TYPES OF SIDING FOR HOMES:
- Vinyl – This is the most popular siding option in the US. Vinyl is relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. It is available in a full range of colors and textures, making it a versatile option that is simple to install.
- Wood – A natural, green option, wood siding comes in a variety of patterns, from shingles to shakes. Valued for its rich, architectural look, as long as you follow proper maintenance procedures, most wood siding options will last anywhere from 10 to 100 years. It is important to note that wood siding is much more susceptible to termite and other pest infestations.
- Brick – Due to extra labor and installation time, brick is a siding option with a higher upfront cost. However, the benefit is that once your brick siding is installed, you’ll have little maintenance and the brick is likely to last the lifetime of your home.
- Fiber Cement – Another popular option, fiber cement siding was constructed to offer homeowners the possibility of a wood-like siding without the higher costs and maintenance hassles. It's constructed from a mixture of cement, sand and wood fibers. Fiber cement is a highly durable option and requires little maintenance, all while providing a more textured look. This is a cost effective option for a homeowner who prefers wood, masonry or stucco siding options.
- Stucco – This is a long-lasting siding option, but requires a higher upfront installation cost and more maintenance. If properly installed, a stucco finish will last for the lifetime of your home. It is important to hire a professional for the installation because if improperly done, stucco siding is likely to crack.
- Stone/Stone Veneers – A high-quality option, stone siding can also be expensive. Because it is much heavier and can take a longer to install, upfront costs reflect the additional labor. For a less expensive stone option, stone veneer siding is also available. In this case, lighter stone siding is placed over the existing walls of a home.
WHEN TO REPLACE YOUR SIDING
Unless your home is sided with a material like brick, stone or stucco, you’re eventually going to have to get it re-sided. Though it may seem like a hassle and a lot of money to spend, having quality siding will prolong the life and structural integrity of your home by keeping in heat and air conditioning, and protecting your home’s structure from the elements.
Here are 7 signs it might be time for a replacement:
Cracked and peeling siding – If a few pieces of your siding have come loose in a storm or high winds, while you’ll want to replace those as soon as possible, you don’t have major cause for concern. But if there are considerably more sections of siding that are beginning to crack or peel, it’s a big sign that it might be time to get your home re-sided. Cracks and peels leave your home exposed to the elements, and generally big issues like this mean you might have a more serious problem going on behind the siding. It’s a good idea to call a professional to see what’s going on.
Mold and fungus – Some regions with humid climates are very susceptible to molds and fungi that grow on the outside of a home, but these can also be major signs that it might be time to get your siding replaced. In many cases, molds and fungi are an indicator that your siding is trapping water within, which is bad for your home’s structure and encourages even worse problems like dry rot.
Peeling paint or wallpaper – Believe it or not, peeling paint or wallpaper on the interior of your home can be an indicator that something’s not quite right with your home’s exterior. If siding is allowing water to enter and stay in the walls of your home, it’s possible that the moisture will cause your paint and wallpaper to peel. So if you recently painted, and your walls still seems to be peeling, your siding might be at fault. It’s a good idea to get it checked out to see if it’s time for a replacement.
Warped or buckling siding – If you notice your siding seems misshapen, if it’s warped or seems to be buckling, this is a sign that you should have it looked at. When moisture gets past the exterior of your home, it gets trapped in the underlying boards, causing them to warp and buckle. This is a major indicator that your siding is not keeping out the elements like it’s supposed to, and you should get it replaced as soon as possible.
Dry rot – Most common in wood siding, dry rot is a major problem that’s not always detected immediately. Dry rot usually starts in the under-layers of siding, and eats those away before the top protective layer of your siding is even affected. It’s a good idea to go around with a screwdriver and lightly tap on the exterior of your home. If you feel any soft spots indicating dry rot, those sections should be replaced immediately, and in extreme dry rot cases, you may have to get your entire home re-sided.
Holes in the siding – Even small holes in your siding can be a major problem. Beside the fact that holes mean water and precipitation can more easily enter the interior of your home, they’re often an indicator of rodent or insect infestation. If you see any holes in your home’s siding, call a professional immediately.
Faded siding – While this may seem like more of a surface-level issue, faded siding can be another indicator that it’s time to get your home re-sided. Most types of vinyl and synthetic siding materials are made to maintain their color for their entire lifetime, so if you notice a lot of fading, you might want to call a professional to see how much a re-siding job will cost you. Extremely faded siding is a sign that your siding is reaching the end of its life.