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Can You Install Vinyl Siding Over Lap siding?

Vinyl is a popular siding material because it is relatively affordable, easy to install, and highly durable. All these features make it ideal for homeowners who want to refurbish their home’s exterior for several reasons. Unlike wood, it is resistant to rot, insects, and never needs to be repainted. Vinyl is an ideal option for homes in areas that experience unpleasantly cold or wet climate. It is possible to install vinyl siding over an existing siding as long as the siding below is fastened tightly and is still in good condition. This article discusses whether you can install vinyl siding over lap siding.

What is Lap Siding?

Lap siding is also known as horizontal or clapboard siding. It is referred to as ‘lap’ siding because the lower edge of the top piece overlaps the top edge of the siding plank below it.  It is installed on the exterior side of a home for protective and aesthetic purposes. Beaded siding and traditional clapboard are the most common types of lap siding. They are similar in that they are installed horizontally but differ in terms of their size and shape of materials used. A beaded lap features a thicker bead at the bottom of each siding while a clapboard creates a unique shadowing effect with a curvature at the bottom of each piece of siding. Lap siding is available in different materials such as hardwood, fiber cement, plywood, and Masonite.

Installing Vinyl Aiding Over Lap Siding

There are a few options for lap siding that can be covered by vinyl as long as they are still in good condition. However, it is quite difficult to install vinyl over other varieties of lap siding because any imperfections in the wall will show up after installing the new siding. To cover a lap siding with vinyl, the first thing you need to do is to cover the existing siding with a moisture-prevention barrier and highly durable foam insulation. This helps to prevent moisture retention that can lead to rot under the newly installed vinyl siding.

Once the existing siding is fastened tightly to the wall sheathing and is still in good condition, you need to get rid of any external trim from the doors and windows. Vertical furring strips can be used to create a flat surface when covered with rigid foam board. It is important to wrap the house with polyethylene or a moisture barrier before installation. You need to install a fastening strip about an inch above the bottom of the existing lap siding to support the first strip of siding. Before you snap in the siding snap panels, J-channel strips should be installed vertically around doors and windows, and the end of all walls. Once all the panels have been snapped in, lugs must be installed above all the doors and windows.

However, if the lap siding is not in a good condition or it seems challenging to add a new siding over the existing siding, then the best idea is to get rid of any existing siding before installing vinyl. This goes for Masonite, hardwood and fiber cement siding.

Benefits of Removing Old Siding Before Installing New Siding

Although it is possible to install vinyl siding over a lap siding, there are several reasons why it is important to remove existing siding before installing a new one. Adding a new substrate reduces the risk of developing moisture problems that could compromise the structural integrity of the property. Removing the old siding allows you to conduct a thorough inspection of the underlying structural elements of your home such as insulation and framing. The warranty of the new vinyl siding may not be valid if it wasn’t installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This means that you will have to pay for the potential problems that would have otherwise been covered in the warranty. Windows and doors need to be adjusted to accommodate the wall, which is made thicker by adding an extra layer of new siding material. New flashing is required for all doors and windows to provide moisture-resistance.

If your home does not have a moisture barrier underneath the lap siding, then one must be installed before it can be covered up with vinyl. It is important to choose a moisture barrier that lives up to the building codes in your area and the seams should be properly sealed for it to be effective. If the existing lap siding is in poor condition, then you have to remove it before installing new vinyl siding to prevent moisture problems that may compromise the structural integrity of the building.

Posted in Siding, Siding Installation, Siding Materials, Vinyl Siding

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