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We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

    But, nail a skirt board over the wood rot and add a fresh cost of paint and the wall looks new again, as in the photo below.

    The problem is that the top surface of the skirt board acts as a “water trap,” allowing rain water to puddle on it. The seam at the wall and the indentions in the plywood are usually caulked, like in the previous photo, but the de-lamination of the plywood continues below it and pushes, then pops, the caulk over time. Rain water running down the wall gets trapped between the board and the plywood, and the rot cycle begins again, just at a higher level on the wall and a faster pace, as shown in the photo below.

    Eventually it looks this next photo. A good rule-of-thumb is “the taller the skirt board, the bigger the area of rot being covered up.” A long-lasting repair involves replacing the bottom area of plywood and inserting a Z-flashing at the seam where they meet. To read more about it and see an example of a correct repair, go to our blog post “What is Z flashing?”

     There is also an alternate solution if you like the way a skirt board looks at the base of your plywood siding and want to do a permanent repair of the rotten wood: cut away a strip of deteriorated siding at the base of the wall, then install a Z-flashing up behind the bottom of the cut and over the top of a new skirt board. Leave a small gap between the board and the siding to fill with caulk, like in the photo below.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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