Siding is one of the most durable home improvement materials. After all, it’s specifically designed to be used on the exterior of a home, bearing the brunt of Mother Nature’s whims, season after season and year after year. If you think about it, you’d be hard-pressed to find another home product that lasts as long and does as much work as siding.
But for as tough as siding is, regular care and maintenance is needed to keep it looking and performing its best.
Why Siding Maintenance Is Important
The most obvious reason to maintain your siding is to protect the home’s structure and interior from the elements. Siding is your first line of defense against the outside world. That means you want to keep an eye out for loose, cracked, or missing pieces, peeling paint, gaps, holes, and any other kind of damage that could allow moisture to penetrate or get underneath the siding. Once moisture enters the siding or gets underneath it, mold and mildew can take root. As these fungi spread, they become very hard to eradicate, which can cause health problems in people with respiratory ailments or allergies, and can eat away at the underlying wood structure of the home. Either of these scenarios can lead to dangerous conditions if left unchecked.
There are many reasons to keep your siding in good shape. Well-maintained siding looks better and last longer! No one wants to be the eyesore of the block. Taking care of your siding will keep it looking good for as long as possible. A little preventative maintenance will extend the lifespan of your siding and you won’t be facing replacement sooner than you had expected.
Tips On Maintaining The Different Types Of Siding
As siding contractors in Barrington, we are frequently asked for siding maintenance tips. In general, the best maintenance tip is to protect the siding from damage. That means:
• Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house, so they don’t scratch or snag on the siding.
• Always check the siding for damage after bad weather, particularly strong winds, heavy rain or snowfall. If pieces are loose or missing, repair or replace them right away to minimize exposure.
Different types of siding require different levels of maintenance, but none are extremely intensive, unless the siding is already badly damaged.
• Vinyl. Vinyl is specifically manufactured to be low-maintenance. Colors are baked in, not painted on, so you don’t have to worry about repainting or fading colors. The biggest challenge with vinyl siding is checking for loose pieces from strong winds. If you find some, fix them soon. Because, if left to flap in the wind, they can bend or break, which turns a once simple repair project into a siding replacement project. In most cases, pieces can easily be hammered back into place, so you won’t even need to call in a pro. Other than that, a once-a-year power washing is enough to keep vinyl siding looking great. This removes dirt and debris, and gives the home a fresh, clean look.
• Wood. Wood siding is fairly high maintenance, compared to other products. In our area, wood siding needs to be treated or painted roughly every 3-5 years, depending on the age of the wood and the quality of the previous application. You’ll need to fill any cracks or holes before you paint, in order to keep moisture out. Repaired wood paints just as well as original pieces, if done correctly.
• Metal. Metal siding, like steel or aluminum, is fairly low-maintenance. Much like vinyl, the colors can be baked in, though some are painted on, and pieces can be replaced as needed. With any metal rust is always a possibility, but with galvanized steel coatings, rust is less likely than it used to be. To avoid rust and rust-related problems, don’t let the siding get scratched and if it does, repair the spot right away with filler, primer and sealant.
• Fiber Cement. Fiber cement is a strong siding material that combines the best of wood and vinyl siding. Low-maintenance, baked-in color with a wood-like look and feel, fiber cement does not require regular painting. A simple power washing once a year and spot repair will be enough to keep it looking and performing its best.
• Stucco. While not widely used for full home coverage in this area, many homes have portions of stucco as their siding. Woodpeckers often damage stucco, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for both the birds themselves and the holes they leave behind. You should repair any minor holes they make before they become a major repair. Stucco is a porous material, whereas the other types of siding are not. That makes it especially prone to mold and mildew growth, both on the interior and exterior of the home. It can also stain if something is spilled on it. Annual cleaning is a must, as are repairs of holes and soft spots.
Get More Siding Care Tips From Siding Contractors In Barrington
If you are experiencing problems or are concerned about the state of your siding, contact Erdmann Exterior Designs siding contractors in Barrington. We’d be happy to come out and take a look at the problem and make recommendations that will have your siding back in shape in no time.
Call us at 1-847-357-9607.