A Complete Guide To Installing Allura Siding
Unfortunately, several Raleigh homes contain improper siding installations resulting in failure, delamination, or rot. This reason alone compels us to offer this siding installation guide.
Each siding company has subtle, nuanced installation differences. If we include every manufacturer’s installation specifics, this article will be too extensive for most. So, this guide will focus entirely on the particulars of Allura Siding.
It is worth noting; that the information referenced should only be used as a guide as siding manufacturers’ installation specifics are subject to change. Homeowners and contractors looking for comprehensive installation instructions should always revert to Allura’s website.
Here, you will discover the most comprehensive Allura installation details provided by a single Article. If you are unfamiliar with Allura we cover the company’s history in our previous article, which is also worth reading!
We intend to be thorough and offer guidance as close to the current installation specs as possible. Read more and make sure your replacement siding is installed to last a long time!
Receiving & Handling Allura Siding
Storing and handling Allura Siding is relatively simple, but there are a few things to remember:
- Carry the siding on the edge.
- Have the siding delivered on flat ground, away from mud or standing water.
- Do not bend the siding while handling it.
- Choose a wholesaler capable of transporting siding on flatbed trucks equipped with a forklift or boom. Doing so ensures the siding is never stressed or bent during placement.
- Getting the siding closer within application proximity by placing siding on opposing sides of the home will reduce handling time and labor.
Safety & Cutting Options
Here are a few fiber cement cutting technics and safety measure standards:
- Always cut fiber cement outdoors.
- Wear protective masks and eyewear while cutting and handling cut siding.
- Shears are an outstanding tool to cut fiber cement siding; using them will reduce human exposure to concrete dust.
- A circular saw equipped with a fiber cement blade enables clean cuts and slightly lowers dust.
- For a cleaner cut, installers should conduct horizontal rips on the backside of the siding.
- Pre-stacking a few pieces of siding upside down will decrease handling time for those tricky horizontal cuts.
Fiber Cement Fastener Composition
You do not want the siding to fail due to inadequate fasteners. Here is a list of recommended fasteners:
- Stainless Steel (corrosion-resistant)
- Double Hot-Dipped Nail (most used)
- Electrical Galvanized (acceptable but not recommended.)
Proper Nail Specs
Improper nail head width and length could not only void your warranty but could cause premature siding failure. Here are the details:
- Roofing nails, siding-specific nails, and coil siding nails are viable fastener options.
- A proper fastener should contain a minimum 1 ¾” length.
- Rarely is a 4″ nail necessary for siding installation.
- Nails that are too long are subject to penetrating too far into the wall cavity – potentially causing damage.
- To calculate proper nail length, measure the depth of two siding pieces and the sheathing thickness. Total them up and add an inch – (you will then have an adequate nail length.)
- Do not use staples, D-head nails, aluminum nails, finish nails or glue.
Nail Pattern & Applications
Nail pattern requirements will vary depending on the siding width and positioning. Here is a list of the general nailing approaches:
- Blind Nailing: Nail 1″ down from the top of the siding.
- Face Nailing: Nail ¾” up from the bottom. (avoid face nailing combined with blind nailing)
- Nailing 12″ Siding: Face nailing the entire board is required.
- Nailing Ends/ Butt Joints: Never nail closer than ⅜” to the end of the board.
- Flushing Nails: Flushing or countersinking nails significantly reduces the ability to hold.
- Proper Nail Depth: Increase the nails’ ability to keep by revealing 1/16″ of the nail head above the surface.
- Pinback/ Flailing Boards: Use a coil siding nail to face nail any loose boards.
- Nailing without Studs: When solely nailing to plywood, blind nail every 8″ for proper installation. (having two fasteners on each end spreading 1 – 3 ” apart and no closer than 1 ” to all edges is recommended.)
- Nailing with Studs: Nail every 16 inches (referred to as stud center.)
Properly Flashing Allura Siding
Proper flashing will help direct traveling water. Here are a few Allura flashing recommendations and specs:
- Allura recommends strips of dark-colored flashing.
- Metal flashing or 15-pound synthetic or paper felt is acceptable.
- Flashing diverts water onto the face of the siding below.
- Recommended strip sizes meet a 6″ minimum.
- Flashing should overlap the siding below between ¾” to 1″.
Butt Joint Specifics
Fiber cement siding is not as malleable as other materials. Here are a few things to consider:
- Siding Expansion: Allura Siding does not expand and contract as much as other products.
- Butt Joints: Never leave a gap at siding butt joints. (Moderate contact is okay with Allura siding.)
- Siding End Joints: Leave a ⅛” gap where the siding contacts corner boards or other trim.
- Window & Doors: Tolerances around doors and windows should allow for a ¼” to ⅛ gap.
- Window/ Door Trim Flashing: Allow a ¼” gap, so water does not get trapped.
Siding Clearance Specifics
Not following these specs could cause the siding to delaminate. Please take heed to these application specs:
- Ground Level Clearance: 6″ above the dirt
- Running/ Standing Water Clearances: 1″ to 2″ off roofs, porches, patios, or anything area that can pond snow or water
- Roof Clearance: 1 ½” is recommended (optionally use a 2 x 4 as a gauge.)
- Clearance Minimum: Never go under 1″ clearance unless in a covered area where water poses no risk.
- Above Horizontal Flashing Clearances: Leave at least ¼” between the siding and flashing so water doesn’t bridge.
- Expandable Area Clearances: ⅛” minimum clearance from the side of windows, doors, hose bibs, and anything else that can expand.
Paint and Caulking Recommendations
Most influencers recommend not caulking but joints – for it is utterly impossible to keep the joint maintenance-free, and eventually, re-caulking is necessary.
Arguably installers can apply both flashing and caulking to all butt joints. There may be an added level of future maintenance involved by doing so, but caulking butt joints also better protect siding edges.
All caulking should meet ASTMC920 and class 25 designation. Quality caulking products shrink as little as 25% and expand as much as 70% of the total joint width.
Always apply 100% acrylic latex paint and never use oil-based paint or stain. Priming cut edges is also strongly recommended.
Checking Wall Plumb & Level
That the most critical aspect of achieving appealing siding installation is not solely based on the siding installer’s performance. Sure, the installer’s expertise is essential, but ensuring the exterior walls are straight and free of significant imperfections will provide a smooth and uniform outer wall.
So, to all local siding contractors, get your hammer out, pound everything flat, and shim things out as necessary to get a nice straight wall. If you have solid, plumb, and level walls, the siding will mirror that reveal.
Call us for your professional siding installation today! 919-426-4928