It’s natural for homes to become damaged as time goes by. Wear and tear occur for many reasons, from nature to neglect to accidental damage. No part of your home is free from risk, and the most exposed part is, of course, the exterior walls.
Repairing damage to your home’s siding can be costly and time-consuming, but it’s important to attend to it quickly. This doesn’t mean you have to deal with this cost regularly. While there are many ways that your home’s siding can be damaged, there are just as many ways to prevent it.
After all, the best offense is a good defense.
What is Siding?
Put simply, siding, or cladding, is the outer material that makes up the sides of your home. It can be made of many different materials, from wood to plastic, stone to thatching, and stands as the first defense for your home from the outside elements.
The material used will be overlapped in panels from the ground to the roof to create a sealed cover over the inner wall of the house. This method seals the outer parts of the building in a way that both keeps out moisture and keeps in heat. It also allows the building to contract and expand with the change of the seasons.
Beyond the practical uses, siding also allows homeowners to decorate their homes, improving curb appeal and property value.
Top Reasons for Siding Disasters
So how can siding go wrong? What kind of effects does this have on your home, and how can you avoid these problems? Let’s take a look.
1. Poor Installation
Not all carpenters are created equal. While standards should be high for any home construction, it is a sad fact of life that some will miss the mark. Due to the precise nature of cladding, if it is assembled incorrectly, it will suffer in its purpose.
Imprecisely placed boards can leave gaps through which water, wind, and insects can get into your home. This will greatly affect the heat-retention of the building and lead to further issues over time, such as warping and buckling in the cladding surface.
When building or buying a home, the best way to avoid this issue is to have a professional look over the cladding. If they can see any issues or errors, they will be in a position to correct them. This is a far better expense to incur during your early days in a home than to find them later on when the problems can be much more extensive.
2. Pest Infestations
Small pests can do large amounts of damage to your siding. Woodpeckers, termites, ants, and carpenter bees are drawn to wooden and vinyl siding.
Nests and burrows within wooden sidings can weaken the structural integrity of both the outer and inner walls, leading to collapse or moisture seepage. Certain animals and insects can even threaten your family, bringing in potential allergens or diseases.
The best solutions for preventing infestations are hot water and insecticides. If your home has trees or bushes nearby, these will usually be where they come from. By carefully applying eco-friendly chemicals on them, you can prevent the animals from getting too close without causing any damage to the plant life.
3. A Lack of Maintenance
The outside of your home may not seem like the most pressing concern for maintenance habits, but you should always take some time for it. An unnoticed gap can allow water or air to get in and lead to a rise in heating costs or other internal damage. Small areas of damage can quickly break and spread, becoming bigger issues as time goes on.
Checking up after a heavy snow or storm can make a world of difference. By giving your whole house an inspection at least once a year, you can find any potential issues and repair them before they become full-blown problems. The same goes for any time you experience bad weather.
4. Water or Moisture Damage
Your home will get wet; it’s just part of it being outdoors, and the purpose of a house is to stop you from getting wet inside it.
That said, you should still pay attention to moisture and its effects. When water soaks into wood or vinyl siding, it causes drastic weakening or warping. Vinyl can peel or tear, and wood can rot through as mold sets in. If left untreated, this damage will only continue to spread until entire sections of the siding, and potentially the wall behind, will collapse or rot away. This kind of damage is most common in areas that suffer from high levels of humidity, damp and soggy plant life, or flooding.
Despite seeming inevitable, several methods prevent this kind of problem. As mentioned earlier, frequent maintenance checks after storms or floods will highlight areas of damage. Homeowners can get in touch with Utah flood clean up companies if water damage is too severe. Further measures include setting up flood barriers around the property, such as adequate drainage, and priming all surfaces with water-resistant paints and treatments. Keeping the area around your home clear of plants and soil that can absorb water will prevent moisture from seeping into your siding.
5. Weather Damage
Besides floods and heavy rains, inclement weather can cause plenty of physical damage to your siding. High winds and storms can throw debris against your house, weakening and damaging the structure. During the winter months, snow buildup can put high levels of weight and pressure against walls and roofs, and in summer, high temperatures can make your siding brittle and weak.
Keeping the areas around your home clear of trees and garden furniture that can be thrown against your home will prevent these issues. Clearing off the snow will lessen the weight and prevent moisture from seeping in. Ensure any panels you see that look to be weakened by weather, hot, cold, or wet, are replaced regularly, and you will keep everything strong and steady.
The vast majority of potential problems to your siding can be mitigated by regular maintenance. In the long run, it is far cheaper to keep your siding strong than to risk having to make heavy repairs.