Natural Wood Siding

Cedar and redwood are favored for natural wood siding, but other woods are available that have been treated with preservatives to limit wood rot. The wood siding should be primed on all sides and edges before it is installed, including any edges that are cut for length. Priming the edges retards water absorption, helping to prevent the top coat of paint from peeling or blistering. In addition, a water barrier needs to be installed between the outer walls of the home and the wood siding. Currently, synthetic-fiber, woven, water and air barriers are the newest in preferred materials for the job; however, the more traditional asphalt-infused felt paper is still widely used. For areas where the siding meets other home features such as doors, windows, and trim, metal flashing and drip caps are employed to direct water away from the siding and prevent saturation behind the cladding. Acrylic blend paint is usually recommended to provide the most long-lasting coverage on wood siding.

Most building codes require natural wood siding to start a minimum of six inches above the soil, but many installers prefer to leave an even greater distance—ten to twelve inches if the structure will allow it. Wood siding that touches bare ground is at a greater risk for insect/termite infestation and water absorption, both conditions that can cause damage not only to the siding itself but also to the entire home.