Siding is one of the first things people see when they pull into your driveway or drive by on the street. Siding can make or break your curb appeal. It also protects the structure of your home from damage.
Since siding is both functional and increases your home’s aesthetics, here are four ways to keep your siding in top shape and looking pristine:
1. Replace siding that isn’t going to last long
It’s no small job to replace your home’s siding, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Siding is designed to protect your home, and damaged siding weakens that protection. Having beautiful siding is a bonus to having a well-protected home.
How do you know if you need to replace your siding? Siding King explains five main warning signs that it’s time. The first and most obvious sign is warping or swelling. When water leaks underneath your siding, it will warp or buckle. Holes created by termites and rodents can also allow water underneath your siding. Other causes for warped siding are extremely old or inexpensive materials being warped in the sun over time. Most people don’t realize the heat from grilling burgers on a barbecue is enough to damage siding.
The other signs that it’s time to replace your siding are a pest infestation, stains and discoloration, parts that break off, and an overall dissatisfaction with the way your siding looks.
If there’s nothing wrong with your current siding, it may not make sense to replace it. For example, if you’ve got vinyl siding and it’s still in decent shape, there’s no immediate reason to replace it. However, if you live in an area prone to excessive rainfall, snow, and storms, you might discover unexpected damage by the end of winter. If you know your siding isn’t going to last long, don’t wait until you have serious water damage to replace it.
2. Pressure wash your siding
Never underestimate the power of pressure washing your home’s exterior. Provided you don’t have anything in the way that you value, it’s the perfect way to attack caked on dirt without having to use much elbow grease.
Remember that pressure washers can cause serious injury if the stream comes in contact with your skin. Many people end up in the emergency room to get stitches after finding out the hard way. Be sure to use the correct nozzle to get a wide fan pattern unless you’re knocking off hardened mud.
Although it’s tempting, don’t pressure wash your roof. Doing so will damage your shingles.
3. Care for your siding based on its material
All siding should be cleaned at least once per year to protect your investment. Dirt, grime, and mildew can shorten the life of your siding. Develop your cleaning routine based on the material your siding is made of.
There is a multitude of different siding materials available. The most popular are:
- Fiber Cement
Each of these materials have benefits and drawbacks regarding long-term care. For example, wood siding is cheap and easy to install, but it’s prone to damage from fire, termites, woodpeckers, and rot. It takes far more time and money to maintain wood siding, which cancels out the cost of cheap installation. If you live in a humid area and have stucco siding, you’ll have frequent damage from moisture so you may need to replace portions more often.
Stone siding, on the other hand, requires little to no maintenance once installed. Stone is not susceptible to damage from the weather. Stone siding can take the heat of the summer sun and survive wet, snowy winters without a problem. You don’t need to power-wash it every month. However, the downside to stone siding is the cost. Like brick, it’s one of the most expensive types of siding you can buy. However, its beauty is worth the investment.
4. Repair broken siding immediately
No matter what material your siding is made of, repair broken siding immediately. Broken siding looks bad, and is an invitation for structural damage to your home.
Treat your home’s exterior well
Consider that taking care of your home’s exterior is as important as maintaining a clean kitchen. Broken and dirty siding tells your neighbors you don’t take the responsibilities of owning a home seriously.
Aside from what others think, properly caring for your siding today will give you a financial advantage later on if you decide to sell your home.