. When Hardie started recommending the use of flashing at butt joints, they stated on their instructions that if flashing was not used, then caulking was required...

I'm not 100% sure who manufactured that siding, but am 99% sure it's one of the 2 manufacturers above. That's why I told the OP to get a copy of the manufactuers installation instructions and didn't just post a set from Certainteed or Hardie.

Bill-- I have a feeling you already know all of this, and are hinting that I should post more specific or precise info. when I do post?? Unfortunately, my current work load doesn't allow for the time to do so.........

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Thanks for the homework; I had one of these yesterday.

Regarding the other stuff, I'm guessing the house is a box, minimally constructed. They're feeling the vibrations from minimally constructed assemblies.

Without a lot of pictures, it's hard to know what's going on.

On the plus side, some form of flashing could be slid under the siding to correct that portion of the issues. It would be a little screwy, but only a little.

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I just bought my house about one month ago and I am really upset about it now.

First, I always feel like it is vibratating, especially in the kitchen. Everytime I walk through the kitchen, the stuffs on the countertop will vibrate and If I try to push the countertop, It sounds like the whole countertop will vibrate too.

Have you lived in a wood-framed house before? I ask because I've had clients from Asia who are accustomed to concrete or stone construction and have never experienced wood framing before. It's bouncy and creaky and generally feels less solid that concrete or stone. And, as Kurt pointed out, if they used floor trusses or I-Joists, then it's *particularly* bouncy. There are things you can do to address this, but the bounciness itself is not a symptom of a larger problem.

Secondly, there is a really big gap along the whole wall of the garage. Please see the picture below.

It's no big deal. Fill it with anything.

Thirdly, there are lot of unsealed gaps between the butt joints of the siding, almost every butt joint. According the report of the inspector, there is no counter flashing visable at joints. However,A weather proof barrier is visible at accessible locations. I am a first home buyer and have no idea how bad it is. So I had an licienced contactor to take a look and he said it is ok and the gap is for expansion and I believed him at that time. However, after I moved in and take a close look at it and found that some gaps are really big and some are even big than 1/8". Please see the picture below.

In your last picture, I see caulk in the joint. It looks like the installer put caulk on the end of one plank and slid the other one up to it, making a caulk sandwich. That's *exactly* what the siding manufacturer specified in 2006 when your house was built. When the caulk fails, as yours has, you were expected to re-caulk it. The new standard, which requires flashing, is a much better solution. It's easy to install the flashing after the fact. Any reasonably intelligent contractor should be able to do this for you.

Is there anything wrong with my house? What should I do? I have no idea. My house is about 6 years old.

I don't know. But in the pictures you've posted, I don't see anything that's even slightly alarming.

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. . . On the plus side, some form of flashing could be slid under the siding to correct that portion of the issues. It would be a little screwy, but only a little.

Take a tin shingle, use tin snips to make two little slits 1-1/4" up from each of the lower corners, bend the shingle back ever so slightly above the slits, and slip it up under the siding. The bend corners will hook onto the course below and stay put. With practice, you can do several per minute.

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I just bought my house about one month ago and I am really upset about it now.

First, I always feel like it is vibratating, especially in the kitchen. Everytime I walk through the kitchen, the stuffs on the countertop will vibrate and If I try to push the countertop, It sounds like the whole countertop will vibrate too.

Have you lived in a wood-framed house before? I ask because I've had clients from Asia who are accustomed to concrete or stone construction and have never experienced wood framing before. It's bouncy and creaky and generally feels less solid that concrete or stone. And, as Kurt pointed out, if they used floor trusses or I-Joists, then it's *particularly* bouncy. There are things you can do to address this, but the bounciness itself is not a symptom of a larger problem.

Yes. I did live in a wood framed apartment for about five years. I also went to some open houses to feel the bounce. It feels like that my house is a little bit more unstable, especially in the kitchen.

Secondly, there is a really big gap along the whole wall of the garage. Please see the picture below.

It's no big deal. Fill it with anything.

Good to know it. Thanks.

Thirdly, there are lot of unsealed gaps between the butt joints of the siding, almost every butt joint. According the report of the inspector, there is no counter flashing visable at joints. However,A weather proof barrier is visible at accessible locations. I am a first home buyer and have no idea how bad it is. So I had an licienced contactor to take a look and he said it is ok and the gap is for expansion and I believed him at that time. However, after I moved in and take a close look at it and found that some gaps are really big and some are even big than 1/8". Please see the picture below.

In your last picture, I see caulk in the joint. It looks like the installer put caulk on the end of one plank and slid the other one up to it, making a caulk sandwich. That's *exactly* what the siding manufacturer specified in 2006 when your house was built. When the caulk fails, as yours has, you were expected to re-caulk it. The new standard, which requires flashing, is a much better solution. It's easy to install the flashing after the fact. Any reasonably intelligent contractor should be able to do this for you.

yes, I can see some caulk left there. I never used a contractor before, so what kind of contractor should I use? A general one or any special one?

Thanks.

Is there anything wrong with my house? What should I do? I have no idea. My house is about 6 years old.

I don't know. But in the pictures you've posted, I don't see anything that's even slightly alarming.

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Thanks all for replying. It helps a lot. Since this is my first home, I am really nervouse about it.

Bukiqe. Not to worry too much; it's a house, you can understand it and fix it if necessary.

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. . . It feels like that my house is a little bit more unstable, especially in the kitchen.

Without seeing your house, I can't say for sure. But I think that unstable is probably the wrong word. It sounds like bouncy or springy would better describe the condition. If that's so, it's probably the result of light framing with I-joists.

. . . I never used a contractor before, so what kind of contractor should I use? A general one or any special one?

The work that you need to have done doesn't require any particular skill, just attention to detail. You want to find someone who's neat and precise. Check out Yelp and Angie's List for recommendations in your area. Try to get referrals from friends or business associates that you know.

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Have you identified the manufacturer by the pictures?

Should be Certainteed or Hardie-- installation instructions are similar. Is there another manufacturer of this stuff that I am not aware of?

Which manufacturer doesn't require flashing behind the joints?

Certainteed and Hardie....

Which manufacturer requires caulking if not flashed?

They all require some type of joint treatment, or at least last I checked. If any instructions show otherwise, I'd defer to building code requirements.

I'm too tired to research this stuff right now. The installation instructions keep getting updated/ changed. When Hardie started recommending the use of flashing at butt joints, they stated on their instructions that if flashing was not used, then caulking was required...

I'm not 100% sure who manufactured that siding, but am 99% sure it's one of the 2 manufacturers above. That's why I told the OP to get a copy of the manufactuers installation instructions and didn't just post a set from Certainteed or Hardie.

Bill-- I have a feeling you already know all of this, and are hinting that I should post more specific or precise info. when I do post?? Unfortunately, my current work load doesn't allow for the time to do so.........

I asked the questions so I (and anyone else reading the thread) had up-to-date info. I thought that both Hardie and Certainteed now specifically require flashing behind butt joints. When I read your post, I thought maybe that changed.
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Without seeing your house, I can't say for sure. But I think that unstable is probably the wrong word. It sounds like bouncy or springy would better describe the condition. If that's so, it's probably the result of light framing with I-joists.

You are right. Bouncy should be a better word. I googled some solution for my bouncy house and found this:http://blog.luxorcorp.com/2008/12/08/the-simplest-way-to-fix-bouncy-floors/

Is this true? what is the best way to make my floor more solid?

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When I read your post, I thought maybe that changed.

Heck, the instructions have probably changed since I looked up the info. and posted what I found. I can't seem to keep up with their installation instructions. Trying to determine what the requirements were at the time of the installation can be even more fun.

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Provide a picture of the under side your floor structure from the basement. Several would be good.

I can only take some pictures from half the crawl basement. the other half part is too black for me and I am so scared to reach there. My husband is working.

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I see some issues with the vapor barrier and the crawlspace vents, but the structure isn't showing me anything that makes me think you've got a major problem.

My guess is what Jim said; you may be used to concrete construction. Wood frame construction feels very different.

Are you from china? I know everything in china is concrete, wood construction is relatively rare.

Someone tell her about vapor barriers and crawlspace venting.

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I'm having a little trouble with the fact the beam runs parallel to the floor joists. Is this such a narrow structure that the floor joists can span the entire crawlspace without overlapping on a beam someplace?

Man, I wish just a third of the crawls I have to go into every year looked half as clean as that one. If they did, I'd be in hog heaven.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I saw that, but gave it benefit of the doubt that someone goofed up the beam layout. The long spans are probably the bounce they're feeling.

The craw

Space should have a vapor barrier, close up the vents, and condition the space.

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