5 Ways to Stretch the Life of Your Siding

Siding Maintenance

Most siding requires little maintenance since it's designed to take a beating from the elements, overgrown foliage, and the occasional stray baseball. But there are a number of things you can do to prolong the life of your siding and keep it looking good.

Find Siding Pros Vinyl Siding Upkeep

Vinyl siding is designed to be left alone, but you need to fix any pieces that come loose right away. Left unaddressed, loose siding may be bent into a shape that won't fit into its original place. If this happens, it will need to be replaced.

It's a good idea to pay to have your vinyl siding power washed either before or after the summer season. Spiders and other insects like to live in the small ledges in between siding. Pressure washing will remove most of these critters -- though it's a good idea to periodically run a broom over as much of the area as you can as well. A good annual power washing will make an incredible difference in the appearance of your siding.

Siding Maintenance Wood Siding Maintenance

Wood siding needs to be treated every four to six years, depending on how fierce the elements are in your area. In the mountain states, where the sun and snow can be particularly vicious, you may need to have your wood siding treated more often. In temperate climates, you may need to treat it less frequently.  

Treating wood siding involves pressure washing the siding and washing the windows afterward, so the good news is that you'll get everything done at once. 

Siding Maintenance Wood Siding Repair

Cracks and holes in your wood siding will allow moisture and pests to get in. Be sure to fix any underlying problems before you make any repairs. Otherwise, the problem may crop up again later. Repair methods vary depending on the type of siding you have, but most are fairly easy to fix. Re-nailing loose sheathing, replacing rotted elements and patching any holes or gaps on the underlying surface will prolong the life of your siding after it's repaired.

It's also important to try to pinpoint the source of the problem before repairs begin. Look for obvious clues, such as overgrown tree roots or damaged gutters that let water drain onto masonry surfaces. Also, check the slope of the surrounding landscape to see whether it needs to be re-graded to direct water away from the foundation. Removing siding completely can be a dirty and difficult job requiring specialized equipment and protective gear. It's best to leave this job to a siding professional. Additionally, siding is heavy and awkward to work with. So, if your home has multiple levels, a siding contractor may need special equipment to get to the taller areas of your home. 

Siding Maintenance Maintaining Stucco Siding

Stucco siding is often attacked by woodpeckers. It's important to refill the holes they leave to prevent a family of birds from taking up residence in your walls. Woodpeckers make a lot of noise. If you hear them, inspect for damage; and do what you can to deter them from returning.

Stucco siding is also porous. Tree sap, mold, wine, and other materials allowed onto its surface may stain or take over. Address spills quickly. It's a good idea to inspect your stucco siding at least once or twice a year and remove any stains that may be starting to form. Degreaser works well, and bleach might do the trick on the right color. Test cleaners in a discrete spot before cleaning a conspicuous area.

Metal Siding Maintenance
If a portion of your metal siding is beginning to rust, scrape off the rust and coat the area with a sealant. Metal siding is commonly painted. If the paint on your metal siding is peeling or starting to chip, scraping and repainting the area will preserve the life of the rest of the coat. Even if you don't have the budget to repaint the whole house, fix what needs fixing until you do.
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Matt Myers is a freelance writer for the home maintenance and remodeling industry. Formerly a contractor specializing in deck building and casework, Matt has written over 500 articles for both homeowners and contractors.
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