The siding that covers the exterior of your home not only helps keep your home looking good, but also helps to protect the underlying structure of your home from water, weather, insects, and other elements. Over time, however, the siding may become damaged, needing to be repaired or replaced.
Not only does worn, damaged siding make your home look less than ideal, but it can also allow moisture to get in, compromising the structural integrity of your home and potentially causing mold, which can cause serious health issues.
Consider Repairing the Siding First
Most of the time siding requires a bit of repair especially if it has not served for long period. I live in Minnesota and before I looked up Minnesota Siding Installation, I had already repaired the siding on my house a thousand times.
In the cases where siding replacement is necessary, often only the affected boards need to be replaced, and not the entire home. Only major structural issues or advanced rot that has spread throughout the home’s exterior will require the replacement of the entire siding. Otherwise, replace your siding when you’re up for a change and make siding repairs in a timely way to take care of other minor problems.
Whether you go with siding repair or siding replacement depends largely on what type of siding it is that you have, and what the degree of damage is.
Cedar Shingles and Wood Siding
There are essentially two types of problems that can occur with cedar shingles and wood siding. The first is gouges that can be marked into the wood by a pressure washer, hailstones, and other types of impact. The second is rot caused by excessive moisture damage over the years.
If your siding has been gouged, it can be repaired either by sanding it down and painting or staining it or by filling deeper gouges with exterior grade spackling, then priming and painting.
If the siding has begun to rot, which can occur where it touches the concrete of a basement or foundation, the rotting rows need to be replaced. It is not necessary to replace all the siding if only a few rows are rotting unless you intend to try installing a new material, in which case the best idea is to remove everything to start from scratch.
Vinyl siding is a nice-looking alternative to wood products. It doesn’t require painting or much maintenance beyond the occasional hosing off. Unfortunately, it is fairly thin and brittle, so any kind of impact on the siding can leave a crack. If this occurs, there really isn’t any way to repair the board; it needs to be replaced. The good news is that as long as the rest of the vinyl siding is in good shape, you can undertake siding replacement of the affected boards by unhooking them from where they snap in and nailing a new board into place while leaving the rest of the boards alone.
Like vinyl siding, if there are cracks or broken pieces, the easiest thing to do is to replace only the damaged ones. However, if you have small holes in the siding, this can be repaired with a small amount of color-matched exterior-grade caulk. Smooth it on to fill the holes and repair the siding.
Asbestos “Slate” Siding
If you have older siding that appears to be slate, this is likely asbestos siding. The good news is that this siding holds up remarkably well, the bad news is that you can’t disturb it without having trained professionals on hand to encapsulate and remove it for you. If it is not crumbling, government guidelines recommend leaving it alone or painting it. If it is crumbling, it must be replaced.
If you’re unsure about whether or not your siding needs to be replaced, have it inspected by a professional who can assess it and recommend repairs or replacement.
Even if your siding isn’t in need of replacement at this time, you may choose to replace it for other reasons. New siding can give your home a fresh, new look, boosting its curb appeal. Newer siding also offers helps to better energy efficiency than older siding, helping you lower your utility bills. You may also opt for new siding to reduce the maintenance required. Most fiber cement and vinyl siding do not require painting and require less maintenance than wood siding.