Home Improvement--General/Vinyl Siding

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: Hi Mr. Major,

I had my home built in 2004, and Every year since I get mice in my bedroom walls.  After exhausting efforts to stop them from getting in, we finally discovered they are getting in  underneath the siding. The chewed through the framing and were living in the insulation. All methods we tried such as caulking underneath the siding has worked.  Can you fifer any suggestions fir me to prevent them from getting in under the siding? They are field mice, they come in in mid October and they leave in the spring.  They are not in the living space if the house, just the walls and last year they found their way under the sub flooring. I hear them all winter hitting against the air ducts. Help! I need to but a stop to the. Once and for all.  They have been driving me nuts for years.

Thank you,
Sharyn

ANSWER: Sharyn,

Are you able to describe the wall construction? Specifically: is the sheathing beneath the vinyl siding made of a very hard material like 1/2" thick plywood or waferboard (OSB), or is it a softer material like fiberboard or rigid foam?

Thank you,
Steve


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Steve,

Thanks for replying. It's not thick in my opinion.  Whatever it is they chewed right through it. I had 2 walls in my bedroom gutted out to try and figure out how they were getting in. There were 2 quarter size holes in the outside wall. A home improvement company suggested using J Channel under the bottom row of siding.  I'm guessing if they chewed through wood, they can chew through the plastic. I have pictures from when they gutted my walls if you want me to send them to you. .

Drip cap
Drip cap  
Drip cap 2
Drip cap 2  
ANSWER: Sharyn,

Yes, please forward the photos.  In the meantime see about tightly installing a metal drip cap along the bottom of the siding (see photo).  This actually works better for water shedding than a J-channel, and being metal, they can't chew through.  

There is a chance that they may be finding another way in beneath the siding, such as at a loose corner of window/door opening.  A really careful visual inspection might tell.

Best of luck,
Steve Major

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

House
House  

Mouse
Mouse  
QUESTION: Steve,

I was thinking something metal. I was too sold on the J Channel, because I feel they can chew right threw it. I'll look into the drip caps. I sent you a link to some pictures.

Thank you,
Sharyn

Answer
OK,
The sheathing on your house is a soft fiberboard, and it is no surprise that mice can chew through it.  Unfortunately it is too late to remedy that; a more solid alternative during the construction of the house would have been plywood or OSB (oriented strand board), both made of wood rather than fibers.  

So now, the metal drip cap may help, also keep the exposed part of your foundation clear of tall grass, weeds, shrubs touching the house, etc., to minimize any potential pathways for the rodents.

Steve

Home Improvement--General

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Steve Major (Owner - Major Design Group)

Expertise

I can answer any questions regarding the design and execution of home improvement and remodeling. This includes trade-specific questions (how-to) in all major building trades: framing, foundations, site prep, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, water treatment, interior finishing, trim & cabinetwork, exterior finishing, roofing, siding. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.

Experience

30 years experience in home improvement design and construction, all hands-on, including the construction of dozens of single-family homes and hundreds of remodeling projects in the northeastern US.

Publications
Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

Education/Credentials
BS -- Cornell University

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.