Home Siding Repair 101: What to Know

New siding on the exterior of a house, and metal scaffolding that has been set up to facilitate ongoing siding repairs.
Siding, also known as cladding, is an integral part of your home. It protects your property from the elements, changing weather patterns, and pests. Not to mention, cladding takes up the majority of your home's real estate—meaning it contributes greatly to the overall aesthetic of your property and your curb appeal. That’s just one reason why Fairfield siding repair is so important.

All types of cladding are built to last, and there are many siding options with different pros and cons, but no matter what siding material you have on the outside of your home, it will need a little TLC occasionally. Like anything else on your property, your cladding will take wear and tear damage over time. Depending on the material, it might need to be refinished, have sections replaced or a fresh coat of paint applied. This guide covers some of the common issues to look for, along with Fairfield siding repair situations homeowners should know about.

If you notice your home's existing siding is in rough shape and needs repair work from a qualified, local Fairfield handyman, trust the team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County to get the job done safely and reliably.

What Type of Siding Does Your Home Have?

Cladding in Fairfield comes in many materials, styles, and designs. And different materials need varying degrees of maintenance to stay in good condition. It's likely you already know what material makes up the exterior walls of your home if you're in the market for Fairfield siding repair service. However, if you've just moved into a new place and aren't sure, are building a home, or are thinking of renovating, here's what you need to know about the common choices:

  • Vinyl Siding: A very popular choice for Fairfield homes, vinyl is made out of a type of plastic called PVC (polyvinyl chloride). It's found in homes throughout the United States because it's highly durable, requires minimal maintenance, lasts a long time, and is available in a range of color choices and a variety of styles. However, a drawback of vinyl is that it can bleach in the sun.
  • Stucco Siding: Made out of a mixture of cement, lime, and sand, stucco has insulating qualities, is available in a wide variety of colors, and can last up to 50 years. That said, it may crumble or crack from time to time.
  • Log or Wood Siding: One of the most traditional materials, many types of wood can be used to make cladding—although pine and cedar siding are the most common. Usually, wood cladding is found in older homes. It looks very natural, yet be aware that water damage often leads to recurring repairs for wood rot and warped boards
  • Composite/Engineered Wood: Only containing a small amount of actual wood, composite cladding is made of various fibers and strands combined to look like real wood—but at a much lower cost with fewer repair and maintenance requirements.
  • Solid Brick Siding: Contrarily to brick veneer, real brick has a high initial cost and requires a mason to properly install it. However, it's highly durable, long-lasting, and has a timeless aesthetic.
  • Natural Stone: Many materials sourced from a quarry, including limestone, granite, and slate, can be used as cladding. While natural stone lasts a long time and does not require a lot of maintenance, it's usually quite expensive to install.
  • Aluminum Siding: Incredibly durable and insulating, aluminum can help reduce your energy expenses. It's also an ideal material to place on top of wood cladding to help protect it.

Common Fairfield Siding Repair Problems

All the types of siding above have their own pros and cons when it comes to siding installation, maintenance, and repair. However, what they all share in common is how important it is to stay on top of regular upkeep. Although your exterior walls might experience weather damage or issues from pests in Fairfield, regular maintenance is the best way to keep it looking its best while preventing any existing damage from worsening.

Prevent issues with your current siding by inspecting your home and yard at least twice a year. You should walk through your property during the spring and the fall looking for damage, staining and irregular areas. Keep an eye out for the following problems that indicate your home needs Fairfield siding repair.

Mold, Mildew, and Algae Build-Up

It's important to address mold, mildew, and algae as soon as you see them forming. Mold spores will grow and spread, damaging other parts of your home. If left unattended, it could result in needing to replace entire sections with new siding. Also, mold and mildew are bad for your family's health and could cause lung problems, so it's much better to catch damage before it gets to this point and prevent it with Fairfield siding repair service. Mold and mildew look like a gray or white powder sprinkled with black specks, while algae typically look green, brown, or black and may appear slimy. Common areas to check include:

  • Shaded areas where shrubs or trees cover the walls
  • Beneath gutters and drainage systems, especially those that are overdue for gutter cleaning
  • Areas around washing machine vents and other appliances

Interior Moisture Damage

When installed correctly, cladding creates an effective barrier against moisture and humidity. But, even plastic materials like vinyl are not completely waterproof—especially when cracked or otherwise damaged. Even one small chip, crack, or missing piece can let water seep in. Water damage is a serious problem; once water gets trapped inside the walls of your house, it can result in wood rot, mold, and structural damage. Symptoms of interior water damage that indicate you have a serious Fairfield siding repair problem include:

  • Brownish water stains on the wall or ceiling
  • Drywall is softened or crumbling apart
  • Drywall has loose joint tape and popping screws or nails
  • Excess condensation on interior window panes
  • Leaking water coming from window frames, door jambs, and even electrical outlets or light switches
  • Drafts of cold air coming from the walls, or from light switches and electrical sockets

These problems will only worsen over time and are already costing you a noticeable amount of money on your monthly utility bills by changing the temperature in your house. That forces your HVAC system to increase its energy consumption and results in higher energy costs. Interior water damage needs to be dealt with immediately before your house suffers any further damage that requires more extensive repairs.

Buckling and Warping

A common issue with vinyl is buckling and warping happens when PVC has not been installed correctly. Vinyl should be attached with fasteners, which provide a small space between the siding and exterior wall. Because vinyl is made out of plastic, the fasteners enable it to expand and contract as the weather changes. If it's attached too tightly, it can't move properly. This puts stress on the material and makes it warp and buckle. If you notice this happening, it's likely the cladding will need to be replaced.

Holes or Cracks from Impacts

Siding is designed to withstand certain levels of stress and damage. After all, it does wrap around your home—so it needs to be strong. That said, most materials can be dented. Fast-moving, heavy objects can make an impact if they hit your home hard enough. For example, rocks expelled by a lawnmower, hail during a storm and even baseballs 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 it as soon as possible. Like any structure, even one weak area could worsen, resulting in water infiltration, leaks, structural damage, mold, and wood rot that will leave you no choice but to invest in expensive replacement services.

Flashing Problems

Flashing—also known as weatherproofing—prevents moisture from infiltrating your roof by fitting around areas susceptible to leakage. It is made out of a thin sheet or strip of water-resistant material (typically galvanized steel) that's installed at roof intersections, along chimneys, along the tops of foundation walls, and around windows and doors. It needs to be installed properly, otherwise, it compromises your home's moisture barrier, leading to problems that require service from a siding contractor, as well as other issues that may require professional roof repair.

Color Has Faded

If you're not interested in spending time maintaining your siding throughout the year in Fairfield, vinyl is a sensible choice. It's durable, water-resistant, and virtually maintenance-free. It does have a weakness though—it's prone to fading over time, particularly on the parts of your house that are frequently exposed to direct sunlight.

The color should hold true for as long as the manufacturer has rated it to last, so if you are noticing signs of color fading on vinyl, that is a strong indication the product is nearing the end of its life expectancy and will begin to show more signs of deterioration in the near future. Replacement will be the most cost-effective choice in this scenario. You could cover your old vinyl with a new coat of paint, but it will still deteriorate at a more accelerated rate due to its age.

Can Fairfield Siding Repair Increase Your Energy Savings?

If your house is in serious need of help from a qualified handyman because it has issues such as cracks, holes, gaps, missing pieces, or water damage, Fairfield siding repair will likely result in a noticeable difference in your monthly utility bills.

Heat transfer is the reason damaged cladding has such a negative effect on your home's energy efficiency. Thermal energy will always try to move from a warmer place to a colder place, which means warmth from your furnace escapes to the cold outdoors in winter, and heat from the sun will warm up your house in summer when you're running your air conditioner. That heat transfer process changes the temperature in your house, so your HVAC system has to turn on more frequently and operate for longer periods of time. That dramatically increases its energy consumption, which in turn increases the amount you have to pay your energy bills.

Under normal circumstances, your siding contributes to the energy efficiency of your property by helping to prevent heat transfer. But when it has suffered damage, it can't do that as effectively. By closing up holes, cracks, and gaps, your Fairfield siding repair professional can increase your energy savings and ensure your home is protected against worsening damage in the future.

Does Fairfield Siding Repair Improve Property Value?

If you're planning on putting your house on the real estate market within the next few years, Fairfield siding repair should be on your list of priority services. Cladding takes up a lot of visual space on the exterior of the house, so it's one of the first things prospective home buyers see. If it's in poor condition, that's a major red flag that will have them sprinting back to the car before they even get through the front door. But if it's in excellent shape with no signs of damage or defects, that's a reassuring sign that the property is well-cared for and they won't find any unpleasant surprises lurking inside the walls.

When your cladding is in really bad condition and the deterioration is widespread, replacement is a better choice. On the bright side, you can usually expect to recoup a solid return on investment and may be able to get around 70% of your costs back in the sale price of your Fairfield, CT home. If you decide to go with replacement, it's important to choose a color that will offer maximum appeal to prospective buyers, but also won't present a challenge to new homeowners. The best way to go about it is to stick with classic, neutral colors such as tan, gray, and off-white that blend in with the other houses in your neighborhood.

Call Your Local Fairfield Siding Repair Expert Today!

Taking care of your cladding means you can avoid costly repairs and replacements in the future. As soon as you notice issues with your home's exterior walls, call the pros at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County. Our team offers outstanding siding services, plus much more.

Each of our technicians has years of experience, quality skills, and industry knowledge to offer a range of improvement services. We've assisted countless homeowners throughout Fairfield County with their installation, repair, and maintenance needs—including in Westport, Darien, and Stamford.

To book an appointment or learn more about similar Fairfield home improvements and repair services, like siding replacement, seasonal gutter service, pressure washing, or other exterior repairs, we invite you to contact us today.

The old siding on a home before and after it has been repair and pressure washed by Mr. Handyman.