In the Chicago area, a surprisingly common problem homeowners find themselves having to confront is the damage caused to their siding by woodpeckers. These birds can be pretty, and they may be small, but they can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior—leaving you facing costly hassles, repairs, and even siding replacement.
If that’s you, you’re probably wondering what type of siding you can invest in that stands up to woodpecker damage. Fortunately, there are solutions from Siding and Windows Group that will give you peace of mind that your home is safe from these annoying creatures.
What Draws Woodpeckers to Home Siding in the First Place?
Woodpeckers are well-known home pests, and they should be taken as seriously as carpenter ants and termites when you’re planning siding replacement or other renovations. The fact is, woodpeckers and insects are drawn to anything that helps them survive.
Hungry woodpeckers like to eat insects, which burrow into some types of siding.
Woodpeckers create large holes in pliable materials, where they can make a nest and breed.
Like many animals, woodpeckers store up food, like acorns, in the holes they drill.
When you hear woodpeckers drumming on siding, it’s because the loud sound is a message to other birds in the area. Drumming helps them attract a mate.
Woodpeckers also drum to claim the area as their own.
And these habits continue for generations of woodpeckers as they continue nesting and breeding in your neighborhood—which is a good reason to find ways to keep them away from your home.
What Kind of Damage Do Woodpeckers Create?
If you have woodpeckers nearby that are attracted to your home, then your exterior may suffer:
Since woodpeckers like to create holes to nest in, they may drill large spaces in your siding.
Rows of tiny holes may occur as woodpeckers follow a drilling pattern to dig for insects.
Holes of different sizes in your siding will develop as the woodpecker attacks different places for their drumming, feeding, and breeding habits.
The more holes you get in your siding, the more your home exterior will look worn down. And that damage can also allow moisture in, creating even more damage over time.
How Different Siding Materials Hold Up to Woodpeckers
Natural Wood Siding
There’s a reason you’ll see woodpeckers attacking natural wood siding: it’s just like the trees they go after too. Natural wood is appealing to these birds because it’s where they feed, breed and make homes.
Cedar Shake Siding
Cedar shakes and shingles are made of authentic wood, which means they offer the same appeal as other forms of wood. In fact, woodpeckers particularly love cedar.
Tongue and Groove Cedar Siding
The seams that join planks of this siding are especially attractive to woodpeckers, and they will work hard to create holes in it.
Stone and Brick
Since these materials are not malleable, woodpeckers can’t drill them. If you’re considering a new home build, stone and brick may be options for you. They’re not typically used for remodeling, since they are costly and time-consuming to install.
Because vinyl is a manmade material that doesn’t contain wood, it doesn’t have anything to offer woodpeckers, and they’re not attracted to it. But if the fascia boards are made of wood, that will attract woodpeckers and insects.
Fiber Cement Siding
Another manmade material, fiber cement is super-strong, durable, attractive, and resistant to all sorts of annoying pests. Woodpeckers can’t eat it or drum on it, so they’ll leave your siding alone. And it’s highly popular as replacement siding in the Chicago area.
How James Hardie Siding Earns Top Marks in Chicagoland
Among siding materials, fiber cement is a top performer. The James Hardie company, which is the premier manufacturer of this durable material, has provided siding for over 8 million homes to date, and they’re going strong because homeowners and remodeling companies strongly admire the long-lasting results Hardie siding delivers.
Why Woodpeckers Hate Hardie Siding
Fiber cement is composed of a mix of silica sand, water, wood pulp, and Portland cement. It has no nutritional value for insects, rodents or birds, so they’re not tempted to eat away at it.
Also, the mixture forms a strong, resilient material that is hard to break down, so pests like woodpeckers can’t use it to fashion nests.
Other Awesome Advantages of Hardie Siding
But there’s more to Hardie siding than just its resistance to woodpeckers, insects, and other pests. It’s also highly prized for the many benefits it provides to savvy homeowners:
- Enduring beauty — Hardie siding comes in many styles, can mimic wood grain, and can be designed to give you a uniquely attractive look.
- Low maintenance — As a home building material, fiber cement siding is among the easiest to care for. Just give it a rinse once a year, and that’s usually all it needs to look great.
- Weather resistance — Hardie siding is available in product lines zoned for specific climates and regions throughout the U.S. The HardieZone line for Chicago performs exceptionally against snow, ice, rain, wind, hail, and humidity.
- Durability — This impressive siding is warrantied to last at least 30 years when installed by a James Hardie Elite Preferred team like ours. Plus, it is noncombustible and won’t contribute to a fire.
These reasons, plus the great return on investment you get, makes Hardie siding well worth the investment.
Stop Woodpecker Damage for Good with Lasting Hardie Siding
There’s no reason to put your home exterior at risk from damage caused by woodpeckers, or any other pests for that matter. Chicago homeowners love the enduring beauty that Hardie siding provides. And it’s not just pest resistant — it’s also designed to withstand the Chicagoland weather, giving you peace of mind. Learn more about America’s #1 siding by checking out our Guide to James Hardie Siding—and remember, we’re happy to answer any questions you have about your home care needs.