Siding Maintenance Tips
Whether you opt for vinyl or wood siding, make sure you take good care of it so it can adequately protect your home. Siding, when well cared for, looks great and boosts your curb appeal; it also keeps your walls and insulation safe from mold, mildew, rot, water damage, and pests. Underperforming, neglected siding can put the structure of your home at risk — not to mention make it much less comfortable to live.
Even the best siding will need maintenance, and it’s important to know how to care for that siding. Here are some of our siding maintenance tips to extend the life of your siding and, in doing so, extend the life of your home.
Vinyl Siding vs. Wood Siding — What Do They Need?
It’s important to know the difference between vinyl and wood siding before you start your siding maintenance. Both have their benefits and their challenges. Wood siding, for instance, is stunning and has great thermal performance, but is far more water permeable than vinyl siding, which makes it higher maintenance. Vinyl siding is more weather resistant and needs to be repainted far less frequently, but you’ll have to choose a high quality vinyl siding option to be sure that your siding will come through in terms of strength. Vinyl siding can fade in exposure to the sun, and is a thinner material than wood siding, so these are the things you’ll want to watch for when it comes to maintenance.
That said, here are a few standard siding maintenance tips.
#1 – Vinyl Siding — Budget Friendly and Low-Maintenance
If you don’t have much time to devote to siding maintenance, you should opt for vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is weather resistant and sturdy, and even energy efficient. As stated above, you need to be sure to find high quality vinyl siding. When you do, however, you can rest easy with only the minimum amount of cleaning and maintenance. While wood siding is beautiful, it’s higher maintenance, and vinyl siding has come a long way in terms of taking on the look of wood siding. It’s also a more affordable option than wood siding, for those working on a budget.
#2 – Repaint or Re-Treat Wood Siding Every Few Years
Wood siding is more water permeable than vinyl siding, but it can be protected by waterproof staining. Paint can also help to protect wood siding from water damage like swelling, warping, and rot. But neither paint nor stain last forever. In fact, because your wood siding is exposed to the elements year round, both paint and any natural wood stain will fade over the course of a few years. It’s best to repaint or re-treat your wood siding every 2-5 years to keep your siding healthy and looking fresh. Vinyl siding can hold paint color longer, typically about 20 years.
#3 – Cleaning Your Siding
Though power washing your siding may seem like a plan that saves you plenty of trouble, it isn’t the healthiest method for your siding. Power washing can damage the siding. The water can be far too harsh for wood siding and it could loosen or dent vinyl siding. Instead, use a mixture of gentle soap and water. Make sure to wash wood siding on a warm, sunny day so that it can dry quickly rather than taking in any moisture. You can also use vinegar on vinyl siding in order to remove mold and mildew. Siding should be washed once a year.
#4 – Give Your Siding Space
While it can be easy to have your lawn mower or your grill pushed up against the wall of your home, this isn’t the safest thing for your siding. Your lawn mower can dent your siding from impact due to storms or being placed back against the wall roughly. A burning grill can cause the siding to melt. If you have trees too near the siding, branches can scrape against the side of the house. It’s important to give your siding space. Place your lawn mower in a shed if you have one, or a carport or garage if not. Give your grill some space from the walls of your home, and trim trees with branches too near your siding.
#5 – Inspect Your Siding
Like all other forms of home maintenance, a big part of siding maintenance is simply keeping an eye on your siding. Make sure there are no clapboards pulling away from the house, and that none of the siding is dented, cracked, or swollen. Check corners or shaded areas for any sign of mold or mildew. Look for spots that might have a lot of dirt buildup and require heavier cleaning. It’s a good idea to do your siding inspection right before starting your yearly siding cleaning.
#6 – Repair or Replace Siding
Not all siding damage means that you have to fully replace your siding. Your siding contractors may be able to replace the damaged clapboards rather than the whole of the siding. They may be able to repair dents or pulling away from the house. Faded or peeling paint can be repainted. Your warranty for your siding may even cover some repairs. For major damage, or older siding that frequently needs repairs, it might be best to replace the siding. Again, some warranties may cover replacement siding for a certain amount of time.
Do you need help finding the perfect siding for your home? Need more tips or professional help to maintain that siding? Let Jancewicz & Son help. Contact us today for more information or to get started with a free estimate.