Does Your Home Need Siding Repair or Replacement? Here's How to Tell

Siding is your home's armor. It serves as the first line of defense against everything from weather and moisture to wildlife damage, so it's critically important to the well-being and structural integrity of your house.

If it has suffered damage, repair or replacement is necessary so it can continue to serve its function and prevent much more serious and costly damage to your home's internal structure. But, sometimes the signs that your cladding is suffering aren't glaringly obvious—especially if you don't know what to look for.

This guide will cover the top seven signs that your siding needs attention from the service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Midwest Collin County.

Types of Siding

While you're probably aware of the type of siding you currently have on your house, it's good to be aware of the choices in case you need replacement. Here are some of the most popular siding options:

  • Vinyl siding
  • Real wood siding
  • Engineered wood
  • Cedar or shingle siding
  • Fiber cement
  • Natural stone
  • Synthetic stone
  • Brick veneer siding

Each type has its own pros and cons to consider. For example, the natural charm and beauty of wood versus its susceptibility to wood rot and damage from woodpeckers (yes, that's actually a problem). Or, the less unique and sophisticated appearance of the vinyl versus the fact that it's a virtually maintenance-free, affordable option.

Signs Your Siding Needs Repair or Replacement

Your annual maintenance checklist should include a thorough inspection of your cladding. Walk around the entire house and examine it closely from as many angles as possible, keeping a lookout for the following signs that repair or replacement is imminent.

Cracks or Gaps

Any cracks, gaps, or outright holes in your cladding are more than just cosmetic issues. They can let water into the interior of your wall, where it will fester and cause moisture damage issues such as rot, mold, and mildew. This kind of damage not only threatens the structural integrity of the house, but it can also actually be hazardous to your health, and water damage mitigation is very frustrating and costly. Gaps also let in pests such as rats and termites, which can have similar negative effects on the well-being of both your house and your family.

Increased Utility Costs

Are your heating and cooling costs going up even though your usage hasn't changed? If you notice cool drafts near walls and windows, or coming from light switches and electrical sockets, damage to your siding could be the culprit that's driving up your energy bill. A professional handyman can help you determine the exact problem, but if it's related to your cladding, replacing it with energy-efficient, insulated vinyl siding can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Rotten Wood

If you have any type of wood siding, it needs to be carefully monitored for signs of wood rot. It's particularly vulnerable because it's exposed to the elements, and wood rot is a form of decay caused by wood-eating fungus that requires the timber to have a high moisture content in order to begin growing. Examine all wood on the exterior of your home for these signs of wood rot:

  • Discolored patches that are darker or lighter than surrounding wood, or have a white, yellow, or purplish hue
  • Texture changes where the wood appears spongy, stringy, or webbed with cracks
  • Wood breaking apart in cube-shaped chunks (this is called cubical fracture) or crumbling into “sawdust”

Warping and Bulging

This is why you should inspect your cladding from multiple angles—it might not have holes or gaps, but some types of cladding can warp, with sections either bulging outward or cupping inward. That's a big red flag that something is going wrong underneath that needs to be addressed, and that something is typically moisture damage.

Interior Water Damage

Speaking of moisture damage... if you're noticing signs of it inside your home, such as bubbling or loose wallpaper, water stains on the walls or ceiling, peeling paint and drywall tape, or worst of all, mold and mildew growth, it may be caused by damage to your exterior cladding—even if you can't see anything wrong outside. As mentioned above, water damage is a very serious issue for a number of reasons, and it absolutely needs mitigation before it gets any worse.

Maintenance is a Hassle

Some cladding requires more maintenance than other types. Maybe there's nothing particularly wrong with the siding you currently have, but you find you just don't have the time, energy, or inclination to do all the maintenance work that's required to keep it in good condition. If you don't mind sacrificing some charm and uniqueness in favor of a low-maintenance, easy-to-maintain option, that's a great reason to get it replaced and stop worrying about it.

Boost Curb Appeal and Property Value

This point isn't necessarily about damage either, but it can be a very good reason to replace your old siding. If you're thinking of selling your home in the near future, new cladding can boost your curb appeal, impress potential buyers, and give you one of the best returns on investment—expect to recoup around 75% of the money you put in when you sell.

Trust Mr. Handyman With Your Siding Repairs and Replacement!

Did you spot signs of damage on your cladding, or realize a replacement would serve your needs better than what you currently have? Count on the expert team of siding installers at Mr. Handyman of Midwest Collin County to get the job done efficiently and correctly.

If you have siding questions or want to schedule an appointment, give us a call to chat with our friendly customer service staff, or request service online.