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Community and Q&A

Steel Siding on Historic Home

1869farmhouse | Posted in General Questions on

I’ve taken a lot of advice from this forum and remodeled multiple historic homes on the brink of getting dozed.

But this house was my first.  I sprayed 3” of closed cell foam on the interior.  Ever since, I’ve been afraid of mold.

Now it needs siding.  I have a bunch of steel siding left over from another job.  If I install a good WRB, maybe a liquid, is this a decent siding material?  I really don’t want water in the wall assembly and molding!

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  1. user-2310254 | | #1


    Not an expert, but I'm assuming you are worried about moisture buildup in the sheathing and limited drying potential to the exterior. Could you install the steel siding on furring strips to create an air gap? While I think "the gap" would promote sufficient drying, I don't think it necessarily would resolve your mold worry.

    For that (and again nonexpert here) I think you need to control indoor humidity. What are your current conditions like? I understand that Kansas City can be pretty soupy during the summer.

    1. 1869farmhouse | | #3

      KC is definitely soupy! The interior should be good. I keep it on the dryer side. The nagging worry of mold on this house is not new haha.

      A firring strip may be a good idea. My understanding is that water can condense on the back of steel, but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around dew point, etc.

  2. Expert Member
    PETER Engle | | #2

    Steel siding can be a fine cladding material. What profile are you using? If it is corrugated with the corrugations vertical, it acts as its own rainscreen and vent system. You do have to use some sort of screening for the top and bottom of the channels to allow ventilation and drainage without letting too many critters in. Any WRB behind it would work.

    If the siding is smooth steel panels, install it on spacers or furring to provide your drainage gap.

    Just checking, but I am assuming your house is not in a protected historic district? If there are historic protections, the steel siding probably won't meet the guidelines.

    1. 1869farmhouse | | #4

      I am not in a historic district, but the city unfortunately does not allow steel panels. This siding is the size and shape of vinyl siding - only made of steel instead.

      Appreciate your comment on the wrb. I was thinking maybe I needed something more robust than normal. Everyone uses Tyvek around here. I’m assuming it’s a fine WRB if it’s installed properly. Which unfortunately, it seems to rarely be.

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