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Siding and Cladding Problems


The outside finish of any home, as shown in Figures 1 & 2, is what the homeowner first sees, contractors who put in that little extra effort, have happy and satisfied clientele.

siding on home
Figure 1 - Siding on home

Siding and cladding defects and failures range from wide-scale deterioration of siding materials through to less destructive, but equally annoying, unsightly appearances.

Problems are generally the result of inadequate control of moisture or poor installation techniques.

This section of the guide provides the builder with a diagnosis of the most common siding problems and offers suggestions for reducing the likelihood or their recurrence.

Table 1 - Moisture-Related Factors Influencing Wall Systems
Area Primary Consideration Problem Cause

Siding and Cladding Problems

Generic Problems

Water penetration through siding

Lack of a rain-screen wall / Incorrect installation of sheathing paper

Premature deterioration

Condensation resulting from air leakage / Inadequate drying potential

Siding deformation or displacement

Direct installation over semi-rigid insulation.

Wood and Hardboard Siding

Water penetration through wood and hardboard siding

The presence of gaps in the siding and incorrect joint construction.

Poor drainage of wall elements and inadequate drips at sills or joints.

Premature deterioration

Condensation form air leakage and vapor diffusion on the back face of siding can lead to premature deterioration.

Vinyl And Metal Siding

Water penetration

Poor detailing and construction of joints between siding strips at corners and around windows and doors.

Incorrect detailing around windows and doors.

Metal and vinyl siding deformation and displacement

Poor detailing to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction.

Brick Veneer

Water penetration through the brick veneer

Improper flashing and counter-flashing installation

Inability of the wall system to shed water or to drain water from cavities.

Cracking of brick veneer

Inability of the cladding system to accommodate differential movement.

Installation of bricks during cold or wet weather.

Masonry veneer can bend and crack under wind pressures where adequate lateral support is not provided.


Moisture damage inside the wall assembly

Entry of rainwater and snow around penetrations

Entry of rainwater and snow at the junction of different cladding materials.

Entry of rainwater and snow through cracks in the stucco.

Poor aesthetic finish of wall

Poor mixing of stucco


stucco on home
Figure 2 - Stucco on home