Siding helps keep our homes protected from the weather; it also curbs energy loads, and enhances curb appeal. What’s more, there are a zillion and one options for siding available on the market today – so you can always count on finding something that meets all of your requirements for durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetics.
The functionality of your siding over the long term, however, can be compromised – especially if your siding is exposed to risks such as these:
Dirt and Mildew
Dirt looks innocuous enough, but when left on its own for a long time, it can lead to the growth of mildew, which can mar the surface and shorten the lifespan of the exterior product.
Clean your siding every few months; give it either a good scrub or a power wash, depending on the material.
Trees and Branches
Trees provide necessary shade for hot summer days, but they can be quite formidable when the weather turns. High winds can break off some branches or cause them to hit the siding, causing dents, scratches, and other physical signs of damage.
Trim branches to reduce their potential to hit your home. Or consult a professional arborist to check if you can move the trees to a more ideal spot, where they won’t be a liability.
Heat causes siding to bend, buckle, rip, crack, or wrinkle. In extreme cases, the damage can lead to the overall structure’s breakdown. And heat does not only come from the sun. Normal everyday activities like barbequing can cause damage, too – barbecue smoke can do quite a number on your siding, over time. Improperly installed windows may also deflect heat onto the siding.
To prevent heat damage, we recommend choosing siding materials that are engineered to better absorb heat. You can choose from composites such as vinyl, fiber cement, and engineered wood. Additionally, make sure that your home’s other exterior products are positioned properly so as not to reflect heat onto the siding.
Moisture is also a veritable source of problems for siding. Wind-driven rain, in particular, can get under the siding and cause a host of issues – from rot to structural damage.
Coatings can help stave off the acceleration of water damage. Proper installation, too, can make a big difference.
Last but not least in the list of potential causes of siding damage is improper installation. Poor flashing, inadequate drainage holes, and technical errors in installation can affect the performance of the product. Moisture barriers, while skipped in some projects, are also important to preventing moisture damage.
In our experience, we have found that leaving siding installation to the professionals is always best. Some types of siding, after all, require specialized knowledge – particularly in staggering and alignment, as well as making allowances for contraction and expansion. Energy efficiency goals can also be managed more effectively if you have proper guidance from someone who understands which product is best for your climate zone, home energy loads, and other factors.
Valiant Home Remodelers, an experienced local contractor with a trusted portfolio and competitive rates is an ideal choice. You should schedule a consultation to get to know your contractor better.
Anthony Valiant represents Valiant Home Remodelers, a family business dedicated to helping New Jersey homeowners make the best home improvement decisions. When he’s not working, he’s playing badminton. Check out his blog at http://www.valianthome.com/our-blog/.