In part one of this two-part series, the Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law discussed some siding installation tips for areas that suffer from strong winds. If you work in a region prone to hurricanes, you need to ensure that your workers are equipped with the tools and knowledge to install the proper siding on both residential and commercial structures; otherwise, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a breach of contract dispute. One important aspect of proper siding installation is understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and nuances of various types of siding. In this article, we’ll discuss three types of siding: vinyl, wood, and fiber cement.
In coastal regions, properly designed and installed vinyl siding can withstand hurricane-strength winds. According to the International Building Code® (IBC®) and the International Residential Code® (IRC®), siding must meet all of the standards established in ASTM D 3679 – Standard Specification for Rigid Poly(Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Siding. This standard stipulates that vinyl siding be able to resist 110 mph winds on a building up to 30 feet tall in an urban, suburban, or wooded area. There are additional guidelines for projects exceeding the wind pressure or height mentioned above. Standard vinyl siding and high-wind vinyl siding have some important distinctions; namely, high-wind siding has a double nailing hem, greater locking area, and thicker vinyl covering.
When installing wood siding, workers should only utilize decay-resistant wood like redwood, cedar, or cypress. Wood siding should be back primed prior to installation to increase the longevity of paint. As with any type of siding, it’s essential that installers follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent water from pooling up behind the siding. Utilize a “rain screen wall” by leaving a slight air gap between the moisture barrier and siding. This allows the wall to ventilate and drain water. In some high-wind regions, a pressure-equalized rain screen wall system will be needed This type of system utilizes a bevel siding, housewrap or building paper, wood sheathing, and pressure-treated or decay-resistant furring strips.
Fiber Cement Siding
When installing fiber cement siding in high-wind regions, workers can follow many of the same principles utilized for wood siding. However, fiber cement siding does require the use of specialized cutting blades. There are some material-specific safety precautions to consider as well, such as:
- Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for information regarding sealing field-cut ends.
- Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for information pertaining to fastener type, size, spacing, and penetration requirements.
- Follow the manufacturer’s wind speed rating and design pressure requirements.
- For gable end walls, install fiber cement siding over wood sheathing.
- Utilize face nailing, not blind nailing, when the installation needs to withstand wind speeds exceeding 100 mph.
Siding installation is an important part of the building process. Failure to meet state or local building codes or delivering a defective end product could result in a dispute with the owner of the building. For assistance with dispute resolution and a wide range of other construction-related legal services, consult a Fort Lauderdale construction attorney from Cotney Construction Law.
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.