Planters up against siding.

theodore_norvellAugust 29, 2010

Hi. At the front of our house we have 2 large planters; these are 3 sided brick boxes about 18" (50cm) tall, 2ft (65cm) wide and about 15' (5m) long. The fourth side is right now just thick plastic sheets laid against the vinyl siding of the house. (Or so I think. It is hard to tell how far the vinyl siding goes down.)

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

BddddddddddddddddB

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

S = Siding, B = Brick, d = Dirt

Since we are doing some other changes, we were planning on replacing these with something similar made out a different material. My worry is that these are trapping moisture against the side of the house. Is this likely?

It's been suggested that it would be better to just get rid of the planters altogether. Is this a better idea? Is there a way to put in such things so that the house is protected better?

Thanks for any help.

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mike_kaiser_gw

Any soil should 6" or so below the top of the foundation. Not only will you have a problem with moisture but also vermin and insects.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 8:03AM
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bill_g_web

I'd leave a good 6" of space between the back of the new planter and the house siding; enough to get behind to clean out any leaves & other debris and to let air in to dry the area out. Byt why have planters at all? Can you plant at ground level?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:55PM
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chris8796

I would just build a free standing planter a couple of inches off the house. So you would get air flow and see any failures, if they happen.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 3:19PM
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allison1888

Agree with other posts. Leave some space so it's not against the siding.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:04PM
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macv

Nothing should be placed within 18 inches horizontally of the siding of a house if it is supported on the ground, not even a plant.

If something is closer to the house it should be structurally attached and flashed to become part of the exterior envelope so water can flow over it.

Something with a small profile like a deck can be supported by the house and separated from it with aluminum brackets so water can flow between it and the house and then run away from the house.

Never restrict the flow of water over the exterior envelope of a house or create a space where moisture will collect and dry slowly. No construction material can stand up to constant moisture so gravity and air is your best defense.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 2:46PM
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bill_g_web

Hey macv;

I'm curious - is that some code talking or an opinion? "Nothing should be placed within 18 inches horizontally of the siding of a house if it is supported on the ground, not even a plant."

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 9:28PM
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macv

I would not quote any building code regarding waterproofing issues because I have never found anything in any building code that was useful or relevant regarding that critically important issue. There is often a little difference between a minimum code standard and a sub-standard design practices.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 11:36AM
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theodore_norvell

Hi folks. Thanks for all the good advice. I think the planters are to be no more. We'll try to expose some foundation. I'm not sure if we can get 6 inches down.

Cheers.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 8:54PM
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