4 Maintenance Tips for Taking Care of Your Home’s Siding

The siding that covers your home is a key component to providing protection for you, your family, and your possessions from the elements. It is important to maintain the siding with periodic cleaning, painting, and repairs. The four most popular siding options include wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiber cement. Here are some basic tips for taking care of your siding.

1. Periodic Cleaning

Siding is a magnet for dirt, dust, and growth of mold and lichen. The walls that face north don’t benefit from exposure to the sun’s UV rays to keep mold at bay. When dirt and mold build up on your siding, it is a good idea to periodically clean that off.

Siding can be cleaned using a variety of methods. You can clean your siding with a simple solution of either vinegar and water or soap and water using a hand-held soft bristle brush. This is followed by rinsing off the solution with a hose.

Most siding can be power or pressure-washed with either a bleach or chemical-free solution. A professional technician will use a pressure washer attached to a hose to clean the siding of all build-up on the surface starting from the top and working his/her way down to make sure the surface contaminants flow down and off the siding. This method of cleaning is also excellent for removing peeling paint on wood or fiber cement siding prior to recoating it.

2. Trim Vegetation and Clear Gutters

If you have wood siding, such as clapboard, shakes, or panels, this natural material can deteriorate from moisture and invasive pests. Moisture can cause wood to rot and disintegrate. Pests see wood fibers as a food source and can eat their way through the material. These include termites, carpenter bees, ants, and even squirrels.

One way to keep moisture and pests away from your siding is to trim bushes, ground plantings, and tree branches. This allows for ventilation around the siding and deters pests from climbing vegetation to reach the siding.

Another good way to prevent moisture and pests from reaching your siding is to keep your gutters free of debris. Clogged gutters can encourage rainwater to overflow and drip down the surface of the siding. Debris in gutters is also a great place for insects and rodents to nest so they have easy access to your wood siding.

3. Replace Damaged Sections

Wood siding can suffer from rot, vinyl siding can crack and warp, and aluminum siding can suffer from dings and dents. When this happens, repairs might not be practical or sufficient. Most siding that is damaged in isolated areas can often be partially replaced.

When replacing sections of siding, a skilled siding installer can carefully remove the siding and inspect the sheathing for any further damage beneath the siding. The installer will replace the deteriorated substrate and install new siding in the designated areas. This is possible with wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiber cement siding.

4. Painting and Sealing

Wood siding that has been painted, stained, or sealed will eventually need to be recoated. It is generally recommended that wood siding be recoated every five to seven years, depending on your location and exposure to different weather conditions.

To extend the life of aluminum siding, you can actually paint it when the color coating starts to fade or wear off. While many fiber cement siding materials have solid color cores, the surface can be refreshed by painting it with high-quality acrylic paint every ten to twenty years.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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