Home siding tends to let you know when it needs to be replaced, even if only through subtle hints. Often seen alongside peeling and faded paint is warped or rotting siding. While faded color is a hassle, warping can be a sign that deeper structural damage has occurred. One expert recommends using a screwdriver when inspecting warped siding. This will allow you to probe for damage, such as rotting beams. If you detect soft spots under the siding, it’s time for immediate action.
A similar concern arises if your siding has cracks or holes. Cracks are more likely caused by weather damage or other environmental conditions, while holes are likely caused by bugs working their way through the siding. While in some cases of cracking you may be able to remove just the cracked section for replacement, any underlying damage to the home may require removing much more. The same goes for insect damage – covering the holes won’t be enough if the bugs have chewed through key beams or have built extensive nests under the siding.
Internal Signs Of Siding Problems
When it comes to siding problems, it may come as a surprise that not all signs of damage are external. In fact, many signs that your siding needs to be replaced are visible from inside the home. Just like peeling house paint, peeling interior paint or sagging wallpaper are signs that your siding may be letting in moisture from the outside. This can damage not just your wall treatments, but the walls themselves, so it’s important to check for any additional structural issues if siding issues prove problematic.
Another possible sign that your home siding needs to be replaced is mold and mildew inside the home. While mold and mildew are relatively common in bathrooms where it’s wet and humid, mold elsewhere should be a cause of suspicion. Not only does your siding need to be replaced, if you have moldy walls you’ll need to have your home fully evaluated, as some kinds of mold are toxic.
Siding Replacement Timelines
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your siding, but aren’t aware of any pressing issues that would warrant renovations, you may want to reconsider. Although it depends on the kind of siding you have, the typical contractor guidelines for vinyl recommend replacing your home’s siding every ten to fifteen years. It’s especially important to inspect your siding annually as you approach this timeframe.
Even if your home siding still appears up to the job when inspected, it’s common practice to replace older siding when performing major home renovations. Adding a sunroom, new windows, French doors, or a home expansion are all good reasons to reside your home. Any siding that needs to be added alongside aging siding is unlikely to color match well, and worn out siding that has slipped through inspection may cause damage to home additions. Better to replace siding early during other home improvement work than to wait and regret it.
Assessing Your Options
Although vinyl siding is the most well-known home exterior covering, when replacing your home’s siding, you actually have a number of options. Vinyl is favored for durability. Other siding options include metal, wood, and fiber cement. Metal has largely fallen out of favor because vinyl is both more durable and less expensive. While aluminum used to be one of the least expensive options, it hasn’t been able to keep up with modern manufacturing innovations.
Wood siding is only for those who can make a serious commitment to care and maintenance. It can be quite beautiful, particularly when treated with a light stain, but will need repairs every five years or so, as well as a new coat of stain every three years. Reclaimed wood can be an environmentally friendly choice for home siding, but new high grade wood comes from old growth forests that are currently being decimated by logging, so keep this in mind.