Cement poured against Hardi Siding

Inspecting a new house to day, the porch cap and steps had been poured against the siding, no flashing observable. Every home on the street was completed in the same manner. I was under the impression that James Hardi and all other lap siding needed to have at least 1" of clearance above concrete. Has anything changed? It looks nice and clean, but in my book it’s wrong. Please view the pics, and let me now what you think.




Hi Mitch, hope all is well.

Well, they at least they did a good job with the concrete. :slight_smile:

Masonry front stoops should never be placed directly against wood or siding of any kind, that is just asking for problems.
The rot won’t affect just the siding, eventually, the sheathing will go, as will the framing. Even then, you’d probably think everything is just fine until the damage shows from inside. By then, you probably have attracted termites, which love to dine on moist wood. Even without them, repair costs will be serious.

The siding should have stopped short of the concrete steps to within an 1" and where the steps are should have had a complete water proofing system down to the foundation below.
An expansion joint should then have been installed at the butting area with a caulked joint to prevent water intrusion.

The best scenario would have been the to have the foundation higher in this area.

According to thier website installation PDF www.jameshardie.com/pdf/best-practices/hz/hz10-plank.pdf there should be a 1" to 2" gap between siding and other materials such as side walks and stairs and the same for roofing materials. Hope this is helpful.

That is a good link Terry, and I agree with that detail that they show. :slight_smile:

It is another one of these cases where they have the cart in front of the horse.
The steps and landing should have been poured way before the siding got done, then the flashing requirements would have come automatically. Well, I hope anyways.

Thanks, Marcel and Terry for your input, I think that I will just include the link in Terry’s post with my report. Might keep the builder from telling the client that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Thanks again guys,


Yes, not so much the siding itself, but the moisture trapped behind.

Nice links!

They’ll likely dispute or “soften” whatever you said if it’s going to cost them a fair amount of money to fix. Who wouldn’t? " Porch is covered!", “We’ll install some flashing, he’s right!”, “Those diagrams are suggestions, but not end-all”

The client will make the decision and your job is done!

I see this all the time. Was the siding installed wrong? The answer is no. The siding was properly installed. The 1 - 2 inch gap is specifically designated to the installation of the siding. At the time of the siding, there were no steps. The steps were poured afterwards. Good thing it’s cement siding, and not a siding of less endurance. Although a 1 - 2 inch gap is the recommended way of installing any siding, it’s very seldom done that way, and it should be. Was it the masons fault? The answer is no. He came in and poured his cement. The mason is not a siding man. He could care less about the siding. He’s a mason. One thing I notice all the time; The different trades are just that, different trades. As a rule, no trades person seems to care, or have knowlege of the other trade. This starts from the ground up. Placement of rain gutter drains, to siding, to roofs, to gutters, etc… I can go on, and on. But don’t have the time.

That it where the General Contractor comes in. He needs to coordinate, with planning, the action of all subs. I used to call it babysitting. :smiley:

Hit that one on the head Larry, “Baysitting”

And that is exactly what it is. Done it all my life.

That is the biggest problem today, no one to coordinate the trades properly, so the cart is often in front of the horse.
Time is money and that is all they care about. Get ur done.:slight_smile:

I knew you could relate, Marcel…:slight_smile:

So how many of you that find this situation tell your client that any warranty the siding manufacturer may have could be void as a result of the incorrect installation?

My thoughts exactly.

I wouldn’t tell anyone the siding warranty would be void. I don’t see where this situation would void the siding. Things are not always text book perfect. For this specific situation, I would rather see the concrete poured against the cement siding, which goes all the way down to the bottom. Any water would run all the way down. If it were flashed, with 1 - 2 inch gap, like shown in the text book, water could run below the flashing, and on to raw wood. Then you would have real problems. So, in my opinion, I’d say it depends on all factors. Personally, I think they did a nice job.

The real roblem occured when the builder exposed th wood framing to a location that would later have concrete poured against it. The siding guy did what he does, cover the wood with siding. That sidng is now trapped behind the concrete. So the real issue is with the builder and the lack of design detail.

No matter who the blame falls on it is an impropper installation of the right materials. Still doesn’t make it right. I’d call it out all day long.

I can’t remember EVER seeing a gap between the stoop and siding whether its fiberous, board and batt, stucco or even vinyl. The concrete is always poured up on the siding. Therefore by logic, the details MUST be wrong because as the builders or realtors always tell me: “It Passed Code”.

There was another crazy detail in the link. It was something called a “Kickout Flashing”. I’ve heard some crazy guys say you’re supposed to use them with virtually all sidings: stucco, EIFS, vinyl, aluminum, fiberous, board and batt, masonry, etc. Again in the next 20 houses I might see them installed 2 times AND 1 of those times it would be wrong (too small, just a step flashing bent at an angle, etc). Therefore by logic, the details MUST be wrong because as the builders or realtors always tell me: “It Passed Code”.

We gotta get better informed on this stuff AND quit making waves and upsetting people on this stuff that obviously PASSED CODE.

You got to love Dan.

Yes, those of us that have been around for a while do love Dan…even if it is from a distance.:smiley:

Some others may benefit from his use of emoticons, however. :cool::shock::mrgreen:

Yeah, the moisture that accumulates between the siding and the moisture barrier and will now stop right about at the rim joist where the concrete steps stop it ,will not be a bother at all.

Just like insurance companies that will do anything to avoid paying a claim, or any other manufacturer that will deny a claim based on improper installation, what do you think Hardie will do when a claim comes in? Think they will pay out thousands or tens of thousands of dollars when their product was not installed per their installation instructions? Those clients are depending on a “50 year warranty”. And you won’t tell them it may be void due to the improper installation? Interesting point of view.

Steve, I’ve been in the siding business for 30 plus years. Believe me, that situation will not void the warrantee. Why be an alarmist…Siding companies warrantee thier products from defects, blemishes, blistering, fading, cracking, separation of laminates, chalking, bubbles, profile defects, paint, etc… The 50 year warrantee does not cover installations. Also, if the siding was installed properly, it should be below the rim joist. One more thing to think about; the cement steps were poured against cement siding, as well as cement foundation, then sealed. I know if it were flashed, the flashing would NOT go down beyond the rim joist. As a matter of fact, it would not be much further down than the top of the steps. Should the sealant crack at the flashing, water would travel past the flashing, and on to raw wood. Which would you rather have?? The text book version, which would rot the wood, as well as invite insects. Or, the extra protection of cement siding all the way to the bottom? Didn’t someone also mention this situation had a roof over it. If it were ANY other siding than cement, I would surly bring it to attention.

Not being an alarmist at all. Just informing and protecting my clients.

I am glad that Hardie makes cement siding for you. Up here, the only Hardie siding is made of cement materials and wood fibers. Break a piece and you can clearly see the fibers.

As for the warranty. This particular product can swell when in contact with water, one of the reasons for the 1/4" gap above the flashing, but then most lazy siding installers just leave it sitting on top of the flashing and then caulk the crap out of it. Leaving the moisture to go where?

When those laminates start to separate because of not following the installation instructions, the warranty that covers the delamination will be considered void by the manufacturer. They aren’t going to pay out a dime because some lazy siding installer didn’t follow the instructions. As with every other warranty for just about every other product. Nothing that is installed contrary to the manufacturers instructions will be covered by any type of warranty.

Let’s see, from the Manufacturer’s warranty (emphasis added) : “When used for its intended purpose, properly installed and maintained according to Hardie’s published installation instructions, the Product for a period of 50 years from the date of purchase”

Or maybe this section of the warranty will help.

The Product must be installed according to Hardie’s printed installation instructions and all building codes adopted by federal, state or local governments or government agencies and applicable to the installation. Failure to install and finish the product per the manufacturer’s published instructions may effect Product performance and voids the Warranty."

But then a good siding installer would know this. I guess 30 years in the business taught you nothing. :roll: