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You’ve always loved pulling up to your home, admiring how it looks, and feeling proud of the life you live inside those walls. But one day, you’re enjoying the view and realize it’s been a while since you last gave your home’s wooden siding the love and attention it deserves. All the exterior home repair projects you might want to do pile up in your head, but first, you have to ask yourself—might it be time to replace siding on the house?
If your home does have wooden siding, you might consider yourself lucky. Unlike other common siding materials like aluminum and vinyl, wood siding boasts low thermal conductivity and high strength against the elements. When coated with appropriate paints or stains and properly maintained, wood siding is also resistant to rot and insect damage. Of course, because wood is a natural material, it will eventually begin to break down. Over time, this could result in the need for repairs or total replacement of individual boards or entire sections of your home’s existing siding.
But how can you tell when it’s time to consider giving your wood siding a little more attention than just updating the trim? Today’s post offers a few of the most prominent signs to watch out for in your home’s siding.
What Are Some Signs You Need to Repair or Replace Siding on Your House?
While there is arguably no siding material more beautiful than natural wood, homeowners must understand that maintaining that beauty comes with a certain degree of responsibility. Wood siding requires a commitment to ongoing care that vinyl siding, for instance, does not.
Are you noticing any of the following issues with your siding? If so, it’s time to get to work or find a reputable home exterior maintenance and repair contractor.
Peeling and Flaking Paint
Unlike most other siding options, the main to-do with wood siding is painting, not replacing siding on the house. Wood siding generally comes pre-primed from the factory. Still, manufacturers like our friends at Kelleher remind our contractors and DIY customers that wood needs to be painted within 30 days of siding installation. Otherwise, dirt and moisture can lead to improper paint bonding, which will cause it to fail prematurely. If you notice that paint is peeling from your new siding, improper installation is almost certainly to blame, and you may not need to replace all your siding just yet.
Of course, age will also naturally cause the paint to peel, blister, and flake off. Depending on the formulation and the paint color you choose, your wood siding may need repainting in as little as three years. The best performing coatings are typically 100% acrylic latex paints in lighter colors (which better reflect sunlight)—these can look great for up to 15 years before repainting is needed.
Have You Seen The Signs of Rot?
When wood takes on water and cannot properly dry out, it will begin to rot. This process is caused naturally by wood-decay fungus that thrives on moist wood. Unfortunately, if you are not actively preventing rot in your wood siding, you can’t just cross your fingers and hope it won’t occur. If you neglect your wood siding’s maintenance needs, rot can quickly take hold, spread, and destroy your investment.
Be on the lookout for rot forming, especially around the bottom edges of your siding. If the wood siding is installed too close to the ground—less than about 8” above it—it can wick moisture from the earth, which will cause rot to form.
Cracks, Breaks, and Visible Damage
Intense storms can do a number on our homes’ exterior surfaces. Wood siding, while more durable and less prone to breakage when hit by falling debris or hail than vinyl material, is not immune to damage.
After severe weather, always look over your home’s siding to check for boards or sections that will need replacing. Generally, your homeowner’s insurance can help you with storm-caused damage to your siding. Also, note that in California, you’ll need to pay special attention to fire ratings for exterior cladding, architectural mouldings, and other features when looking for replacement or new building materials.
Have You Noticed Any Warping?
If you spot siding boards that are no longer laying perfectly flat, it can be a warning sign that moisture is somehow getting into the wall system behind it. Unfortunately, investigating and repairing hidden problems like this will require professional help from a trusted exterior contractor since diagnosing these issues can be complicated.
Suppose your home lacks an effective moisture barrier behind your siding. In that case, you may face an extensive siding removal and replacement project so your home’s underlying wall system can be better protected from the elements.
You may even begin to notice warping on your moulding before you see warping on the exterior wood paneling itself. In this case, getting a professional’s opinion is still crucial before replacing siding on your house or moulding or remedying the warping.
Do You Have Moisture or Mold Inside Your Home?
Like warped siding, moisture and mold appearing on your interior walls or ceiling edges can point to problems with the wall system between your exterior siding and the wall surface you see inside your home. If you notice moisture appearing after wet weather or even peeling wallpaper or paint within your rooms, you’ll want to find an expert home contractor to help you get to the root of the issue.
Not only are these bad for your siding, but they can also cause health issues if left unchecked! In most cases of excess moisture and mold, replacing the siding on the house may be necessary.
I’m Moving Soon—Can I Skip Fixing Problems?
In short, the answer to this question is a resounding no. Why? Well, your house will look better with refreshed exterior siding, which may help you realize a better price at resale. Also, consider how you would feel if you moved into a new home only to discover the siding was warped, moldy, or rotting. If you wouldn’t want that to happen to you, why would you subject another homeowner to that kind of scenario?
Wood siding products today—like the Kelleher Advantage Boards treated and primed pine wood siding that we stock here at The Moulding Company—carry impressive decades-long warranties that can be transferred to the new owners of your property. So, when you install new wood siding before you sell, not only will your buyers be getting a home with a beautifully refinished exterior. Thanks to your efforts, they will also be confident that they will have a beautiful home for years to come.
Need to Update Your California Home’s Exterior?
The Moulding Company is California’s favorite resource for unique wood siding options and architectural mouldings for the exterior of your unique home. Stop by our conveniently located northern CA showrooms to shop with our experts and help boost your house’s curb appeal!
Are you looking for trim and interior mouldings—like chair rail, crown moulding, and wainscotting—to help with a remodeling project inside your home instead? We have a fantastic product selection with many items you won’t find anywhere else. Drop us a line to learn more, or begin shopping online now!