Maintaining house siding is an important part of what makes it last on your home. You may buy siding based on price, appearance, versatility, and promised length of service; but, properly taking care of it is what keeps it looking great and living up to the manufacturer’s warranty.
Cleaning – a Key Part of Maintaining House Siding
The basic care that all siding needs is an annual cleaning. Many homeowners take this on themselves, but professional cleaning is the preferred option, especially for a two-story home where much of the work is done on a ladder. For about $300-400 dollars, a crew will come with power washers and will be done in a day. While you can rent a power washer yourself, you can unintentionally cause considerable damage to siding, caulking, mortar, and force water between the boards to set the stage for water damage.
For maintaining house siding on your own, you can use 1/2 cup TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) per gallon of water. Working in small sections, use a soft-bristled brush with a long handle to loosen the dirt on the siding. Rinse the area off with a hose. The process can take a couple people at least a weekend, depending on the size of the house.
Keep Up with Siding Upkeep
Each type of siding has its particular repair issues. Vinyl siding on your home eliminates repainting because the color permeates the material and won’t chip off. After a time, the color may fade or look shabby. Many siding experts advise again painting vinyl, but it can be done with 100% acrylic latex paint. Once you paint it, you are committed to repainting as the product will no longer be so low-maintenance. A more pressing concern with vinyl siding is that high winds can pull the siding off. While it is resistant to dents, it can crack or puncture or sustain damage if trees or shrubs are too close. This product is built to last 20 years or more.
Fiber cement siding is made to last for more than 50 years. If it has a baked-on factory coating, you may need to paint every 15 years, but the product takes new paint well. To assure that it does not develop moisture problems, you will need to have the joint re-caulked when you paint or when you notice damage. Fiber cement is more resistant to damage, but can come loose or sustain damage that makes pieces break or crack. To maintain the appearance and prevent water damage, fixing loose or missing siding is a must.
Hiring a professional is often the best route for maintaining house siding. Though the siding may seem sound, a pro will also examine soffits and fascia near the roof line.
When to Replace Siding
The rule of thumb for replacing house siding is that if you notice holes, cracks, dents, or warps over more than half of it, you should consider replacement. Replacing siding is best left to a professional who can remove the old product, ensure that moisture barrier under the siding is secure, and properly install the new product of your choice.
If you need advice about maintaining your siding or an estimate for replacing it, contact the experienced contractors at Mountain States Windows and Siding.