Cedar Siding gaps, caulk, filler, bondo?

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Old 07-09-16, 10:13 AM
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Cedar Siding gaps, caulk, filler, bondo?

I'm getting ready to undertake a re-finishing project on my exterior cedar siding. The siding is vertical T&G, but it's been quite a while since it was last done (previous owner). One area of the house has some boards that are cupping out enough that the T&G joints have slightly pulled apart. I'd like to smear some kind of caulk, wood filler, or bondo into the joint, then pull the edges of the boards back a little with trim screws (trying not to snap them in the middle, of course). I've read a lot of posts that say don't use any type of caulk on cedar/wood because of adhesion issues, but I really like to have something I could use a caulk gun with for these areas. Some of the joints will most likely still be slightly open even after drawing them back slightly with the trim screws.

Other areas I'll be fixing include knot holes and a few little woodpecker holes, but wood filler is much easier in those circumstances.

Any suggestions? Or would a wood willer/epoxy be best and just putty knife it along the T&G of the joint b/t the boards, then screw them back and let the boards smash the filler together, removing the excess prior to set?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 
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Old 07-09-16, 10:31 AM
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I've used a lot of caulking on cedar siding [splits and joints] with good lasting results.

Spray foam works well for initially filling woodpecker holes is there is no backer to hold the filler.
 
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Old 07-09-16, 10:36 AM
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I like paintable polyurethane caulk for fixing cracks in cedar. Never had any adhesion issues; it's really hard to get it off. If it's rough-sawn I usually tape along both sides of the crack to minimize how much gets on the surface. If you smear a lot on the surface it will show through paint or solid stain.

I don't think you'll have a lot of luck pulling warps back with trim head screws...the cedar is so soft the head will pull into the wood easily before you put much force on the wood, and if you do manage to pull it down, cracks are likely.

For bigger holes I back fill with can foam if the hole goes all the way through and then use an epoxy wood filler (I like WoodEpox) to fill in after the foam sets. It adheres well and doesn't shrink.

Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 07-10-16, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts, guys. I'll try the trim screws on one of those seams, but you bring a good point to the table that cedar is very soft. I'm thinking now to try to draw them back together, then caulk anything that needs it afterwards.

Thanks again!
 
 

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