The siding on your home protects your home and your family from the elements as well as provides curb appeal for your home. The style and color of your home’s siding may be seen as a reflection of the pride you have for your home, but it has a much more functional and important purpose. Protecting the structure of your home from the rain, snow, humidity, varying temperatures and damaging insects is the most important purpose of the siding. For these reasons, proper maintenance is as important as the initial siding installation.
When problems with the siding go unattended to, the problems will only worsen, and a new siding installation will be necessary. You need your siding to perform at its best; otherwise, you may end up with a wide range of exterior and interior damages to your home. If your siding is damaged and worn, you should address the problem right away. If the problem is minor, repairs may remedy the situation, but if the problem is serious, you may want to replace the siding before more extensive and expensive damages occur. Here are some signs that your siding may be due for replacement.
Cracks, Gaps and Holes
If your siding has holes, cracks, gaps or is peeling, it will have a negative effect on the appearance of your home, but these types of damages can also compromise your home’s structural integrity. Gaps and holes in the exterior siding will allow moisture to enter and find its way between the siding and the interior walls. Unfortunately, not only will this potentially lead to rot, but if water finds its way in, so can pests.
Although some pests aren’t harmful, there are others that can be potentially dangerous for your family or cause complete destruction to your home, such as termites. If there are only a few small sections that are showing signs of problems, such as slight cracking or small holes, you may be able to do repairs or only replace the affected siding. However, if there are several or large sections damaged, to avoid the risk of more extensive damage to the structure of your home, it’s best to schedule new siding installation.
Increased Energy Bills
Even if you don’t notice any obvious signs of damages to the exterior of your home, there may be other signs that it’s time for new siding installation. For example, if you notice drafts near the windows and walls or around the electrical receptacles, chances are the siding is weakening; new siding will vastly improve these problems. If you notice higher heating and cooling costs, the siding could be the blame. As the siding ages, it thins, which makes it more susceptible to allowing moisture to enter the insulation, causing it to also become damaged and not do its job. Simply replacing the siding can prevent a range of potential problems, including an increase in energy costs.
Mold and Mildew
Noticing mold and mildew on the siding is an indication of a moisture problem, and you will need to schedule a new siding installing as soon as possible. In most situations, homes that have mold on the outside of the siding will generally have a problem with mold on the materials behind the siding as well. This can be dangerous for your family’s health. Mold can cause a range of health problems including asthma and other respiratory problems. There is an even greater risk of mold affecting the health of children, the elderly or others in your home who may already be experiencing respiratory problems, such as asthma or allergies.
Dry rot hides beneath the siding surface, so not only is it sometimes difficult to notice, but the longer it goes untreated, the more it destroys the bulk of the material underneath the siding. Dry rot can often be recognized by tapping on the siding with a hard tool, such as a screwdriver handle. Tapping will generally expose the weak spots from dry rot. If you do find dry rot, it is essential that you act quickly. The longer you delay new siding installation, the more expensive and extensive the damage will be to the structure of your home.
If you notice seams that are separating between the siding boards, the siding may need to be replaced. Seam separation sometimes occurs with improper installation, but it is typically the result of siding that has aged over time. Regardless of the cause, when siding panels are separating, rain and moisture will seep behind the panels and cause water damage to the materials beneath the siding, including the interior walls.
If the siding has a chalky texture, it may be a sign of a problem behind the siding panels, usually from repeated moisture penetration, mold or wood rot. The chalky texture is also an indication that the materials used beneath the siding have broken down over time. If you notice a chalky substance on the siding, it’s best to contact a professional siding company to determine if the problem is the result of damage behind the siding.
Interior Wallpaper or Paint Is Peeling
Noticing a problem with the paint or wallpaper, such as peeling or bubbling, may mean moisture has found its way under the siding and inside the wallboards. The interior walls of your home can be seriously damaged if this type of problem goes untreated. If you are experiencing a problem with peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper, you should contact a siding company to determine if the problem is due to the siding, and if so, make arrangements for new siding installation before the problem worsens.
It is essential that you not wait until a problem has expanded to include damages to the inside of your home. The best way to avoid potentially extensive and expensive damages to the siding, the materials underneath and the interior walls is to routinely inspect the siding. Take a walk around the perimeter of your home and closely inspect the siding as well as the windows, doors and foundation. Be on the lookout for siding panels that aren’t lying flat, bulging or warped panels, and discoloration on the siding panels. If you notice anything unusual, regardless of how small the problem may seem, it is important to contact a siding installation company as soon as possible for a more thorough inspection and to discuss your options.
To schedule an inspection of your siding or to arrange for the installation of new siding, contact the leading experts in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area, Community Builders.
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