How to Repair, Replace and Install T1-11 Siding

By Bob Haring , last updated March 13, 2012
T1-11 siding comes in 4-by-8-foot sheets that are scribed to look like either vertical or horizontal planks. It has tongue and groove joints that resemble plank edges when fastened together. This was once a popular building material because it was cheap. T1-11 siding can be made out of plywood, oriented strand board, wood composite material or cement fiber. When properly installed and painted, T1-11 siding can be durable, but moisture and rot problems have been known to crop up with T1-11 made of wood composites, and these materials are not used much now.
  1. Remove siding with rot or moisture deterioration. Take off individual panels if damage is limited to one area. Remove all of the panels if the damage is widespread or the original T1-11 was a composite of sawdust or other wood remnants mixed with some type of resin. Investigate the original manufacturer if possible; many companies abandoned such T1-11 products because of deterioration problems and lawsuits.
  2. Pull the damaged panels loose with a pry bar. Replace individual panels by pulling out all of the nails on the damaged panels with the claw end of a hammer then loosening the nails on adjacent panels so the tongue and groove edges are exposed and accessible. Make sure any edge flashing and waterproofing membrane under or around the panels is intact; if not, replace it.
  3. Install a single replacement panel by slipping its tongue into an adjoining groove and an adjoining tongue into the new panel's groove. Push the panel into the wall until it is firmly seated in place. Replace the nails that were.removed from the panels left in place then drive new galvanized nails into the replacement panel. Run a bead of caulk or construction adhesive onto the studs, before setting the panel in place, as a precaution. Nail the panel to the top and bottom plates and wall studs.
  4. Perform a complete replacement of all of the old T1-11 siding, along with the moisture barrier and wall sheathing. Replace the sheathing with plywood or fresh oriented strand board, cover it with a house wrap or similar moisture barrier then install new siding made of exterior-grade plywood or cement-fiber board. Use the T1-11 panel style or replace it with lap siding or a board and batten style. Nail the replacement siding to the studs and wall plates.
  5. Finish the restored or replaced siding with a high quality primer and paint. Seal the new wood thoroughly; some installers prime the backside of boards before setting them in place. Repaint an entire wall even if only one panel was replaced. Consider using a ceramic type coating to provide a harder, more durable and water-resistant finish.
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