Does Your Home Need Completely New Siding or Just a Siding Repair Handyman?
Siding protects your home, but what do you do when it’s no longer up for the job?
Many people aren’t sure about the age of their siding. That’s fine—it’s a common occurrence.
Some people simply forget, while others bought a pre-existing home and have no idea when the owners installed it. What’s more important, however, is understanding how to spot signs that suggest you need siding repair or replacement.
To learn how to figure out if your home needs completely new siding, read on.
Vinyl Siding Lasts Forever... Right?
It’s hard to resist the appeal of vinyl siding. Manufacturers boast that, after you install vinyl siding, you’ll never have to paint your home. They also highlight how vinyl siding can cut down on the work that you have to do to maintain your home’s exterior.
All these benefits make vinyl siding highly enticing. It’s not like pine board or cedar siding. It will never rot or flake.
What’s more, vinyl siding is available in a range of colors and textures that look just like wood.
While manufacturers are right on the money when bragging about how vinyl can mimic wood, the reality of how long it lasts is somewhat different. Like any material, vinyl only lasts so long.
Vinyl is more durable than other siding materials. As a result, it’s becoming an increasingly popular exterior covering in Texas and around the world.
The pigment of vinyl siding goes all the way through the material. This means you’ll never need to paint it.
It’s also more cost-effective compared to some other siding choices.
Even Vinyl Siding Has a Limited Life Cycle
The biggest thing that hooks homeowners is that vinyl siding is permanent. However, things happen.
For instance, the wind can get under vinyl siding and pull it away from the structure. Also, flying debris such as twigs or hail can puncture vinyl.
Today’s vinyl is more durable than its predecessors. However, conventional home equipment such as a lawnmower or snowblower can crack it or break it.
Yes. Vinyl is durable, but it’s not indestructible. Accordingly, you should clean and check your siding regularly.
Because vinyl is tough, however, many homeowners forget to keep an eye on it. The durability of the material reassures them. This complacency, however, can lead to neglect.
Fall is a great time to check your vinyl as you prepare the rest of your house for winter. You should make a thorough check of your siding as part of fall maintenance, just as you clean your gutter and prepare your chimney each year.
Signs of Trouble With Your Siding
Most homeowners remember to make sure that the heater works before the cold season arrives. However, they typically forget to check whether they’re siding can withstand elements such as ice, snow, and wind during the winter months.
This oversight doesn’t happen because homeowners don’t take good care of their properties. It’s just that they put a lot of faith in manufacturers’ promise that their siding will last forever.
When you check your siding, if it has small cracks or minor hail damage, a local contractor can repair it. However, if you’ve let those cracks go for a while, your siding may need more extensive repairs.
For example, water may have seeped through the cracks and damaged the underlying materials. You can see this kind of damage by checking your siding on the outside.
A contractor, however, checks under your siding for signs of additional damage. They can also tell you if your siding problems warrant a small repair or if you should replace your siding entirely.
It’s helpful if you know the age of your siding. If it’s 10 to 15 years old or older, it’s probably time to replace it.
You could replace sections of the siding to save upfront costs. However, piecemeal siding replacement adds up over time.
Ultimately, it costs more than replacing it all at once. Piecemeal work also makes it difficult to match the color of your siding.
An additional factor of patching up sections is that the sun fades the façade of the siding over time. As a result, new sections most likely won’t match the current siding of your Arlington home.
How to Repair Vinyl Siding
You can make some siding repairs a do-it-yourself project. For instance, you can use a vinyl siding repair kit to fix small holes, dents, and other damage quickly and inexpensively.
Now, manufacturers offer a variety of wood fillers, putties, and epoxies that you can use to fill holes and reinforce soft spots. These quick fixes typically work well. Often, the repaired area is as strong as the original material.
You can also replace a single board, shingle, or panel without too much work. You can opt for this kind of vinyl siding repair if only a small section of it has damage.
You should look for certain signs to prevent severe structural damage to your home. For instance, if your siding is buckling, delaminating, splitting, or warping in large areas, you’ll need to investigate further. If you see any such sign of moisture inside the siding, you must find the root of the problem.
Begin by removing the damaged section and looking underneath. You may find a buildup of moisture.
If so, it’s likely the result of poorly installed building paper and flashings. Either way, you’ll need to consult with a local contractor at this stage.
They may suggest something as simple as filling a crack. Alternatively, the contractor may replace incorrectly installed flashing or building paper.
It’s important to note that it’s not always the contractor’s fault when your siding fails. More often than not, the barriers that protect your home weaken over time.
A contractor might also replace the sheathing or the siding itself. In some cases, a contractor might recommend the installation of a rain screen. Whatever the diagnosis, the contractor will help you seal any openings so that water can’t do any more damage to your home.
Repair or Replace: What Should I Do?
The appearance of your siding directly contributes to the look and resale value of your home. Your siding is also the first line of defense against moisture and other elements.
If you neglect your home’s siding, the covering that protects your home can become subject to a series of cascading failures. Given enough time, these failures can lead to extensive structural damage.
When you see a problem with your siding, however, you must decide whether to fix it or replace it. You don’t want to overspend by replacing all of your siding when a relatively small fix will do.
At the same time, you want to ensure that your home has sufficient protection. In that regard, it’s equally as bad to make a small repair when you need all-new siding.
However, you must exercise caution if you see a more severe threat, such as mold. Mold usually means that you need to replace all your siding.
However, if you catch it early enough, you may fix this problem with a small repair as well. An experienced contractor knows how to tell the difference.
With mold, a small repair is only ideal if it’s present only on one or two panels and you know the source of the buildup. If you can’t find the cause, there is most likely a bigger structural problem.
The problem with mold is that it likes to hide. If you see mold on the exterior of your siding, there’s likely a significant concentration of it underneath.
Finally, you may only have a few loose panels. In that case, a contractor can fix it for you quickly at a relatively low cost.
Making Choices: When It’s Time to Replace Your Siding
Deciding to replace your siding is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make as a homeowner. It’s a big project, and a lot’s riding on your choice.
The most important part of this decision, however, is who you trust to do the job. The right contractor will do a great job the first time, saving you money in the long run.
The most significant threat of outdated siding is water damage. If you see water damage inside your house, you should hire a contractor to fix the problem right away.
Any sign of water damage is a red flag. For instance, you may see problems such as:
If so, you must deal with the problem immediately. Water damage is always a sign that there’s a bigger problem threatening the integrity of your home.
Alternatively, sun damage can also indicate that you have serious structural issues. If you had sun-damaged siding and replaced or repainted it several times, and the damage returns quickly, this may mean a structural problem.
Also, widespread damage is another red flag. Even superficial damage spread over a wide area can indicate that your siding is old, and you need to replace it.
For example, termites or other insects may have infested your siding. Whatever the issue, your siding should resist dents, cracks, chipping, and any other damage for a reasonable amount of time. Therefore, recurring issues are a sign of trouble.
A contractor can help you troubleshoot the issue. However, you may wonder, “How can I find an expert in siding repair near me?”
Who Can I Trust for Siding Repair or Replacement?
It’s a big decision to buy new siding, but once you’ve made up your mind, it’s a pretty exciting prospect. It’s a chance to give your home a brand-new look and update its appearance.
It’s also an opportunity to save money because of improved energy efficiency. However, siding only provides these benefits if the contractor installs it correctly. This means it’s in your best interest to find a contractor that you can trust to do the job right.
Finding the right Arlington siding contractor is part research and part intuition. Nevertheless, it’s an important job.
An experienced contractor can void your home warranty or damage your property. Even worse, they can do such a poor job installing your new siding that they leave your home exposed to the elements.
For these and other reasons, it’s essential to evaluate a potential contractor carefully. Begin by checking out potential contractors online.