The clapboards near the stairs are disintegrating. I believe they are fiber cement board. The stairs are stone, and lead to the front door. I'm not sure what to do to prevent this from happening again. We thought about flashing, but am not sure how to do it, or if it would look right.
This house was recently purchased by a friend. I've done other repairs and interior painting, but am stuck on this one.

http://flic.kr/p/fioFLP

http://flic.kr/p/fioFKT

I've tried to embed the photos in the message but couldn't do it. Kept getting invalid image. Sorry about that.