The siding on your house is the first line of defense against the elements. It helps keep out the weather, the heat, and the cold. If your siding is looking weary, then you may be experiencing higher energy bills, unattractive curb appeal, and possibly an angry spouse wanting you to replace it. It’s not as expensive as you might think. There are also many different options to choose from depending on what you need or want.
What to Look For
Over time, your siding will crack, chip, or break off and leave your home vulnerable to moisture. This will cause major problems that will probably be more expensive than replacing your siding. There are several signs you can look for to make sure that you prevent any siding leakage and keep your home in tip-top shape. Here are a few:
- If you are painting your home every 5 years, your siding isn’t holding the paint very well, and might need to be replaced. It should hold the paint for 10 years and shouldn’t chip, crack, peel, or lose the original color. Some paints on the market today will actually last for longer and keep their color unless physically damaged by weather or trees.
- If you notice your energy bill is much higher than before then your siding may not be doing its job. If you know a neighbor with a similar house you may want to ask them, if they are willing to tell you, about how much their heating bill is so you can compare
- Obviously if your siding is rotting or warping it should be replaced. Siding like this is very unmistakable. There will be rust, holes, and a lot of peeling. Those holes are the perfect place for all kinds of creepy crawlies to get in and terrorize you and your family. You don’t want to add the exterminator to the list of bills when your siding needs replaced.
- Fungus, mold, or mildew can grow from moisture seeping into the back of your siding.
- When the color has faded from the siding, it means that the weatherproofing probably needs replaced along with the siding.
Every kind of siding has a certain expected lifespan.Take preventative measures to make sure that when there is a problem it gets fixed right away. This will help with replacement costs over time by replacing just a few pieces at the problem area.
Types of Siding
There are many different options when thinking about siding. Professional siding companies can help you choose the perfect siding for your installation and your budget. But, knowing what you want isn’t a bad thing either, so here are a few examples of the types of siding and why they are good choices:
- Vinyl siding is by far the most popular, taking up almost one third of the new home installations, and getting even more popular each year. Vinyl is very durable and is usually under warranty for 30 years or more by the manufacturer. It can also be textured to look like wood without having the cons that wood has like termites or rotting. There is insulated vinyl to help with colder weather to keep the heat in. And, it is also the cheapest, making it a great option.
- Metal siding is being put on more modern buildings in coastal areas to help with the salty air. Aluminum siding is resistant to rust. It cannot mold or rot under heavy rain conditions. The color doesn’t fade. It is fire resistant. And bugs cannot live in metal siding, whereas every other type of siding will require insecticide every so often.
- Wood siding adds a natural and gorgeous look and feel to your home. There are several types of wood available adding uniqueness to your home. If small sections of siding are damaged, they can be easily replaced, and usually inexpensively. Wood siding is also more eco-friendly than other options on the market. Wood can be stained or painted to any color option. However, this type of siding requires extensive maintenance including being stained, weather proofed and repainted every three to five years. Wood siding is not ideal for dryer areas as it is not fire resistant at all.
- Fiber Cement siding is growing more popular. This siding is designed to look and feel like real, natural wood without all the hassle of upkeep and maintenance. Fiber Cement is actually very fire resistant and won’t rot or decay over time either. It can be purchased with brick or stone textures.
- Brick siding can last over 100 years. It looks rustic, and has many homeowners considering this type of siding, just for the durability alone. It is highly fire resistant. You won’t have termites or ants. You won’t need to repaint or refinish because it ages beautifully on its own. However, it is the more expensive option. But well worth it.
- Stucco siding can be beneficial in more dry climates. It is durable and can last 100 years with minimal maintenance. Damage done to it can be repaired easily without much cost. This type of siding does not have insect problems. However, it is not good for areas with heavy rainfall, as it is breathable.
- Stone siding is impervious to nature and will last longer than any of the other options on the market. It is resistant to moisture and extreme temperatures. You will not have a bug issue with stone and it is absolutely fire resistant. Stone siding requires zero maintenance other than washing it every once in awhile. This type of siding is by far the most expensive to install; however, there aren’t any cons to stone siding, and should be considered if you want a hassle free lifestyle with your home and aren’t budget conscious.
When you decide to replace your siding, make sure and ask your installer any questions you might have about your options and what is best for your home, they should be very experienced and will know what is right for you and your home.