I have a home with batten and board siding. It's not falling apart except for some minor rot near the ground. But I think it could be up to 40 years old, and it is in a humid climate.

A contractor told me it was likely rotten underneath and needed replacement. Additionally, internet suggests this siding has a 25 year lifespan if treated well. this was not maintained very well.

How do I determine whether I need to replace the siding?

  • What are we looking for when testing to see if it's rotting? Are we talking simply about whether the siding itself is rotten? If so, I guess as long as it's structurally sound enough to prep and paint, it would be okay. BUT I got the idea that the contractor was saying it was rotting behind it?
    – chad
    Commented May 2 at 21:10
  • 2
    If the siding is only bad in places and only at the bottoms where possible it is in contact with dirt, the siding can be repaired in those areas, perhaps only the rotted bottoms, if done properly.
    – Jack
    Commented May 3 at 7:38
  • 1
    How do you determine when to replace pants? This is entirely subjective.
    – isherwood
    Commented May 3 at 13:12
  • 1
    I take the point of these comments. My concern is whether it's a thing or not that it could be rotting underneath, even if the exterior appears solid enough to paint. I imagine sheathing underneath or the framing? but you guys are making it sound like if the siding holds up to paint prep, it's nothing to worry about. I like that answer, but am paranoid :)
    – chad
    Commented May 3 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


Take a hammer and give the siding hard taps in any area that you suspect is rotten or have been told is rotten.

If there is rot or are problems with the siding you will feel it in the hammer. It will feel like hitting a padded seat rather than a hard floor. If its really rotten the hammer will go through. You will also be able to recognise the sound of hitting solid wood as opposed to soft rotten wood. –

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.