Your exterior walls are what you look at every day as you arrive home from work, sit on your front porch drinking coffee, and leave the house to walk the dog. They make up the majority of real estate on the outside of your home and help to keep your property safe from the elements, changing weather patterns and even pests such as rodents and insects. In turn, it’s important to keep them safe with a professional Bethlehem siding repair service.
Also called cladding, siding is often what people see first when they look at your house. The better shape your cladding is in, the better your house looks since it contributes greatly to your property's overall curb appeal and visual appeal. If you're thinking of selling or simply taking pride in your home's appearance, then it's essential you keep your siding in tip-top condition with Bethlehem siding repairs.
Even if you take excellent care of your cladding, there is still a chance that damage may occur. Different materials have different advantages and disadvantages, but no one type of siding is infallible. That said, it's important to note that different materials have different siding repair needs, as we'll discover later in this article. Harsh weather, storms, wood rot, mold, mildew, and more can all take a toll that will eventually require siding repair.
To help you know when to hire our expert Bethlehem handyman team at Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown, and the Lehigh Valley to complete siding repairs in Bethlehem, PA, and keep your property looking and functioning its best, we put together the following guide.
Siding Materials: Advantages and Disadvantages
When it comes to cladding, there are numerous styles, materials and designs available. Even though you can likely figure out what kind of cladding you have based on what it looks like, it never hurts to equip yourself with key information about this essential part of your home. Also, if you're thinking of renovating or are building a new house, it's important to explore the different options available to you, and the specific siding repair needs of each type.
Made out of a mixture of cement, lime, and sand, stucco is available in a wide variety of colors, can last up to 50 years, and possesses insulating qualities. However, this material may crumble or crack when exposed to the elements. If you notice this problem happening, you need to call in your local Bethlehem siding repair experts before the issue worsens.
One of the most popular materials used on houses throughout Bethlehem and the United States. It is made out of a type of plastic called PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which makes it very strong. Additionally, vinyl is available in a wide range of colors and styles, requires minimal repairs, and lasts a long time if installed correctly. While it's water-resistant, older types of vinyl may bleach in the sun. The most common repair issue with vinyl is that it can buckle and warp if installed incorrectly.
Aluminum is inexpensive, insulating, and lasts a long time. Since it is naturally insulating, aluminum can reduce the average cost of your energy bills quite a bit. Thus, it is a great choice for Bethlehem homeowners interested in energy efficiency. Aluminum is also affordable and low maintenance and is commonly placed on top of wood siding to protect it from wood rot. This material's main disadvantage is that it is very noisy when it rains.
Real Brick Siding
A real brick wall is initially quite costly to install and requires a trained mason to ensure it is installed properly. The benefits of bricks are numerous. They are highly durable, long-lasting, and have a timeless aesthetic. They are eco-friendly, absorb humidity better than other building materials—thus reducing the risk of mold, mildew, and dust mites—and are non-combustible and flame retardant. Yet, in terms of color choices bricks tend to be limited.
Like bricks, natural stone lasts a long time and does not require a lot of repairs. Also like bricks, this type of cladding tends to be quite costly to install and requires the help of a mason. Without proper installation, you may have issues with cracks that are hard to repair. These cracks could also lead to moisture damage, mold, and structural instability. Many materials sourced from a quarry, including limestone, granite, and slate, can be used as cladding.
Any type of wood can be used as cladding, but cedar and pine are the most common for Bethlehem siding. This material's primary benefit is that it is very beautiful and traditional looking. However, wood requires significant maintenance and repairs. It is prone to rot and other types of water damage. Even treated wood can rot over time. While wood was the more traditional type of cladding used in the past, these days it is often replaced with newer materials that don't require as much upkeep.
Engineered Wood/Composite Siding
One material that is commonly chosen to replace traditional wood siding is engineered wood. While it contains a small amount of actual wood, this material is also made of various fibers and strands combined to look like real wood. Thus, it's much more cost-effective. Other benefits of engineered wood are that it's available in a wide range of colors and finishes and generally lasts up to 30 years. While it's less likely to rot than lumber, when cracked or otherwise damaged, moisture may still be able to seep in and damage your Bethlehem home.
Bethlehem Siding Repairs You Should Know About
No matter what types of siding materials are installed on your home's exterior, they all require a degree of maintenance and routine repair. Regular upkeep is the best way to prevent damage, while also keeping your exterior walls looking their best.
The best way to maintain your cladding is by inspecting it regularly for signs of damage and booking a power washing service to keep your walls clean at least twice a year. And when your exterior walls are damaged, say from an extreme weather event, you need to call the Bethlehem siding repair experts at Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown, and the Lehigh Valley to fix the damage. A few issues to keep an eye out for include:
Issues With Flashing
Flashing prevents moisture from infiltrating your roofing material by fitting around areas susceptible to leakage. It is also called weatherproofing. Typically made out of galvanized steel, it is installed along the tops of foundation walls, at roof intersections, around windows and doors, and along chimneys. If it is installed incorrectly, it will let moisture seep into your home. This increases the risk of other problems like mold, mildew, and rot.
Unless you have aluminum siding, your home should not make strange or loud noises when it rains or when it is windy outside. If you notice rattling noises, then it's likely your cladding was not installed correctly. Alternatively, it may have come loose because of a storm or if an object knocked away some of your sidings. Either way, you'll need expert Bethlehem siding repair services to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Buckling and Warping
Buckling and warping happen when vinyl has not been installed correctly. Since the material is made out of plastic, it expands and contracts as temperatures change. It needs to be hung with fasteners to accommodate this expansion and contracting. Fasteners provide a small space between the siding and the exterior wall. This space lets vinyl expand and contract as necessary. However, if it's attached too tightly, the vinyl can't move properly. This puts stress on the material and causes it to warp. If you notice this happening, then you need to call the Bethlehem repair experts at Mr. Handyman.
Cracking and Bending Under Pressure
All siding is designed to withstand certain levels of stress. However, even the strongest materials can be dented upon significant impact. Fast-moving, heavy objects can result in the need for house siding repairs in Bethlehem. Some examples of objects that could damage your siding include hail, balls thrown by playing children, rocks expelled by lawnmowers, and vehicle accidents.
Remember, small chips cannot be neglected. Even the slightest damage weakens the entire structure. This will lead to worse damage over time. Dents that turn into holes or cracks could result in water infiltration, leaks, structural damage, mold, and rot.
Cladding creates an effective barrier against moisture and humidity when installed correctly. But, even plastic materials like vinyl aren't totally waterproof. It only takes one crack or missing panel for water to leak into your Bethlehem, PA, home. Water damage is a serious problem. It's difficult to spot right away, and often by the time you notice water damage, it's too late. It could lead to mold, mildew, and wood rot. That’s why it’s important to complete repairs as soon as you see moisture stains or other signs of water damage.
Common Signs of Wood Rot
Wood rot is a nightmare for Bethlehem homeowners. While a small patch of wood rot can be dealt with easily, it is a big problem when it spreads to your entire home. It's important to pay attention to signs of wood rot so that if you notice a problem, you can call the pros at Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley for siding repair services as soon as possible.
The best way to test for wood rot is to inspect your property regularly with a flashlight and screwdriver. Probe the screwdriver into suspicious-looking areas. Use the flashlight to look at dark, tough-to-reach places. If it sinks in, you have wood rot.
Common Signs of Wood Rot in Bethlehem Include:
- Mushrooms and fungal growth
- Damaged or decaying timber
- Damp or musty smell
- Concentrated patches of orange/brown spore dust
- Gray strands on wood
- Brittle wood or wood that crumbles in your hand
Mold, Mildew, and Algae Build-Up
Another issue with moisture infiltration is that it can lead to mold, algae, and mildew. These three substances are detrimental to you and your family's health. Not to mention, they detract from the overall appearance of your Bethlehem home. Mold spores will grow and spread, damaging other parts of your house and negatively impacting your air quality. If you don't deal with mold, mildew, and algae promptly, you may be forced to replace your cladding completely.
Common Areas to Check
- Shaded areas where shrubs or trees cover the walls
- Areas around washing machines, vents, or other appliances that expel moist or humid air
- Beneath gutters and drainage systems
Common Signs of Mold, Mildew, and Algae
- Mold and mildew look like a gray or white powder sprinkled with black specks
- Algae typically look green, brown, or black
Call Your Local Expert for Bethlehem Siding Repair Today!
Don't waste your time calling other siding companies in Bethlehem, PA. When you hire the experts at Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown, and the Lehigh Valley, you can avoid costly repairs and replacements by ensuring your siding repairs are handled promptly. As soon as you notice issues with your home's exterior walls, call our expert team. We offer outstanding Bethlehem siding repair services.
Each of our technicians has the years of experience, quality skills, and industry knowledge to complete a range of home improvements and repairs. We are recognized throughout Bethlehem for our dedication to outstanding customer service, dedication to high-quality workmanship, and professionalism. When you hire our expert team, you can expect us to arrive on time to your scheduled appointment, wearing the Mr. Handyman uniform, and always ready to answer any questions you might have.
Our team has helped countless homeowners throughout Bethlehem and the surrounding areas with their repairs—including in Easton and Nazareth. To book an appointment today, or to ask any questions about our services, we invite you to call our friendly customer service representatives. We look forward to helping with your future home improvements or home remodeling project!