As winter approaches, take a look at your siding. At first glance, it may look good – why replace it? But take a closer look. What appears to be perfectly good siding may have more than a few problems, some of which will leave you shivering this winter if not repaired.
Spotting Signs Of Disrepair
Home siding tends to let you know when it needs to be replaced, even if only through subtle hints. Consider that fresh coat of paint you gave your home last spring. And the spring before that. Frequent need for repainting – anything more frequent than every eight to ten years – is a sign that something’s amiss. Fading, cracking, and peeling paint all signal a structural problem with your home siding and you should check your home for accompanying non-cosmetic signs of disrepair.
Often seen alongside peeling and faded paint is warped or rotting siding. While faded color is a hassle, warping can be a sign that deeper structural damage has occurred. One expert recommends using a screwdriver when inspecting warped siding. This will allow you to probe for damage, such as rotting beams. If you detect soft spots under the siding, it’s time for immediate action.
A similar concern arises if your siding has cracks or holes. Cracks are more likely caused by weather damage or other environmental conditions, while holes are likely caused by bugs working their way through the siding. While in some cases of cracking you may be able to remove just the cracked section for replacement, any underlying damage to the home may require removing much more. The same goes for insect damage – covering the holes won’t be enough if the bugs have chewed through key beams or have built extensive nests under the siding.
Internal Signs Of Siding Problems
When it comes to siding problems, it may come as a surprise that not all signs of damage are external. In fact, many signs that your siding needs replaced are visible from inside the home. Just like peeling house paint, peeling interior paint or sagging wallpaper are signs that your siding may be letting in moisture from the outside. This can damage not just your wall treatments, but the walls themselves, so it’s important to check for any additional structural issues if siding issues prove problematic.
Another possible sign that your home siding needs to be replaced is mold and mildew inside the home. While mold and mildew are relatively common in bathrooms where it’s wet and humid, mold elsewhere should be a cause of suspicion. Not only does your siding need to be replaced, if you have moldy walls you’ll need to have your home fully evaluated, as some kinds of mold are toxic.
The Energy Bill Metric
When it comes to signs of siding damage, perhaps the sneakiest indicator is the one draining your bank account every month. Aging and damaged siding can cause temperature regulation issues in your home, leading to an increased energy bill each month. Whether it’s from heat seeping in during the summer months, causing you to run your air conditioner nonstop, or icy internal temperatures that drive up your heating bill in the winter, it’s incredible how much of a financial difference new siding can make.
Siding Replacement Timelines
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your siding, but aren’t aware of any pressing issues that would warrant renovations, you may want to reconsider. Although it depends on the kind of siding you have, the typical contractor guidelines for vinyl recommend replacing your home’s siding every ten to fifteen years. It’s especially important to inspect your siding annually as you approach this timeframe.
Even if your home siding still appears up to the job when inspected, it’s common practice to replace older siding when performing major home renovations. Adding a sunroom, new windows, French doors, or a home expansion are all good reasons to reside your home. Any siding that needs to be added alongside aging siding is unlikely to color match well, and worn out siding that has slipped through inspection may cause damage to home additions. Better to replace siding early during other home improvement work than to wait and regret it.
Assessing Your Options
Although vinyl siding is the most well-known home exterior covering, when replacing your home’s siding, you actually have a number of options. Vinyl is favored for durability. Although every ten to fifteen years may be the recommended replacement time frame for vinyl, high quality vinyl can last from thirty to fifty years. Unfortunately, the material doesn’t break down in landfills, so it is far from the most eco-friendly option.
Other siding options include metal, wood, and fiber cement. Metal has largely fallen out of favor because vinyl is both more durable and less expensive. While aluminum used to be one of the least expensive options, it hasn’t been able to keep up with modern manufacturing innovations.
Wood siding is only for those who can make a serious commitment to care and maintenance. It can be quite beautiful, particularly when treated with a light stain, but will need repairs every five years or so, as well as a new coat of stain every three years. Reclaimed wood can be an environmentally friendly choice for home siding, but new high grade wood comes from old growth forests that are currently being decimated by logging, so keep this in mind.
Finally, there’s fiber cement siding. This kind of siding has overlapping rows that protect your home from the elements as well as insect infestations. Fiber cement is also less likely to rot and is manufactured from a combination of cement and cellulose, making it perhaps the most environmentally friendly siding option on the market.
Siding & Windows Group
If you suspect your home may need new siding, contact the Siding & Windows Group today. Our team of professionals specializes in high quality home remodeling services, including a full array of siding options. With over thirty years of industry leadership, financing options, and warranties you can count on, Siding & Windows Group is home to the contractors you can trust to make your house a home.