Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eave Progess

A bit hard to see, but soffit and fascia have been replaced.

The cedar siding has been replaced with Hardie Plank, which is a cement product that won't rot.

The Hardie Plank is pretty easy to work with. You can score it and break it easily with 90 degree cuts. Long angled cuts call for the circular saw.

Before the new siding, I took down the old cedar siding to the original gypsum siding. It doesn't seem plausible, but that is an actual exterior product that is still available today though I haven't seen it used anywhere.

I put up a piece of 1/2" rigid foam insulation over the existing gypsum board. Over that I put up the Tyvek wrap that allows moisture to escape. The Hardie Plank was installed over the top of the insulation and Tyvek. This was the arrangement suggested by the Tyvek website.

The soffit and fascia board are new out to the corner of the roof. The old gutter is now deleted and won't return. The soffit around the corner is also rotted and needs to be replaced as well, but a scaffold will have to be rented for this.

A drip edge will also be installed wherever there is new fascia. Presently there is no drip edge anywhere on the roof.

The Hardie Plank isn't very expensive, but it's hard to haul. It needs to remain flat or it will break in half.  Luckily I have some racks that I used to bring it home with. I did end up breaking one piece by trying to carry it flatly instead of vertically.

I don't anticipate ever needing to revisit these two eaves and siding areas again. It's not that your house gets wet, it's that it doesn't dry out that causes the issues.

The gutters caused all of the problems in this area of the house. They weren't even necessary since the lower roof is directly under the upper one. I believe they were added to hide older damage of the fascia boards.

Gutters really cause more problems than they solve. I never lived in a house with gutters growing up. It was never an issue. Rain falls, period. Gutters or a lack there of don't mitigate water issues.

On the disclosures when we purchased the house there was an incident with some water infiltration in the basement that had been mitigated a few years ago. Guess what, the gutters were in place then, didn't make a difference.

I'm fairly certain the flooding happened after the front yard was tilled and new sod and landscaping cloth was installed, because the house was over twenty years old when it happened. Something changed, but it wasn't the house. It was in the landscaping. Compacted clay can become nearly as impermeable as concrete, especially if it was baked in a drought period. Heavy rains probably came a year or so later, quickly soaked thru the sod hit the landscape cloth that was lying flat against hard clay and the water probably just sheeted, parallel to the surface.

The ground has an amazing ability to soak up water and hold it. Thousands of gallons can be held in just three or four inches of ground. But if the soil is compacted or is paved with concrete flooding is inevitable. Yet most of the time people think that flooding happens because storms are increasing in magnitude. This is not the case. There is more and more hardscapes and more clearcutting, especially near the coast where large rain events often occur. More pavement equals more flooding. To mitigate flooding we need to decompact the soil and leave large trees in place. There is an old adage, "The desert is a flood waiting to happen."

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