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'Waterproofed' siding poses sticky problem

In our 18-month-old house we have Texture 111 wood siding with neither plywood nor waterproof paper between it and the studs. The siding was spray- painted with an oil-base stain that was supposed to be waterproof. The stain is gone in many places and the boards are soaked in rainstorms. What should we do to make the siding waterproof? Mrs. M. West Goshen, Conn.

Workmanlike specifications and installations include at least waterproof paper under siding. I groan at its absence in your case. It is a shameful omission.

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Oil-base stain is never intended as a waterproofing agent in lieu of underfelt.

What to do now? You have at least three options:

* First, carefully remove the siding. Install building paper against the studs. Then reapply the old siding, along with whatever new siding is needed. Some boards, of course, will not come off intact. This option, because of the work involved, is least recommended.

* A second alternative is to apply over the Texture 111 aluminum, steel, vinyl, or wood shingles or siding, to suit-your fancy, budget, and aesthetics. This is a practical option. You can determine its practically by obtaining comparative prices for labor and materials among these four possible overlays.

* Finally, you can apply an elastomeric coating, which should provide the needed water resistance. For information from at least one such company, write: VIP West Inc., 1287 66th Street, Emeryville, CA 94608, or call (800) 447-1980 and ask for the name of a local representative or distributor.

The company offers technical assistance for homeowners such as you with special problems.

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