Answers To Your Siding Repair Questions
Siding, also called cladding, is one of the most important functions of your Tennessee home. Not only does it contribute to your curb appeal, but it also protects your home. When it looks like it could use a little TLC, your property's aesthetic suffers and the structure could become damaged.
In Tennessee, the most common types of cladding are wood and vinyl. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, including common types of damage that will require repairing or replacing at one point or another.
At Mr. Handyman of E. Nashville and Hendersonville, we know you have lots of questions about siding—especially when you notice a problem. That's why we've put together this helpful guide. Read on to have your questions about wood and vinyl siding answered.
Why is Siding Important?
Cladding might only seem like it serves a cosmetic purpose, but in fact the opposite is true. Without it, your home would be like a turtle without a shell—vulnerable. Most types of cladding have many important qualities such as being durable, water-proof/resistant and long-lasting that make it ideal for preventing damage from:
Harsh weather and the elements; including wind, rain, hail and sunshine
Humidity and water damage; including rot, mold and mildew
Pests like rodents, insects and birds that would otherwise infest your home
What to Know About Wood Siding
The most traditional type of cladding, wood is an aesthetically pleasing option available in a range of stains that can give your home an elegant finish. Usually, it is made out of either cedar or redwood because these trees are less susceptible to decay.
How Long Does Wood Siding Last?
When maintained correctly, wood siding should last between 20 and 40 years. Properly sealed and treated timber will have a longer lifespan.
What Are Common Problems With Wood Siding?
While wood is arguably the most attractive and classic kind of cladding, it's also the highest maintenance. To get the most out of any wood structure, it needs to be properly cared for. Pitfalls for this material include:
Rot: This microscopic fungus spores in moist areas. Once it starts, it has to be replaced so the rot does not spread. Other types of non-wood cladding don't have issues with rot.
Swelling & Warping: Moisture is a big problem for timber, so keep your eye out for areas that look larger than normal. This could be a sign of water intrusion.
Pests: Termites and ants particularly love timber. Be on the lookout for these pesky creatures! One tip for sussing out termites is to tap on what you think might be affected wood; if it sounds hollow, you have termites.
Peeling Paint & Chipped Stain: Although this might seem like a cosmetic issue, chipped and peeling paint or stain actually increases the risk of water damage.
Can Wood Siding Be Repaired?
A huge benefit to wood cladding is that it's actually much easier to repair than vinyl. One panel can be easily removed and replaced. It can also be sanded and stained to match the rest of your home. It's also a great material for a process called “patching,” which cuts out the damaged area and uses clapboard to cover a hole or crack.
If your home's cladding is made out of wood, you can add a layer of aluminum siding to help increase its durability and water resistance.
What to Know About Vinyl Siding
Made out of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, vinyl is exceptionally durable—making it the most popular siding choice for Tennessee homes. It's available in a variety of colors and maintains its color well throughout the years, is very low maintenance and is also mold resistant. One drawback of this otherwise fantastic material is that it is not eco-friendly.
How Long Does Vinyl Siding Last?
Like wood, vinyl also lasts up to 40 years. But one big difference is that this material requires hardly any maintenance for it to last that long.
What Are Common Problems With Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl can be a very attractive kind of cladding, particularly because it maintains its color so well over the years. Yet despite its durability and the fact that it's low-maintenance, there are still a few issues to watch for:
Warping & Buckling: Unlike wood, which is nailed directly to the wall of your home, vinyl has to be hung from fasteners. This is because it expands and contracts as the weather changes. Improperly hung vinyl that's too close to your home's wall will warp and buckle—as it does not have space to fluctuate.
Fading: Although most vinyl siding is made with UV protection, it can fade over time—particularly in areas exposed to direct sunlight.
Cracking: Undoubtedly, vinyl is strong. But strong impacts, improper installation and excessive exposure to sunlight may lead to cracking.
Can Vinyl Siding Be Repaired?
Vinyl can be repaired, although it's not as easy to work with as wood. Usually, there are three options to repair damaged vinyl. The entire panel will need to be replaced if the damage is significant. If the damage only affects a portion of the cladding, it could be patched with another piece of vinyl. Alternatively, a caulk gun can be used to fill small holes.
How Can Mr. Handyman Help?
Have you noticed a hole in your vinyl cladding? Or perhaps a panel is missing? Maybe it's time to apply a new coat of paint? No matter what type of damage is impacting your siding, the pros at Mr. Handyman of E. Nashville and Hendersonville can help. We've assisted customers throughout the East Nashville area, including Henderson, Goodlettsville and Whites Creek with a range of home repairs—including fixing siding. We always offer high quality service and excellent customer service.