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I have a section of wood siding that is soft and rotting. Complicating matters (and possibly causing the issue) is the placement of the seating area of the deck. The previous owners built a privacy wall and bench and it abuts the house.

The wood that I've tapped around the area feels firm, the damage is primarily on the top section of one plank.

Any advice on the steps, tools, and materials I'd need to properly repair this are appreciated. I'm concerned some moisture is in the wall cavity; after a recent heavy rain I noticed some minor paint bubbling on the interior side of this wall.

Picture of damaged area

  • Is the inside of that wall open? That is, can you see there is any leakage, water damage, etc. on the inside? – wallyk Nov 19 '14 at 16:37
  • The rot holes are fairly small and I can't see into them very well. I definitely don't see any insulation or building wrap immediately behind the wood, so it may be open behind the plank. – azsromej Nov 19 '14 at 16:49
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Frankly, replacing one horizontal run like that probably isn't worth the effort, unless there will be lots of rain in the future. It may well be sufficient to strip, putty the gaps, caulk the edges, and paint.

Otherwise, you'll have to replace the siding panel. Remove the bench and wall. Remove the siding, and renew.

The tools and materials are straightforward: hammer, pry bar, screwdriver (if anything is held with screws—probably nothing is), elbow grease, and patience. Nails or screws, a new siding panel, primer, caulk, and paint is all that should be needed.

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    I've used epoxy putty -- basically Bondo for houses -- to rebuild rotted windowsills after removing the rotted portion. Sometimes that sort of patch-it-in-place is the best answer. (On the other hand, I've probably set up a mess for myself when the time comes to really replace that windowsill... Oh Well.) – keshlam Nov 19 '14 at 19:42

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