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Old 08-26-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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Home Improvements

What do you think about re-siding a house? Our siding is steel circa 1979. Problem is previous owners had vines which pretty much covered the chimney and house. At one point we couldn't open the front door. It was gorgeous in the fall, but we have since cut down the vines because it was going down the chimney and eaves. The remnants (sticky parts) remain on the siding and are not easily removed (still there after 4 years). Is it worthwhile to re-side or try and have cleaned and re-paint? I know re-siding is expensive and they say that steel siding is a good thing (against hail). A neighbor re-sided and spent about $27,000. Anyone with any experience/advice? We probably want to sell house within 10 years. Several houses in neighborhood have re-sided recently.

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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If steel siding is common in your neighborhood then it's unlikely you'll significantly increase the value of your home by re-siding with something else. Can the vine residue not be removed with chemicals or a pressure washer? Note--it's easy to do a lot of damage to a house by pressure washing the siding (whatever it is made of). Get the nozzle up high and always aim it downward to avoid forcing water up behind the siding material. Also, where one piece of siding overlaps the next one on the same course, be sure not to force water into the joint (i.e. angle the spray so it passes over the piece on top, not the piece that is underneath).

It's likely you'll need to repaint, but that will still be less expensive than new siding and the new paint will last until you sell the house if it's done right.

If you do decide to get new siding, it's a good chance to investigate adding some insulation outside of the wall studs. Even 3/4" of polystyrene and some housewrap can significantly improve the whole-wall R-values. It will, however, complicate the situation at doors and windows, which might drive up the cost more than you want.

Good luck

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Old 08-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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If the vines were ivy or virginia creeper, the little suckers that hold the vines to the wall will remain for years, if not decades even after the vines are gone.

Pressure washing did not budge them on vinyl siding, nor did any chemicals I could find. Ultimately scraping and using detergent and a pot-scrubbing pad got rid of (most) of them, but it was laborious, frustrating and time-consuming.

I had to be REAL careful not to damage the vinyl - with steel, you can probably use sandpaper or steel wool (with the expectation of having to repaint), but it will still be a royal PITA, especially if you have a large area.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
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Maybe think about hiring the neighborhood kids to pick it off by hand. Sounds like you aren't in a hurry and it would be cheaper than residing.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:21 AM   #5
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I don't know about removing the vines, but I have steel siding on my house that is 30 years old and it faded a few years back so I used zinser primer and good paint to fix the problem and it has been holding up well. I also have sided a couple houses with vinyl and it is really very simple. espescially if you have a single story house. I cannot imagine that you were the first to have the vine problem, so I would check that out first on the home improvement sites on the internet and then proceed with the cheapest and easiest method.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:49 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies and ideas. Unfortunately it is a two story house with fairly steep banks on all sides. I removed what I could by hand. It literally came off in hand fulls, not like a long vine. Only the thick trunk could be removed as a vine. Once a hand full was removed, the "pods" and stems stayed attached to the siding. I used a steel brush to get the stems and pods off but the stain from where it had attached remained. It looks like mouse tracks across the siding. I haven't tried power wash but it seems to be more of a stain than something that could come off. You can feel them so I don't think you could paint over them. The rest of the house that I couldn't reach from the ground has everything but the leaves still attached and that is after 4 years. I guess I will just leave it for now until such time that we might want to sell. Neighbors have been re-siding lately. A lot of the re-siding is over Masonite (fake wood siding that deteriorates with moisture) which was popular in the late 70's/early 80's. Needless to say those re-sides really improve the visual appeal of those houses.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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Seems like a wire brush might work. I'd try it by hand in a small spot and then go at it with a circular brush attached to a drill if it seems OK.

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