wood and vinyl siding

Wood siding is attractive and serves a purpose for some homes. However, it can be a lot of work to maintain. Painting, repairing, or even replacing horizontal wood siding panels is often necessary and can cost much more than you think. 

Vinyl siding, on the other hand, is an economical, low-maintenance option for homeowners. It can reduce the ongoing cost and last a much longer time.

If you’ve wanted to remodel your home exterior and are wondering if you can put vinyl siding over wood siding, we have the answers below.

When Can Vinyl Siding Be Installed Over Existing Wood Siding?

Though it may not seem so at first glance, vinyl siding installed over wood is standard on homes in the Kingston area. It’s usually installed either directly below a sheathing layer or with one installed between them.

There are, however, some things one must consider before installing vinyl siding over existing wood siding:

  1. Vinyl siding can be installed over wood only if the wood is in good condition. If there is any sign of rot or mould due to aging or weather damage, the issues will only worsen under the vinyl and can present a significant problem down the road.
  2. Any existing wood boards with rot, mould, or mildew will need to be replaced to match the thickness of the exterior wall before installing vinyl siding on top.
  3. A moisture barrier is imperative under the siding to protect your home’s structure and mitigate damage. If you do not have a moisture barrier under the existing wood siding, you should install one before recovering it with vinyl siding.
  4. Your existing windows and doors may not match up with the new, covered siding, and you may have to replace them.
  5. For bevelled wood siding, you will need a flat surface upon which to install the vinyl siding with furring strips and foam board.

Removing wood siding is a tough and tedious process, but it usually pays off with a more appealing, professional exterior.

house with wood siding

Removing wood siding provides multiple benefits, such as:

  • Avoiding pests: You should also be aware that old siding can help hide pests that may have made a home in your walls. Bugs and animals cause a lot of problems for houses. Pests damage paint and eat at wood, which can lead to structural issues. Removing the old siding will ensure that your walls are pest-free before installing new siding.
  • Avoiding wood rot: Replacing old siding is a great thing to do if you have any questions or concerns about the stability and durability of the wood. This can help you address problems before they get too severe and potentially dangerous.
  • Enhanced curb appeal: Replacing old, weathered wood siding with new vinyl is a great idea. Vinyl will look good long after the wood starts to warp from aging and weather. Installing vinyl directly instead of over wooden siding can save you money down the road because you can avoid water damage from gaps.
  • Avoiding water damage: You can also prevent water damage in the future by removing old siding and installing new ones. Old siding can overlap with new siding, creating unsightly gaps or openings that water can seep through. These gaps can lead to unseen damage in your home’s drywall and other structural parts. A tight seal between the old and new can lead to water damage, but it can also be hard to maintain the aesthetic of your home.

When Should Old Siding Be Removed Before Installing Vinyl Siding?

There are a few factors that should be considered when it comes to removing your old siding before installing new vinyl siding. 

If your home shows signs of the following, it is best to remove the old wood siding first:

Signs of Rot, Mould, or Deterioration

Wood is often seen as a natural and attractive option, but it does require a lot of maintenance and needs to be handled carefully to avoid rotting. Unless you care for it properly, wood will rot when exposed to moisture, so it’s often not the best option for an exterior.

To avoid significant destruction, you must identify wood rot and decay as soon as possible. It can be seen on the deck, siding, and more. Rotting wood can sometimes be tricky to spot but can usually be found in siding with splitting or cracking. Additionally, look for warps and discolouration. 

If you see any signs of rot, mould, or deterioration in your existing siding, you should remove it before installing new siding.

house with vinyl siding

Lack of Weather Protection

If your existing wooden siding has no weather protection (perhaps installed without a weather barrier, or the current weather barrier is old and no longer useful), you should remove the existing siding before installing new siding on your home. Housewrap is a necessity for homes and is often required by zoning ordinances.

Signs of Insect Infestation

Bugs like termites, wasps, and carpenter ants can be found in various types of wood materials, for instance, engineered wood siding or traditional wood siding on the outside of houses. 

Removing the wooden siding is imperative if any deterioration is detected, and the damage may be significant enough to warrant major structural repairs. Be sure to take proper pest control measures before installing any new siding. 

Thicker Wall is Undesired 

Adding vinyl siding directly over existing wooden siding will make your walls thicker, which can significantly change the look of your home. You may even need to replace your windows and doors or decorative elements for them to fit the thicker siding.

Key Takeaway

Vinyl siding is an attractive and durable alternative to traditional wood siding with the added benefit of being affordable, reliable, and sensible. However, many homeowners with existing wood siding often wonder if covering the wood siding is viable for their project.

Working with an experienced contractor skilled at installing home siding will ensure that your home improvement project is completed correctly. When installing siding, you must insist on proper insulation, an efficient moisture barrier, and a professional installation for optimal protection.

Our home exterior contractors will be thrilled to help with your vinyl siding project.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, contact Energy Kingston Exteriors today.