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Replace rotten cedar shingle siding with more cedar or cement lookalike?

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Old 10-18-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


We are replacing cedar shingle siding on our 1920s craftsman in southern california. As the shingles are coming off I am noticing that there are quite a few holes in the old and somewhat brittle tar paper felt wrap underneath. However all the paper has skip sheathing nailed over it.

What is the best thing to do? Patch the holes somehow? Over-wrap with some sort of new barrier? Hopefully not take off all the siding and paper and redoing it all?

Also, I noticed that the top of the wall at the attic had no wrap at all on the front part of the house (though top attic areas on the sides of the house are wrapped). Was this a typical way to build at the time or did they just not do it?

Thanks in advance to anyone that can be of any help.
Also, if anyone knows a cedar shingle specialist in the L.A. area we would love a referral!

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Old 10-19-2012, 05:16 AM   #2
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


Welcome to the forum thumpic.

You defiantly want to replace any weather barrier (tar paper) you expose with new, don't try to just patch it.

As far as the missing paper you can see in the attic, if you aren’t planning on replacing that siding and there is “no” water damage or leaks on that wall you’re probably ok. I “only” say that because of where you’re located.

As far as a referral your best bet is to go to a good old fashion lumber yard (not box store), go to the contractors desk and ask them. The guys/gal behind the desk likely have been there for many years and know who the good siding guys are. Even with their recommendations you still want to get more than one bid and check references, make sure their licencing is up to date and go look at some of their past work.

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Old 10-19-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


you will reach a certain point during the repairs to know if a total re do is in order. If you are replacing up to or over 50% then consider a re do with proper house wrap. if you replace a piece here and there you can only really fix right behind single pieces of siding and that is not really that effective but is better than what was there when you tore the old siding off.. Attic walls usually did not get insulation or felt paper wrap in some cases because the attic is not a conditioned space.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:51 AM   #4
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


Thanks for the input so far. I do appreciate the insight. My follow up is: to replace the tar paper would require taking down all the skip sheathing. That is a lot more lumber and cost. The contractor wants to put a weather membrane of some sort directly over the old sheathing and tar paper, then put shingles up over that. He also doesnt want to pre-stain the shingles, preferring to stain once they are up on the house.

Is this a valid approach, or do I need to take down the shingles, the sheathing, and the paper and do it over? Is it ok not to pre-stain? The contractor points out that is how the house was put up originally and the old shingle has lasted about 90 years.

As an extra wrinkle, we are trying NOT to have to redo the siding on the whole house. Right now we can potentially get away with doing about half of it in sections unless we have to replace the tar.

Keep in mind we are in the Los Angeles area so no snow, no wind driven rain for the most part, and our temperatures never hit freezing (though the old house is very drafty even in our mild weather).
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


You need to strip the wall back to the sheathing, make any repairs to the sheathing and framing if necessary, install new #30 felt (including the gables) and then the shingles. Forget the skip boards, there not necessary where your at.

Don’t try to piecemeal this, it sounds like you’re wanting to do a little here and there, like maybe only the ugly parts of certain walls at a time. Correct me if I’m wrong.

If you can only afford to do half of the house now then pick which half and do it complete.

If the shingles are going to be stained I prefer to do it beforehand. It’s more work and is a mess, which is why your contractor doesn’t want to do it.

When I pre-stain I dip about 2/3 of the shingle into the stain and let them dry (usually) in milk crates until they run out the I have shingles leaning up all over the place. Do a search, there’s all kinds of different ways accomplish the dipping system. There all tidiest, use way more stain and are a mess but it’s the best protection you can give the shingle.

If you stain afterwards getting stain between all the spaces between the shingles is difficult at best.

You can purchase pre-finished shingles but they don’t come cheap.
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Last edited by kwikfishron; 10-19-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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if you decide to strip down to sheathing I would recommend installing a rain screen so that trapped moisture between your weather barrier and wood shingles can dry out. if not your shingles get wet on the back (expand) and dried to the exterior (contract) which will cause cupping of the shingles. Typically your finish and shingles will not last as long.

I use this product http://www.benjaminobdyke.com/visito...omeSlickerPlus which is a combination weather barrier and rain screen product.

Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:34 PM   #7
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


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if you decide to strip down to sheathing I would recommend installing a rain screen so that trapped moisture between your weather barrier and wood shingles can dry out. if not your shingles get wet on the back (expand) and dried to the exterior (contract) which will cause cupping of the shingles. Typically your finish and shingles will not last as long.

I use this product http://www.benjaminobdyke.com/visito...omeSlickerPlus which is a combination weather barrier and rain screen product.

Good luck!
Thanks. I really appreciate it. I have a few points to get straight on this recommendation.

1. Is a rain screen necessary in my area (Los Angeles)? We are in the hills so we see some fog and probably 5-7 days of rain a year but I have seen some cupping on areas of the house where shingle was installed directly over felt without air voids inside. Since we are going to be placing felt directly over the old skip sheathing there won't be voids behind any longer.
2. Is the product you recommend used instead of 30 felt? The Cedar Bureau recommends 30 felt flat on sheathing with shingle directly over that, but I do agree I would prefer a way for shingles to dry...

Thanks again!
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
You need to strip the wall back to the sheathing, make any repairs to the sheathing and framing if necessary, install new #30 felt (including the gables) and then the shingles. Forget the skip boards, there not necessary where your at.
Thanks for your reply. So we can attach the felt directly over the old skip boards and then staple the shingles to that? The lack of rear spacing wont be a problem in terms of moisture, cupping, etc?
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #9
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


I'll try and answer your questions to the best of my ability. from the 2009 International Residential Code, basis for most local/state building codes including Cali:

R703.1.1 Water resistance. The exterior wall envelope shall be designed and constructed in a manner that prevents the accumulation of water within the wall assembly by providing a water-resistant barrier behind the exterior veneer as required by Section R703.2 and a means of draining to the exterior water that enters the assembly. Protection against condensation in the exterior wall assembly shall be provided in accordance with Section R601.3 of this code.

R703.2 Water-resistive barrier. One layer of No. 15 asphalt felt, free from holes and breaks, complying with ASTM D 226 for Type 1 felt or other approved water-resistive barrier shall be applied over studs or sheathing of all exterior walls. Such felt or material shall be applied horizontally, with the upper layer lapped over the lower layer not less than 2 inches (51 mm). Where joints occur, felt shall be lapped not less than 6 inches (152 mm). The felt or other approved material shall be continuous to the top of walls and terminated at penetrations and building appendages in a manner to meet the requirements of the exterior wall envelope as described in Section R703.1.

Exception: Omission of the water-resistive barrier is permitted in the following situations:

1. In detached accessory buildings.
2. Under exterior wall finish materials as permitted in Table R703.4.
3. Under paperbacked stucco lath when the paper backing is an approved water-resistive barrier.


Typar, Tyvek and other weather resistant barriers are allowed as an option to the 15 lb asphalt felt paper as a weather resistant barrier.

The product I linked is combined as one product, typar with the rain screen, in other words you do not have to install two products, only the one.

it also provides the means to drain trapped moisture to the exterior as the moisture flows downward and drips to the ground.

rain is not the only means of moisture getting behind your siding, condensation, cleaning the siding with a hose, lawn sprinklers, etc. are means of moisture getting behind the siding.

from the Western Red Cedar Bureau http://www.wrcla.org/cedarspecs/inst...ngmoisture.asp notice it calls out a a drainage wrap, i.e., Tyvek DrainWrap.

from the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau: http://www.cedarbureau.org/frequentl...ation/felt.asp

Would you recommend house wrap or felt for shingle sidewall application?

The CSSB recommends Type 30 ASTM Designation 226 (ASTM D 226) or ASTM Designation 4869 (D 4869) roofing felt. House wrap typically allows moisture to flow behind the shingles, where Type 30 roofing felt will not.


the rain screen will allow any moisture to flow from inside the wall, but the rain screen will allow the moisture to drain and not enter the shingles.


Hope this helps.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for your reply. So we can attach the felt directly over the old skip boards and then staple the shingles to that? The lack of rear spacing wont be a problem in terms of moisture, cupping, etc?

Are we talking about the same thing, horizontal nailers, which are over felt that’s over sheathing? If so I’m saying to get rid of the nailers permanently, you don’t need them.

Remove all the felt off this 90 year old home and inspect and repair if need be any sheathing/framing issues. Then install new felt or another house wrap product then the siding.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:40 AM   #11
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Cedar siding repair on 90 year old craftsman


Keep the strapping as they are giving your shingles their longevity. You don't want wood shingles on a flat wall; photo 3; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...d%20in%20walls

An air space with horizontal furring is made for the Pacific Coast; http://www.coastalcontractor.net/article/135.html

Use builders paper over/under the old with 2" laps at all edges. Top slips through/behind a horizontal slit cut in the old, overlaps the old on the bottom/sides only. Cali study on stucco walls with Typar (11 perms- too closed) or Super/Jumbo Tex (24-29 perms) show the drying for optimal range (with OSB- not your solid wood sheathing) is between 18-24 perms, chart pp.17, pp. 24; http://www.energy.ca.gov/2007publica...esidential.pdf

Leave the air space, lol, this was written for you; http://www.articlesbase.com/home-and...ng-131102.html

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Old 10-20-2012, 12:43 AM   #12
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Welcome thumpic to the forum!!!
I think you should Go with cement or vinyl. It will last longer and be less of a pain!!!

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