You likely don't give your siding too much thought. However, this part of your home deserves a little of your time and consideration every now and then, to make sure your exterior walls continually look their best. Also known as cladding, siding is an important part of your Charleston, SC, home. It serves a variety of important functions, aside from providing aesthetic appeal. When it's damaged, you need Charleston siding repair right away. Otherwise, your home may be at risk of further damage.
Cladding protects your property from the elements, changing weather patterns and even pests like rodents and insects. It's also a big part of your curb appeal. Cladding is often what people see first when they look at your house. They may even note the color and type of cladding you have. It almost goes without saying that the better condition your cladding is in, the better your house looks—and the more protected it is.
From wood to vinyl, siding is built to last. However, this doesn't mean that it can't get damaged and that it doesn't need regular repairs. Weather events and accidents can cause serious damage, while wear and tear may cause problems that sneak up on you. Also, different materials have different problems, thus each cladding variety has different care considerations. The kind of Charleston siding repairs you need depends on what type of material is used on your exterior walls. When damaged, certain materials may need to be replaced entirely, whereas other materials only need a few Charleston siding repairs completed.
To keep your property in its best condition possible, and help you know when to hire our expert Charleston handyman team to complete siding repairs, we put together the following guide. In it you'll find details about different kinds of siding, common issues to look for, and insights from the pros at Mr. Handyman of Charleston and Summerville.
What is My Current Siding in Charleston Made of, and Why Does that Matter?
There are many choices available to Charleston homeowners when it comes to cladding. Although you likely already know what type is already on your home, if you're building or renovating you may be curious about what the pros and cons of different materials are. Also, all homeowners should be aware of their siding's pros and cons.
The biggest drawback of stucco is that it may crumble or crack as the years go by, as it is made out of a mixture of cement, lime and sand. However, some benefits of stucco are that it possesses insulating qualities, is available in a wide variety of colors and can last up to 50 years when maintained correctly. As soon as there is a problem with your stucco cladding, you need to call in your local Charleston siding repair experts to prevent further damage.
Vinyl is made out of a type of plastic called PVC (polyvinyl chloride). It is one of the most popular materials used on houses throughout Charleston and the United States for many items, including cladding. Its benefits include lasting a long time, being exceptionally durable, and coming in many colors and styles. As an added benefit, this material is also water resistant and low-maintenance, so you don't have to worry about wood rot. However, if installed incorrectly, it can buckle and warp. Older types of vinyl may also bleach in the sun.
When installed properly, this material can last a lifetime. However, the main drawback of brick is that it's very expensive to install, and requires the help of an expert mason to ensure it is installed correctly. If not, then brick may crumble or deteriorate quickly. Made out of clay and shale, bricks are non-combustible and flame retardant, eco-friendly and absorb humidity better than other building materials. This reduces the risk of mold, mildew and dust mites.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding is exceptionally durable because of the cement, which also makes it the most resistant to the usual problems with residential siding. It doesn't rot and is crack-resistant. It won't fade in the sun, and holds up well to hail and rain. This material also lasts a very long time, up to 75-years with the right coating. It's made out of cement, sand, water and cellulose fibers.
Lumber is one of the most traditional materials used to make cladding, and is often found on older homes (newer materials have grown more popular over the years). Wood is naturally very beautiful and classic. However, the biggest problem with lumber is that it rots. Even treated wood can rot over time. Thus, this material requires frequent maintenance and repair.
Engineered Wood/Composite Siding
Engineered wood is a great alternative to wood for Charleston homeowners who want the appearance of wood siding without having to maintain it as much. While this material does contain a small amount of actual wood, it's also composed of various fibers and strands that emulate the look of lumber. This makes it a far less expensive option. It also lasts decades and is less likely to rot. However, when damaged it can still have issues with moisture, which is why it's important to hire Charleston siding repairs promptly as needed.
Aluminum is durable and naturally insulating. For this reason, Aluminum is also affordable and low maintenance. It is also an excellent choice for Charleston homeowners interested in energy efficiency. It can reduce the average cost of your energy bills significantly because it's insulating. It's also perfect to put on top of wood cladding to help protect it from wear and water damage. However, aluminum is very loud when it rains or hails.
Common Siding Repairs in Charleston, SC and Why to Care
No matter what types of siding materials you have for your Charleston home, staying on top of seasonal repairs is the best way to prevent damage. Plus, upkeep is the best way to ensure your exterior walls look their best, as most types of damage tend to get worse over time.
While some types of damage are unavoidable, like storm damage or an accident, routine maintenance and repairing small issues before they escalate can prevent the need for more serious repairs. Common issues to watch for include:
Cracking and Bending
Fast moving, heavy objects can result in the need for siding repairs in Charleston, SC. Even the strongest types of Charleston siding can get damaged when exposed to enough stress. For example, objects that may cause dents and cracks include hail, baseballs, rocks and vehicles.
Chips and Dents
As is so often in life, the smallest issues can spiral into big problems. Dents, chips and small cracks might not seem like a big deal initially, but they could turn into bigger holes if not repaired promptly. This weakens your home's structural integrity and could result in water infiltration, leaks and rot. Also, it's much easier to fix small issues than large ones. See a crack or dent in your siding? Call our siding repair experts to fix it as soon as possible.
Weather Proofing Damage
Also known as flashing, weather proofing is an important part of how your siding prevents moisture from leaking into your home in Charleston. It needs to be installed properly, otherwise it won't keep moisture out of your home. Made out of strips of galvanized steel, flashing is installed at:
- Roof intersections
- Along chimneys
- Along the tops of foundation walls
- Around windows and doors.
Mildew and Algae
Mildew and algae need to be dealt with quickly, before they have a chance to spread to other parts of your home. Mildew usually looks like gray or white powder sprinkled with black specks. Meanwhile, algae typically looks green, brown or black. If you don't deal with mildew and algae promptly, you may be forced to complete a major siding replacement project in the future.
Buckling and Warping
While this issue mostly affects vinyl, it's important to address because so many homes in Charleston have vinyl siding. Buckling and warping happens when the material has not been installed correctly. Vinyl is made out of plastic, so it expands and contracts as temperatures change. This means it needs to be attached to fasteners so they have enough space to expand and contract. If installed incorrectly, without enough space to contract and expand, then the material will bend because it doesn't have enough space.
Unless you have aluminum siding, your cladding should not make loud or strange noises—even during strong winds or when it rains. If you notice rattling noises, then it's likely your cladding was not installed correctly or has somehow come loose. Either way, you'll need expert Charleston siding repair services to fix the issue as soon as possible.
Water damage is a serious problem. Once it gets trapped between the walls of your house, it can result in wood rot, mildew and structural damage. These can result in really costly repairs. Even materials that are water resistant can have issues with moisture damage if they break or are not installed correctly. Water will infiltrate your Charleston home through even the smallest cracks and chips—let alone if an entire panel is missing.
Wood rot is caused by water damage. It's an issue that can escalate quickly and cause serious structural and health issues. The best way to test for wood rot is to inspect your property regularly with a flashlight and screwdriver. Use the flashlight to look at dark, tough-to-reach places. Probe the screwdriver into suspicious looking areas. If it sinks in, you have wood rot. If you discover you have wood rot, call the pros at Mr. Handyman of Charleston and Summerville to fix it as soon as possible. Signs that you have a wood rot problem include:
- Mushrooms and fungal growth
- Damaged or decaying timber
- Damp or musty smells
- Concentrated patches of orange/brown spore dust
- Gray strands on wood
- Brittle wood or wood that crumbles in your hand
Pro Maintenance Tip:
The best way to maintain your cladding in South Carolina is by inspecting it regularly for signs of damage, and booking a pressure washing service to keep your walls clean at least once or twice a year. Contact our Charleston handyman team to learn more about the other benefits of a pressure washing service!
Call Your Local Expert for Charleston Siding Repair Today!
Have you noticed a problem with your cladding? Whether you suspect your vinyl exterior walls were not installed correctly to begin with, or a storm recently knocked away part of your cladding, trust our pro team to fix the problem promptly and efficiently.
We offer outstanding Charleston siding repair services, as well as a range of other popular services including fence maintenance, gutter cleaning and fence repair. Don't waste your time on other siding companies in Charleston, SC. When you hire the experts at Mr. Handyman of Charleston and Summerville to perform siding services, you can rest assured the job will get done right the first time. As soon as you notice issues with your home's exterior walls, call our expert team.
Each of our technicians has the years of experience, quality skills and industry knowledge to complete a range of home repairs and improvements. We are recognized throughout Charleston for our dedication to outstanding customer service and professionalism. Our team has brought our truly excellent workmanship to countless homeowners throughout Charleston and the surrounding areas, including North Charleston, Goose Creek and Moncks Corner. Customer care is always our top priority.
To book an appointment today, or to ask any questions about other services like deck repair, we invite you to call our friendly customer service representatives today. We look forward to helping with your Charleston siding repair needs!