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Siding Repair 101: What to Know

Siding takes up the majority of real estate on your home or business. It's available in many materials, styles and designs. Each variety has its own pros and cons—including how much maintenance it needs to stay in good condition. Likely, you already know the kind of cladding you have on your home. But in case you're thinking of renovating or if you're not sure, he's a rundown of the basic types:

  • Vinyl: A very common siding variety, vinyl is made out of a type of plastic called PVC (polyvinyl chloride). It's highly durable and lasts a long time. It can bleach in the sun, however.

  • Fiber Cement: This material is similar to vinyl because it's also man-made. Usually, fiber cement mimics the appearance of wood.

  • Brick: Has a high initial cost and requires a mason to properly install it. But, brick also has a classic, timeless aesthetic.

  • Stone: Limestone, granite, slate and other materials sourced from a quarry can be used as siding. Natural stone lasts a long time and does not require a lot of maintenance, but it's generally more expensive to install.

  • Aluminum: This material is very durable and provides excellent insulating properties. This means it can help reduce heating and cooling expenses.

  • Stucco: A mixture of cement, lime and sand, stucco has insulating qualities, lasts a long time and can be textured for a unique appearance.

  • Wood: The most traditional variety of siding, many kinds of wood can be used; like cedar or pine. Usually, wood siding is found on older homes. This material is versatile, comes in many styles and creates a natural look. But, it can have issues with wood rot and water damage.

  • Composite/Engineered Wood: This material only contains a small amount of actual wood. It's made of various fibers and strands that are combined to look like authentic wood. A benefit is that engineered wood costs less than real wood, but looks like the real thing.

5 Issues Caused by Poor Maintenance

The various types of siding each have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. But, no matter what material is outside your home, commercial property or place of business, it's important to properly maintain your cladding. It not only looks attractive, but also protects your property from the elements and water damage. If your siding is looking worse for wear, be sure to call the experts at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County and S. Shore. Our service professionals can help with the following issues:

1. Mold & Mildew Build-Up

The best practice to prevent any issues with your siding is to inspect your home's exterior at least twice a year. You should walk through your property during the spring and the fall looking for damage, staining and irregular areas. Be sure you check for signs of:

  • Algae, which typically looks green, brown or black

  • Mold and mildew which generally looks like a gray or white powder sprinkled with black specks along the sides of your home

If you notice signs of mold, mildew or algae, do not leave it unattended. The spores will spread, damaging more areas of your home. Over time, you might need replacement services rather than just a simple repair job. Also, mold and mildew is bad for your family's health, particularly if you or your loved ones have asthma. Watch for signs of damage in the following areas:

  • Shaded areas where shrubs or trees cover the walls

  • Areas around washing machines, vents and other appliances

  • Beneath gutters and drainage systems

2. Moisture Penetration

When installed correctly, most kinds of siding create an effective barrier against moisture and humidity. But, these materials are not entirely waterproof—especially when damaged. Even one small chip, crack, or missing piece can let water seep in. Once moisture becomes trapped between the walls of your house, it can result in structural damage, mold growth and wood rot.

3. Cracking & Bending Under Pressure

Since cladding goes around your home, it is designed to withstand certain levels of stress and damage. That said, most types of siding can be dented. Fast moving, heavy objects can still make an impact if they hit your home hard enough. For instance, hail during a storm, rocks expelled by a lawnmower and even balls thrown by playing children could cause damage.

Although a small chip may not seem like a big deal, it's actually very important to fix these problems as quickly as possible. Any weak areas could worsen, resulting in leaks, structural damage, mold and wood rot that will leave you no choice but to invest in expensive replacement services.

4. Issues with Flashing

Also known as waterproofing, flashing prevents moisture from sneaking into your home by fitting around areas where water could infiltrate into your roof. Flashing is made out of a thin sheet or strip of water-resistant material (usually galvanized steel) that's installed at roof intersections, along chimneys, around windows and doors, and along the tops of foundation walls. If it's installed incorrectly, it compromises your home's moisture barrier. Water could leak into your siding and cause rot, mold and other deterioration.

5. Buckling & Warping

Wood and vinyl siding are two of the most popular cladding varieties. But a big difference between the two is how each material is attached to your home's exterior. Wood is nailed down firmly, secured right against the sides of your house. But vinyl is attached by fasteners, with a small space between the cladding and the wall. Fasteners enable vinyl to expand and contract as the weather changes. If it's attached too tightly, it can't move. This puts stress on the material and makes it warp and buckle. If you notice this happening, it's likely the cladding was not installed correctly to begin with.

Professional Siding Repair

Taking care of your siding means you can avoid costly repairs and replacements in the future. Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County and S. Shore offers excellent siding repair services to restore your home to its former elegance. Our team of service professionals have years of experience, expertise and in-depth knowledge about a range of improvement services. We've assisted with cladding replacement, repairs, general maintenance and installation.

To book an appointment, we invite you to call our friendly customer service representatives at 508-465-2092. You can also submit a service request form online for more information.