how to caulk exterior siding and why not to caulk fresh pressure treated wood

energy efficiency auditHey hey! Hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day whether you spent it with your love or yourself or your cat, whom you refer to as your love. :-)

I’ve actually skipped away for a few days with my BFF to warm and sunny … Chicago.

But, I have a HUGE tip for you today. One that I feel like I should have known. Or at least I should have deduced. (Just because I wanted to use that word in a sentence.) Because it actually makes total sense, I just didn’t realize it. And it’s about how to caulk exterior siding and why not to caulk newly installed pressure treated wood.

So, pressure treated wood is lumber than has been chemically treated to resist against rot, fungus, insects and other random grossness that happens when things live outside. When we built-out our exterior wall over the old faux brick that was all done in pressure treated plywood. And then when my dad and I tackled the exterior trim we used all pressure treated lumber as well.

why you should not caulk fresh pressure treated lumber

Any guesses how many tubes I’ve used so far? 12 tubes so far. And I’ve declared 3 tubes at a time to be my limit. And I haven’t even started on the soffit or any of the areas above the porch roof. But I will. Soon.

But I need to thank my 3 tube limit for giving me the time I needed to learn this tip.

Here’s what happened, I jumped right into the caulking after the trim install and, for the sake of using arbitrary percentages, completed maybe 20% of it. But for some reason, to avoid getting into the monotony of caulking under every single row of siding, I did all of the windows and the door first.

house exterior January 2014And then, declaring this job the worst ever, and taking a few weeks away from the madness I discovered this.

Cracks! In my caulk! My caulk had cracked! I was far too perturbed to even consider giggling at the idea of it.

But then I noticed something else.

The caulk was still perfect in the few areas I had caulked along the siding.

The thing is, over time the chemical treatment in the pressure treated wood dries out and the wood contracts and literally gets a tiny bit smaller since it’s not now swollen with moisture.

That left my gaps bigger and the need for a larger more caulk.

Just to try to induce some extra sympathy let’s look at all of the pressure treated wood we’re working with.

That’s every window (there are 5), the door, every corner transition (there are 6, and 2 pressure treated boards on each outer corner, of which there are 4), the top of every wall where there is a trim board right below the roof (there are 2 roofs or is it rooves, like hooves?).

But, I was thankful to have learned something new, and to have a built-in excuse for procrastinating getting started on the caulk above the porch roof. Since it was just a crack in the caulk and not a new crack in a hard surface material I didn’t have to do anything crazy like cut out all of the caulk. Thankfully I could just run a new bead of caulk and chalk it up to a lesson learned.

how to caulk exterior siding how to caulk exterior siding how to caulk exterior siding how to caulk exterior siding


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Has anyone use hardypanels

or hardy plank as an alternative to exteriors stucco? I know the fiber cement is great for siding, but I'm looking for 4X8 panels that will not overlap.
1. How do you install them
2. how do you keep the water out of the joints
Home depot carries a 4X8 sheet but they have no idea how to install. I checked their website, and they only have installation instructions for narrow overlapping siding.
if any of you know of a better product, any info will be
greatly appreciated.
this is the look I'm after

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