Should House Siding Touch The Shingles?

Roofing and siding your house is one of the most important things to building and renovating your home. Nothing needs to be done, and the roof above your head, along with the parts of the house surrounding it. But when shingling your roof, a question is likely to arise. Should the shingles on your roof touch the surrounding siding of your home? We have researched this question and have the answer for you down below. 

You should not let your shingles and your siding touch. The biggest reason to allow some space between your siding and shingles is to avoid moisture trapping. Siding is frequently paired with a porous material, like wood, that traps paint better, as well as trapping water. When this liquid has nowhere to go, trapped by the shingles, it quickly leads to rot.

We go more into this problem and more down below, so continue reading to learn more. We'll also cover some other common questions that may arise.

Cream colored wooden sidings and gray wooden shingles, Should House Siding Touch The Shingles?

The issue of wood rot 

Wood rot is a fairly common problem in which sections of trimming or siding have begun to rot away completely. One of the more common reasons for this occurring is, as mentioned, sidings and shingles touching.

Most siding made today is made of a paper product known as masonite. Siding comes with the appearance of wood, heavy stucco, or shake shingles. When properly applied, siding can last for years. 

When not correctly applied, problems can arise. Sometimes contractors and homeowners will install siding and trim right up against the shingles of their roof. The porous material found in most siding and shingles will almost instantly begin to absorb fluid from the shingles. This water will have nowhere to go being so close to the shingles, and rot will start to occur. 

There is no way to fix rot after it has begun other than replacing the damaged portion of your roof. Avoiding the damage in the first place is your best solution, and thankfully just avoiding placing your siding and shingles together will go a long way. 

How far should siding be from the roof?

Unfortunately, there is no precise answer to this question. The answer will vary slightly depending on the material and labor you are using.

Siding that is three-quarters of an inch above the surface of the nearby shingles will offer enough space for moisture to escape. This fact means that a tiny bit of metal flashing should be showing between siding and shingle.  It's also such a negligibly small gap that the eye will never notice it.

Some manufacturers of differing products will recommend slightly more significant gaps, up to potentially 2 inches. This gap, of course, will be somewhat more noticeable but may very well be what your roof needs to avoid damage. Don't hesitate to have a conversation with your roofers about spacing with your siding material. 

Read now on What is the Best Wood For Roof Shingles?

Do shingles go on before siding?

Round edge roof shingles

It's recommended you get your roof and shingles done first and as soon as possible when doing any projects on your home's roof. The reasoning for this is a practical one.

While not having any windows or siding on your house generally won't contribute to damages, lacking a proper roof certainly will. Getting this done as soon as possible before any potential weather damage or unforeseen circumstances makes the most sense. 

A commonly recommended order of operations for your roof is roofing, windows and siding, and lastly, your rain gutters. While it might be tempting to leave your siding and windows for last, there is reason to do them before your gutters.

Stripping a roof is a difficult job that often requires steps that may damage your gutter systems. Exterior contractors often have to take down gutter systems to replace the attached siding and fascia during installation. 

Instead of hiring a company to install gutters, take them down to do siding, and then reinstall them again; consider getting your siding and windows done first. That way, you'll save yourself money and time with less redundant construction. That being said, of course, you'll have to take the needs of your home specifically into account. 

If your gutters are falling apart, highly damaged, and allowing water to leak onto your foundation, landscape, deck, or siding, you'll want to get that dealt with quickly. Water damage can fast accrue into something severe, and the longer you wait, the more you risk severe damage to those parts of your home. 

Should you replace the roof or siding first?

In terms of replacement, the recommended order of operations is primarily the same. Start with your roofing, then move on to windows, and end with any siding you need to repair.

The reasoning for this is also mostly the same as when building in the first place. Starting with roofing, then moving onto windows, and ending with siding reduces any chance of your installation projects being damaged by new projects you might want to create. 

Focusing first on your replacement roof will quickly ensure the safety of your home. The windows will be the next important step to securing your house. Doing this will also make sure your house is at its most energy, and therefore cost, efficient You'll want those windows and that roof in as soon as possible. Lastly, you can end with your siding, which will be ready and waiting for installation. 

Even though we recommend ending with your siding replacement, it's a great reminder not to skimp on siding repairs when necessary. Siding protects the interior of your home from moisture, humidity, temperature fluctuation and extremes, insects, and pests. Always ensure your siding is up to par with the rest of your essential home fixtures and renovations. 

Should shingles hang over the drip edge?

Heavy downpour on the shingle roofing of a house

The overhang of your shingles is the amount of space they extend past the roof, creating a lip. Having a sufficient amount of overhang prevents water from making contact with the structural parts of the roof. 

If you have a drip edge flashing installed on your roof, your shingles should overhang around half an inch to three-quarters of an inch. If you lack a drip edge, the overhang should be closer to around an inch to an inch and a half. 

It's essential to keep the water from these structural parts of the roof to increase their lifespan. Once your roof suffers water damage, you'll have to replace the damaged portion. To do this requires tearing off all the wood and shingles and is quite the involved process. So while you can certainly live with a roof that has no drip edging, it's not recommended. 

The costs of getting drip edging installed on your roof will far outweigh any risks at the end of the day. Even if your roof lacks the required fascia boards and you end up needing to get them installed, it's considered a good idea to get drain edging for your roof and make sure your shingles are correctly overhanging. 

Should shingles be lighter or darker than siding?

Gray shingle roofing photographed in detail

While there is no concrete rule to this question, there are some things you can consider when deciding how to match the color of your roof shingles to your house.

One thing to keep in mind, darker objects appear smaller to the eye and recede into space. Conversely, lighter-colored objects appear bigger to the viewer and seem closer. This optical illusion can impact how viewers see your house when looking at it. 

If you already have a smaller house, consider using lighter-colored shingles to make your home appear bigger to an onlooker. Darker shingles can cause your house to appear even more cramped and compact than it already is. 

Siding color, meanwhile, offers more psychological impacts you might want to consider. Lighter-colored buildings often appear more welcoming, while darker-colored buildings are seen as grounded and stable. Consider what feeling you want your home to put out while considering the color of your shingles and sidings.

If you want to be more practical in your choices, the climate is a factor to look closely at. Light-colored roofs and sidings are good choices for hot climates, as white refracts heat rather than absorbing it. Choosing them will help with keeping your house cooler in the warm months and your electric bills lower.

The inverse also holds true, as dark shingles and sidings hold in heat and absorb sunlight to help keep homes in cold climates warmer with less reliance on heating. The residual heat on your roof can also help with heavy snowfall. 

You'll also likely want to take in factors like architectural structure, landscaping, location, and other factors. All of these will come into play when choosing your perfect shingle and siding combination. 

Read now on How Long Does Vinyl Siding Last on a House?

In Closing

Roofing is an essential part of your home and having your shingles and siding work is crucial. Not having to worry about constant rot or water damage will undoubtedly be a relief to any homeowner. We hope this article was informative and reassuring on how to keep the problem away.

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