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Home | Our Blog | What is the Minimum Distance Between Siding and Grade?

What is the Minimum Distance Between Siding and Grade?

Reviewed by Tomas Kalkys. President.
Qualifications: More than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial exterior remodeling.
Founding farther of Legacy Service.
Written by LegacyUSA Team

posted on Jul 30, 2020

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If you’ve ever looked closely at the side of a house, then you probably noticed that there’s a gap between the end of the siding and the top of the ground’s surface. Maybe you’ve wondered why it’s like that. If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to explain the minimum distance between siding and grade for each type of material.

In most cases, siding clearance should be about 6-8” from the ground. If it’s done improperly, the siding may be too close to the ground, which will invite insects, pests, and other types of damage. However, if it’s done properly, your siding will last for many years to come, protecting your home and your family.

The minimum distance between siding and grade?

If you’re in need of a siding replacement, make sure you hire a trustworthy company by doing your research and speaking with the company before you make any decisions. If the company offers a free consultation, take it! That’s your opportunity to see what your home’s exterior needs at no cost.

At Legacy Service, we provide siding installation and replacement services for homeowners throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Give us a call at 215-798-9790 to learn more.

Vinyl Siding

No matter what type of siding material you choose, it’s important to keep the proper clearance of it from the soil’s grade level. This is called the “foundation exposure” because the concrete foundation you can see is determined by how far the soil grade level is below the siding.

Vinyl is the most popular type among homeowners throughout the United States. Not only is it pleasing in appearance, but it’s also durable and one of the most affordable materials on the market today.

In regards to clearance, vinyl siding should be 6 to 8 inches above the ground. If that’s not possible for some reason, any clearance is better than none. This clearance, which is called foundation exposure, is there to prevent water from intruding into the structure of your building due to ponding during heavy rains. Even with the best drainage system, rainy seasons in the northeastern United States can overwhelm your home, so it’s best to have the additional protection of adequate vinyl siding ground clearance. If your foundation is more exposed, it will also make termites and other pests easier to detect.

Wood Siding

Wood siding typically needs a little bit more clearance than most of the other types of material. In most cases, it’s recommended to be built 8 inches from the soil. The extra space allows the wood products to dry thoroughly after it rains, which helps prevent them from becoming damaged too early in their lifespan.

Wood can last 20 to 40 years with the proper maintenance. Factors that influence its longevity include the maintenance of the paint, finish, and other sealants, as well as its exposure to water. Fortunately, you can help protect it by providing the proper maintenance and making sure the siding is installed correctly by choosing the right company.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement should be kept at least 6 inches above the ground. It’s recommended to keep the bottom edge of the first course even with the bottom edge of the trim.

The most popular brand of fiber cement is James Hardie. In fact, the name is practically synonymous with the siding material. This type is designed to last for decades. In many cases, it can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance and upkeep. This type is resistant to rot and insects, and it can even handle the salty spray from the ocean.

Metal Siding

The siding to ground clearance for metal is the typical 6 to 8 inches. Metal is considered one of the most durable and low-maintenance products on the market today. There are usually four types that you’ll be able to choose from: aluminum, copper, steel, and zinc.

Most metal siding types will last at least 20-40 years depending on how well it’s installed and maintained. If your installation company adheres with the ground clearance guidelines, this will protect it from moisture that can destroy your siding, and ultimately, your home.

Metal can be more expensive than other kinds, but it may be worth it depending on your preferences.

Bricks and Stone

Siding made of brick or stone should typically remain 6 inches from the soil. Brick and stone are sturdy and durable, so they’ll be able to withstand many types of elements, from fire to strong winds and hail. In some cases, these types are expected to last for 100 years or more.

If you can afford brick or stone for your exterior, they are recommended. When it comes to performance and longevity, they leave their competitors in the dust. Not only are highly durable, but they also provide good insulation for homes. Talk to your local contractors to see if you can find brick or stone within your price range.

Stucco Exteriors

Stucco is another type of siding that should have at least 6 to 8 inches of clearance from the bottom of the siding to the top of the grade. Stucco can have a lifespan ranging between 50-80 years. Despite this longevity, stucco has been decreasing in popularity in modern-day, which is probably because it’s not the most aesthetically-pleasing. It can also be expensive compared to the other types.

Get Started on Your Siding Installation Today!

At Legacy Service, we provide installation and replacement services for homeowners throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Whether you’re looking for vinyl, wood, Everlast, or James Hardie, you can contact us at any time to schedule a free consultation. Our techs will go over the ground contact siding clearance you’ll need for whichever type you choose. Call us at 215-798-9790 today!

Posted on Jul 30, 2020 in Roof

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