Protect the investment you’ve made in your brand-new siding by performing regular maintenance. Proper care will extend the life of your siding and keep it looking new. Regular maintenance is also key to ensuring that your siding is performing well at insulating your home and keeping moisture out.
Following are some helpful tips on how to keep your siding in good condition.
Do regular inspections
Periodically inspect your siding, particularly where it meets doors, windows and the roof. Check for gaps or dents, and take a close look at areas that may be prone to damage from trees or long hours of direct sun.
If you’re in a cold climate, inspect siding under your eaves for stains from water, which may be an indication of ice damming. You may be able to prevent this condition by sealing gaps around your ducts or pipes in the attic and putting in additional insulation.
In general, staying on top of minor problems can usually be done inexpensively. A few dollars’ worth of caulk, for instance, can potentially save thousands of dollars in extensive structural work down the road. Additional maintenance tasks should be done for specific types of siding.
Cleaning your siding
A simple rinse with a hose can keep your siding free from debris and tree sap. Take care not to spray water at an angle that lets it get underneath the panels. Use a brush to get rid of stubborn stains. If you’re thinking of pressure washing, remember that some types of siding can be damaged by high-pressure spray. It’s best to hire a professional siding contractor if pressure washing is called for.
Tips for specific types of siding
- Vinyl siding is known for its low maintenance needs, but you will want to periodically check it for cracks. Sections of your siding may need to be replaced or repaired by a siding contractor.
- Aluminum siding is also a low-maintenance material, but it can have a few problems, such as dents. The remedy for dents is usually replacement of the entire panel. Depending upon the extent and location of the damage, repairing dents is probably a job best left to the pros.
- Fiber cement can take nearly anything, but if it’s damaged by a big impact, you’ll want to call the siding contractor who installed it. For minor problems, you may be able to do a temporary fix with fiber cement patch material.
- Wood siding has varying levels of maintenance needs depending upon whether it’s painted or stained. Stained finishes are generally easier to take care of while painted siding may have problems if your home isn’t well-ventilated. In either case, it’s critical to ensure that the wood remains protected by its finish from decay and rot that excessive moisture can cause. Even redwood and cedar — known for their resistance to rot problems — can be susceptible if exposed to the elements. You should clean your wood siding about once a year with a brush and soapy water. If you encounter spots of mildew, use a gentle bleach solution, then rinse thoroughly. Check where your wood siding comes into contact with corner molding, doors and windows to ensure the caulk hasn’t cracked or shrunk and left gaps.
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