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jdbs3 10-17-2012 06:24 PM

Clapboard Moisture Issue – Help!
I re-did 70-80% of the clapboard on my house in August and early September; used CVG pre-primed western red cedar. Then started staining the house with Benjamin Moore Arbercoat solid stain. I did not get to far before it rained on and off for a week. And ever since then, it seems like every other day we get just enough rain to stop staining that and the next day.

With temperatures getting down to 40 degrees and below at night, yet into the 50’s and 60’s during the day, I may still get the house stained (2 coats) before it is too cold to do more.

BUT, here is the problem. Typically, I would wait 24 – 48 hours after a rain before staining again. And if it was a good soaking rain, or the side of the house that gets little sun, I’d wait an additional 24 hours.

But wanting to know how soon I could stain, I purchased a moisture meter. Benjamin Moore customer service said the moisture level had to be 12 or less, and that 15 was the outside limit.

Well I’ve taken reading again and again. The new clapboard is dry within hours with a moisture level of 12 or less.

BUT the old clapboard has readings of 15 – 19 on the garage and back of the house, with some places in the 20’s, and the right side of the house has reading in the 20’s to 30’s.

So new clapboard is ok, old clapboard is not. The old clapboard are at least 10 years old (I suspect pine) and most all of it might be the original from 34 years ago. The house was last stained 10 years ago.

And now after 3 days of no rain, the moisture level in the old clapboard has not budged.

Can someone explain why I am getting such high reading for the old clapboard, and how best to proceed?


chrisn 10-18-2012 03:21 AM

Are the bottom edges of the siding caulked up tight?

jdbs3 10-18-2012 06:36 AM

No, the bottom edges are not caulked up tight.

But having stained the house say 4-5 times in 34 years, they are covered with stain.

Will22 10-19-2012 01:14 PM

Hopefully you did not wait too long to complete this---- the time frame and inconsistent weather are always iffy.

jdbs3 10-19-2012 01:35 PM

I've no desire to wait to complete it, but mother nature rules!

I'm just trying to understand why the old clapboard doesn't seem to decrease in moisture content even after 3 good days of sun, 60's during the day and a good breeze.

And then I test the trim moisture level yesterday (it's a 15). 2 hours later it is a 20.

Possibly I have a bad Ryobi moisture meter???

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