Archive for November, 2011

Replacing vinyl siding with Hardie Plank fiber cement in Vancouver Wa

November 28th, 2011

Superior Exterior Systems just finished a project  removing vinyl siding on a large home in the Livingston Mountain area.  The homeowner had leaks coming in thru their vinyl siding.  As a siding contractor in the Vancouver Washington and Portland Oregon metro we are truly un-biased as too which siding homeowners pick.  In addition to the leaks, the homeowner didn’t like the look of this particular vinyl which had been on for about 14 years and was clearly a low end vinyl.  I should mention that many of the higher end vinyls look exactly like real cedar.  This one didn’t.  They ended up having us remove all the siding and install popular Hardie Plank fiber cement siding.  We found substantial dry rot on a structural support beam under the siding that faced south.  Most homes have their problems on the southern exposure and this was no exception since it was up on a hill.  The windows were originally not flashed properly most likely to the fact that codes were much different 14 years ago. We’re glad we have another happy customer.  If you are having any problems with your siding and need a free inspection call us at (503) 285-0875 or (360) 687-8936 or visit us at  http://www.superiorexteriorsystems.com/

Does Hardi plank siding in Portland or Vancouver Wa need rain screen?

November 21st, 2011

Last year oregon started to enforce a rain screen ordinance to be applied under siding installations for what they consider to be proper rain drainage away from the building envelope sub wall.  This will not apply to any vinyl siding since vinyl is not hard nailed tight and already has space and has weep holes under the bottom of the drip edge.  Washington has not accepted rain screen as having validity and siding contractors in the southern washington area are pleased about that since it really doesn’t do anything even though it  sounds impressive  with a name like “rain screen”.  Its pretty gimmicky and clearly another way for the Oregon Contractors board to fine companies and create revenue for the financial difficulties the state of oregon has created for years.  Either way it must be done in Oregon.  A few house wrap manufactures have come up with a cost effective answer by simply adding small raised grooves to their house wrap.  I  recently spoke with a person who built a home by Tillamook directly on the beach and he said that the county inspectors and siding installation company didn’t know or care and didn’t use any special house wrap rain screen.  That was plain dumb. By the coast I  see the value since rain often gets in areas by strong winds blowing it sideways.  When rain gets behind the siding it is almost always around the windows and unless it comes out near the bottom of the window it will travel down behind the siding until it gets out or slowly evaporates. Evaporation will not happen if rain is consistent.  Although Superior Exterior Systems uses an oregon approved rain screen in the portland area, the best thing to do is to flash the window properly to code. We then go a few step further in more flashing for all around protection.   It doesn’t take much time so its not more expensive.  Hardi Plank fiber cement has definitely become the most popular product used by reputable siding contractors over the years. But remember it needs to be installed properly with extra flashing care in our rainy climate. So the bottom line - if a siding company is not telling you about rain screen and the exact way they flash, regardless of which state you are in,  you need to keep looking. Be careful with cheap.  Don’t sugarcoat cheap with a words like cost effective.  Don’t ever except a bid on the back of a business card.  We would love to help you.   For more info and pics of rain that has gotten behind siding, click on  http://www.superiorexteriorsystems.com/ Thanks for listening.

Which siding is most popular in Portland or Vancouver areas?

November 12th, 2011

Over the last 2 decades a lot has changed for siding contractors & homeowners as to which siding product is most popular.  Cedar siding was popular for years but we in the northwest generally don’t like the cost and on going maintenance to keep it looking good. High end vinyl siding was more popular years ago than it is now but low end vinyl had a tendency to give it a bit of  bad name.  Some low grade styles tend to look “mobile home-ish”.   Higher end vinyl sidings look much more real and have impressive high wind ratings.  Without question, “Fiber cement” stole the  market years ago.  The 2  most popular fiber cement brands available in town are made by Hardie Plank and Certainteed Weatherboards.  To most homeowners they are hard to tell apart.  Older Hardi plank was un-primed which was a huge mistake with all our rain here in the portland - vancouver areas.  It also had a very artificial grain texture years ago.  Weatherboards has always had a very realistic grain & look.  Hardi clearly stepped up in its grain texture and appearance which is why they are hard to tell which is which from 10 feet away for most homeowners.  Hardi Plank also definitely has the name recognition as some people, even realtors who should know better, often call Weatherboards Hardie Plank.  For more information,details and pics of homes feel free to call us at (503) 285-0875 or (360) 687-8936 or simply log into    http://www.superiorexteriorsystems.com/