PVC Vinyl Trim Progess

PVC Trim The horizontal trim pieces (previously 1×3 pine) have been replaced with 6-inch LP Hardi Trim.  I used a table saw to cut the top edge at a 30-degree angle so that water will run off of it.   I think that is part of what caused the previous issues with the wood rot.  Then I painted the trim with 3 coats of an oil based primer before screwing it on.  I screwed it on, and caulked the top edge with Dynaflex 230 caulk, which is very flexible.

I started replacing sections of the vertical boards that really needed it.  I would cut out 12-inches or so, and replaced it with primed cedar.  As I was doing that, I didn’t like how it looked.  So I started looking into other options.

In the picture above you can see that I’m halfway done with replacing the vertical boards with PVC battens.  The white ones are new.  PVC is rot proof, and I hopefully will never have to replace rotten wood on this side of the house again.  PVC is twice as expensive as using cedar and 2.5 times more expensive than pine, but my goal here is longevity.  Also,  I don’t have to prime them before I put them up, and they come in 12-foot pieces.  The PVC cuts like wood, and I don’t have to predrill any holes before I screw the wood on because the PVC never splits.  So although it is pricey, it has time-saving advantages.

So here is my process:

  1. Unscrew old trim (or pull off, since some of it used nails)
  2. Hammer down any staples or uneven places
  3. Scrape off paint and old caulk with chisel
  4. Paint over all exposed areas with oil based primer
  5. Cut PVC trim to length and screw on
  6. Caulk along both sides of new PVC trim

I think the caulking is the key to longevity.  No water can get to the edges of the boards beneath it, which I believe is the cause of the original wood rot.

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