Proper siding installation can prove to be an immense challenge in high-wind regions where gusts of winds exceeding 90-mph can tear away siding with little resistance. As a result, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a guide depicting the most effective installation practices for enhancing wind resistance and preserving siding. Failure to employ the correct installation techniques could set you back if inclement weather strikes your project site before you close out a project. Additionally, you could be targeted with a defective work claim if your siding is unable to withstand region-specific weather patterns.
In this two-part series, our Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers will discuss FEMA’s guidelines for siding installation in high-wind regions. Remember, for all of your construction-related legal needs, from license defense to dispute resolution, consult a Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
Examining the Key Issues
When a hurricane strikes, it takes a toll on the exterior walls of both residential and non-residential buildings alike. Wind often comes with rain, and the combination of the two can be extra potent in compromising the stability of a building’s siding. Wind-driven rain can also permeate wall cavities and cause extensive damage before the siding is even stripped away.
One way to avoid wind-driven rain penetration is through the use of an effective moisture barrier, such as a housewrap or building paper. A Moisture barrier, or water-resistive barrier, is located beneath the wall sheathing and the siding. It has two important purposes:
- Protecting the building against water that penetrates through the siding
- Mitigating airflow through the wall
Contractors should utilize a high-quality moisture barrier to protect the structure. Housewrap operates as an air barrier, but building paper does not. This should be taken into consideration before one or the other is installed on a particular structure.
Before we breakdown information contingent to particular types of siding in part two, our Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers will cover some basic tips that contractors should impart on to their workers, including:
- Observe all local building code requirements and the manufacturer’s installation instructions when installing siding.
- In areas prone to hurricanes, utilize products that are designed to be used in a coastal environment. If you have questions, contact the supplier for specific information about the product in question and its ability to withstand strong winds.
- Utilize stainless steel fasteners for any buildings located within 3,000 feet of the ocean line.
- Do not use dissimilar metals together.
- Pay attention to installation details detailing the first course of lap siding. If wind enters the first layer, it can damage subsequent layers.
- Use shims or a solid backing to create uniformity on the surface when installing new siding over old siding. Do not allow gaps or protrusions to form.
- Consider maintenance requirements for coastal regions before selecting siding.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.