Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
The siding of a home offers crucial protection against the elements. Much the same, the shingles on a roof offer protection against rain and snow. In conditions where the two materials meet, how much space, if any, should be left between the siding and the roof to ensure that protection is not compromised?
A home’s siding should not touch the roof shingles. If the siding on a house comes up to the shingles, it can trap moisture underneath. Moisture trapped within your roof can facilitate mold growth as well as cause harm to the roof structure, leaving your home vulnerable to water damage.
In the following sections, we’ll explore the risks of poor siding placement as well as how much space you should leave between your siding and the floor.
How Much Space Should Be Between Shingles and Siding?
Shingles and siding are both crucial elements for protecting the interior of your home from the harsh outside world. However, shingles and siding are only effective when they are laid correctly. So how far apart should your siding and shingles be from each other?
There should be at least 1.5 inches (3.8cm) of space between shingles and siding on the house. Ensuring this much space allows moisture to escape from underneath the roof. This enhances airflow in your property while protecting your roof against moisture and water damage.
If you pay attention to some homes near you, you may notice that sometimes the siding does reach the shingles. However, this is due to poor planning or craftsmanship as it will likely result in issues. Your siding could lose its lamination if this occurs, which would cause them to rot and decay. Roofs with multiple shingles layers are especially vulnerable to these issues when there is inadequate spacing between siding and shingles.
In contrast, if too much space is left between the siding and the shingles, it may harm your home’s aesthetic. A large gap between the siding and roof will also leave the siding vulnerable to leaks as water could pool on top and seep through. This may cause damage to paint or structures beneath the siding.
What Are the Risks of a Home’s Siding Touching the Shingles?
As you already know, siding should not come up to your roof. This can be problematic and result in several issues. However, I have yet to discuss the specific risks of a home’s siding touching the shingles without leaving room for moisture to escape.
These are the risks of a home’s siding touching the shingles:
- It can cause moisture damage.
- Mold and mildew are much more likely to form.
- It can lead to overall roof deterioration.
- It can lead to discoloration.
In the following sections, I’ll delve more into the risks involved in placing siding too close to shingles.
It Can Cause Moisture Damage
If moisture builds up beneath your roof and it can’t find anywhere to escape to, it may lead to a host of issues. Moisture build-ups can facilitate rot in wooden structures. High quantities of water will also cause harm to flooring, roofing, and walls inside your home. Moisture damage can be excessive and quickly lead to thousands of dollars in damages.
Mold and Mildew Are Much More Likely To Form
Similarly to moisture, mold and mildew can have devastating effects on your property. They form in humid, dark, damp conditions. Once mold and mildew form, they can spread quickly throughout your home, damaging possession and structures. On top of this, some forms of mold and mildew are toxic and may cause severe health issues for residents.
It Can Lead to Overall Roof Deterioration
When your siding is installed too close to the shingle of your roof, it will likely hurt the lifespan of both the siding and the roof itself. Moisture, mold, and other threats will cause the quality of your structures to deteriorate quickly. As a result, you will likely have to pay for expensive repairs or even replacement to sections of your shingles and siding.
It Can Lead to Discoloration
The aesthetic of your property is vital. One way to enhance your property’s overall look is to install stylish shingles and siding. However, if these confinements are installed without a gap between them, they may start to discolor, and your siding may even rot. This will leave your home looking old and worn out.
Should The Siding Touch the Ground?
The siding on your home should not extend right up to the ceiling as this may lead to issues. However, what about in the other direction? Should siding reach all the way to the ground, or should space be left between the siding and the floor to prevent any potential problems?
The siding should not be touching the ground of your home. Siding should have a space of at least 6 inches (15.2cm) from the ground in most cases. If your siding is too close to the ground, it may invite issues like pests and cause the siding to decay quickly.
Siding is vulnerable to infestations of insects and pests if they are placed near the ground. Pests and infestations can spread quickly and cause severe damage. However, if your siding is correctly placed, it will resist unwanted guests and last for years to come.
The siding on your home is also vulnerable to dirt, so ensuring that the siding does not come in close contact with the ground is essential in maintaining its cleanliness.
Siding serves an essential function in your home. It protects your property against the elements while enhancing its curb appeal. They should be placed up the side of your house until they are just over 1 inch (2.54 cm) away from the shingles. This allows enough space for moisture to escape from your home.
Siding should also be given some clearance away from the ground. This protects your home against infestations while also increasing the lifespan by preventing damage.
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