One of the most important exterior features which deliver protection to your home on a daily basis is its siding. Besides helping....
One of the most important exterior features which deliver protection to your home on a daily basis is its siding. Besides helping to define your home’s curbside appeal, siding serves several important functions. It protects your home from the weather elements, defends against moisture and pest infiltration, and can also contribute to your home’s insulation capabilities. However, depending upon the siding materials used and on the quality of their installation, some problems can occur over time.
If you’re like a lot of people, you probably don’t give your siding much thought on a daily basis. As long as you don’t notice any glaring issues as you glance at your siding whenever pulling out of your driveway, you probably just assume that everything’s fine. However, everything may not be fine. Here are some factors to keep in mind which can reduce or limit the lifespan of your siding:
Siding is intended to keep moisture out, but over time moisture infiltration can take its toll. Sometimes the siding itself can look fine, but moisture that has penetrated can wreak havoc on your home’s infrastructure underneath. If you notice any warping or buckling in your siding, that’s a good indication you have a moisture infiltration issue.
Wood siding is particularly vulnerable to a range of pests, including termites, carpenter bees, powder post beetles, and even woodpeckers. And even if your siding isn’t made with wood, pests can sometimes get through to do damage to your underlying wooden framework. It’s important to take regular steps to treat your home and property for any potential pests that may be a threat in your area.
You may tend to think of your roof as being a separate issue, but really the quality of your roof system directly impacts the longevity and performance of your siding system. If you aren’t intentional about keeping and maintaining a quality roof over your head, you may find yourself needing to replace both your roof AND your siding – and that can be an expensive proposition!
One hail storm is all it takes to do some real damage to your siding. Flying debris from a wind storm can also have a similar negative impact. It’s always a good idea to give your siding a quick visual inspection after any significant weather event. Holes, cracks, or other damage to your siding won’t go away on its own, and these issues only get worse over time if left unattended.
It’s not just extreme weather that can damage siding, either. Temperature swings of heat and cold as the season's change will lead your siding to expand and contract. This is normal and is to be expected, but some siding materials are better engineered for handling temperature fluctuations than others. Siding which isn’t properly installed can also be much more susceptible to developing problems from expansion & contraction cycles.
Fading is just a cosmetic issue, right? Not necessarily. While many manufacturers are producing siding products with improved fade-resistance capabilities, sunlight exposure can still have a negative impact over time. And if your siding has become noticeably faded, that may also mean the UV rays have contributed to the degradation of your siding material, which can actually reduce some of its performance ability.
Many modern siding products are labeled as “low-maintenance,” but that doesn’t mean they never need any maintenance at all. It’s a good idea to clean and inspect your siding on a regular basis, to ensure that things like mold and mildew don’t have a chance to build up. You should also check for any exposed nails, cracks in the sealant, or other issues of this nature. And while self-inspection is a good practice, the best practice to follow is to have a siding professional come out to do an inspection on an annual basis.
Some siding materials simply perform better than others, and some even come with some substantial warranties. But in many cases, a problem can arise with your siding that has nothing to do with the quality of the material itself. Rather, the real issue is the quality of the initial siding installation. The fact of the matter is that not all siding contractors are created equal. Some simply don’t have the tools, experience, training, manufacturer backing, licensing, bonding, or insurance that are needed to really do the job right.
With proper care and maintenance, your home’s siding should be able to provide you with many years of reliable service. But even providing regular maintenance isn’t enough to overcome a siding installation that was really botched in the first place! Choosing the right siding materials and products is certainly important, but what’s even more important is making sure to do your homework in choosing the right siding contractor to begin with. Ask around, and do some research. Who do your friends, family, and neighbors recommend? And if there’s a siding provider you’re considering, be sure to check out their website to see who they are and what they’re about. Take the time to read some real customer reviews on Google, social media, BBB, and other quality review sites.
If you’re considering a home improvement project and want to know more about your siding options, let us know. We can help you choose a vinyl color and style and pair it perfectly with a stone façade that adds beauty, curb appeal and brings out the unique personality in your home. Get in touch for a free consultation and estimate.