Your home is one of your most valuable investments, and you want to keep it in excellent condition and maintain its attractive appearance. Siding is a strong, sensible choice for enhancing your home exterior’s durability and beauty. But like anything in life, your siding needs loving-care and regular maintenance to stay in shape. And there are many things you can do to help prolong the long-lasting nature and visual appeal of your home’s siding.
Use these six tips to get the most out of your investment in your home, protect your siding, and keep it looking its best.
Perform Visual Inspections
The first step in prolonging the life of your siding is to perform regular checks to make sure it is looking as it should. Remember that damage to your siding can potentially damage what’s underneath as well, risking the structural integrity of your home. Visual inspections once or twice a year can help you to catch small problems and correct them before they become complicated and expensive to repair.
Keep an eye out for potential signs of problems such as these:
- Remember that wood can easily rot or be eaten by insects or other pests.
- Examine wood for signs of moisture damage, chipped paint, and decay.
- Because wood is so vulnerable, it’s a good idea to check for signs of damage at least every six months.
Vinyl doesn’t rot, but it can trap moisture, leading to potential water damage. Look for stains or streaks that suggest water damage may be occurring.
Loosened siding can leave your home’s exterior unprotected from the elements. Look for boards that have pulled away or are unsecured, as well as missing or loose nails and screws.
Fiber cement siding:
Fiber cement is long-lasting and durable, known for resisting damage from weather, insects, and rot. But problems can still arise if you’re not careful, so regular inspections are a must.
Look for damaged or missing caulking, chipped or cracked paint, warping, and mildew.
Apply New Paint and Sealants to Wood Siding
A fresh coat of paint or sealant to your wood siding has two positive effects for your home:
- It makes your home look crisp, pulled together, and attractive, adding to its curb appeal.
- It acts as a protective coating against the eroding effects of wind, rain, snow, and other harsh weather.
To help maintain your siding’s gorgeous appearance and protective qualities, follow a regular maintenance schedule. Wood should be painted at least every five years, and sealants should be applied at least every two years.
Choose the Right Paint for Each Type of Siding
Vinyl and fiber cement are normally treated with color before installation, meaning they don’t need to be painted later on. But if you do decide to paint them after installation, be sure to use the right paint for each—a high-quality exterior latex paint for vinyl, and an exterior-grade acrylic paint for fiber cement.
Wash and Keep It Clean
Every form of siding needs regular cleaning to remove dirt, mildew, and other damaging substances. This prolongs durability, and helps your home look fresh and clean. Follow these tips:
Once a year, clean wood with warm, soapy water and a soft-bridled brush that gently removes dirt. Mildew can be removed with a solution made with one part bleach to four parts water.
Remove dust and dirt using a garden hose once a year. The water pressure should be strong, though not excessively so.
Rinse with a garden hose once a year to remove dust and dirt. If you have a power washer, you can use it every few years, but be careful so as not to remove any paint.
Trim Trees and Shrubs
Live greenery attracts and retains moisture, which can cause havoc with wood siding. To prevent moisture damage and mildew from accumulating, trim bushes and trees so they do not touch your home’s exterior. This can be helpful even with other forms of siding, because it helps prevent scratches and nicks caused by branches striking the siding.
Protect Siding from Dents and Cracks
Siding offers protection to your home’s exterior simply by being in good shape. So it’s essential to be sure your siding remains functional. Keep potential sources of damage a safe distance away from your home.
One common source of damage is the result of objects hitting the siding, so do your best to avoid it. Don’t allow lawnmowers, bicycles, cars or other hefty objects to strike the side of your home. The pressure can crack siding, especially vinyl, which is particularly sensitive.
Prevent Heat Damage
Another common way for siding to become damaged is through exposure to heat. Wood and vinyl are both vulnerable to the burning effects of flames. Keep heat sources, such as grills and torches, well away from the side of your home. A distance of at least 10 feet away from your home is a good rule of thumb to follow.
Replace Old Siding
While it may be tempting to overlook scratched, dented, warped, loose or missing pieces of siding, don’t do it! Making speedy repairs as needed will help your home’s exterior last longer and look nicer. If siding is old or severely damaged, make plans to replace it before water damage, mildew, mold, or other problems put the structural integrity of your home at risk.
Beautify Your Siding Today!
There’s no time like right now to enhance the look, feel, and durability of your home’s exterior. Contact the caring, detailed team at JD Hostetter today for a Free Siding Consultation that will help you assess the current condition of your home’s exterior, reveal areas for improvement, and discover the siding options that can meet your needs.