Siding is like armor for your home.
It protects against harsh elements, torrential wind and moisture build up that can get into your home’s structure and cause mold, mildew or rot. Properly installed and maintained siding can keep your structure in great condition for many, many years and significantly reduce the risk of repairs needed. The only question is: do you actually know how to maintain your siding?
There are several main types of siding, most with a plethora of color and decorative options, that you can choose to dress your home. Unfortunately, many siding contractors fail to give a clear picture of what you should be doing to keep that siding in terrific shape or how each different material requires a different set of instructions. Understanding what siding you have and how to administer proper upkeep is critical if you want your home to remain beautiful and in a good state.
WOOD – Wood is a popular option when it comes to construction but often require a large amount of maintenance to preserve them. While stunning to behold, be sure to use some oxygen bleach cleanser – the safer on wood the better – and rinse off with a hose. Power washing wood or using too much water pressure can do damage to the siding and chip the paint or sealant off. It’s highly recommended to paint your wood siding annually.
STUCCO – Stucco is actually a cement-based plaster that is applied over metal lath on walls or surfaces inside and out. There are typically three layers applied – scratch coat, brown coat and finish coat – and the stucco can be brushed or altered to create beautiful designs. This is also an extremely low maintenance siding option. The highly durable material needs a simple power wash every so often. If you notice cracks in your stucco, contact a repair specialist immediately to correct the issue before it forms into a larger problem.
FIBER CEMENT SIDING – Speaking of cement, fiber cement siding is a super high quality option that requires a small amount of loving care. It is definitely one of the priciest choices for home exteriors and with good reason. Fiber cement siding can withstand horrendous weather conditions, is fire-resistant and doesn’t typically experience damage from insects or rot. Due to its special curing process, fiber cement siding absorbs far less moisture making it less likely to crack or break. To keep moisture protection high, annually inspect the caulk around window and door frames or other areas and make sure there are no gaps or cracks. This is usually easily fixed by applying more caulk. Clean the siding at least once a year using a high-powered pressure washer and some dish soap for particularly dirty areas. Be sure to read your manufacturer’s warranty because you may have a delicate finish that requires low water pressure and soft bristled brushes.
Yes, your fiber cement siding will need to be painted but far less than traditional wood. A good paint job can last you between 5 to 15 years. However, when it does come time to paint it, the process can be burdensome and cost a bit more.
VINYL – One of the most popular choices across the board, vinyl siding requires very easy maintenance to stay in great shape. In fact, the majority of busy homeowners prefer this option because it’s practically maintenance free and comes in the largest variety of color and design choices. Your vinyl siding does require a good cleaning once a year, more often if dirt accumulates quickly. It’s important not to let dirt set too long into vinyl siding or it can become impossible to get out. Use cleaning solutions intended for vinyl siding and rinse with low pressure water – too high of pressure could knock sections loose and allow moisture to build up behind it. NEVER use ammonia or bleach on your vinyl siding because it can damage it.
METAL – This durable, attractive product is becoming more popular among commercial buildings and homeowners as of late. To upkeep your metal siding, it simply needs to be hosed off or power washed on occasion. Annually, you should clean it with mild detergent and a soft bristled brush but be sure to thoroughly rinse off any and all chemicals after. Using harsh chemicals is an absolute no-no or leaving cleaners to set can mar the look and function of your siding.
With just a little TLC and a few moments of your time each year, you can go a long way in protecting the beauty and functionality of your home’s siding! If you find that you can’t keep up on the basic maintenance each year, hire someone to clean them for you so it stays in peak shape. The more you take care of your siding, the more it will take care of your home, and in turn, your family.
The protection and beauty your home deserves is just a phone call away – contact our Cousins Construction Window Repair Experts at 773.294.7859 today!