Let's talk about dirt

Not the kind you use to eat when you were a kid.  Well, actually I guess it is the same kind.  Ok, not the kind you have to wash out of your clothes every Friday when you do laundry.  hummmm.. I guess it really is all the same.  The issue is where it's located.

If I were into statistics and ran the numbers on my reports I believe the single most repeated comment would be "Siding too close or in contact with ground.  Recommend soil be 6" below siding to prevent moisture intrusion and pest access."  It's called a conducive condition, meaning bugs and fungus just LOVE to find it on your house. 

Having dirt piled up against your siding, or having a wood column from your deck buried in the dirt is just about the fastest way to start rot.  And everyone knows rot on siding or a deck support is bad.  Right?

The good thing about dirt is it's easy to move.  Get a shovel and dig.  Does it have to be a full 6" below any wood surface?  Probably not, but that is the industry suggestion.  Don't let that stop you though if you can't get that low.  3 or 4 inches below your siding is way better than heaped up against it.

A little bit of time spent walking around your house looking for dirt in places it shouldn't be can save you a lot of time replacing deck piers or that entire bottom row of siding.  Plus you might come up with enough good topsoil to fill that planter you've always been wanted to build.