Siding is one of the most important structural aspects of any home. It’s also one of the most commonly misunderstood. A lot of homeowners let years pass without giving a second thought to the condition of their home’s siding. This often ends in surprise repairs – or even total siding replacement – which can strain your budget if you’re not prepared for it.
The key is to establish a clear understanding of what your home’s siding does, what the potential problems are, and how to minimize the long-term costs. Here are three things you every homeowner should know about siding.
- Siding serves a critical function
Siding is your home’s front line of protection against the elements – including sun, wind, rain, snow, hail, and storms. It also plays a vital role in keep your home climate-controlled during hot summers and cold winters. In addition to all of the practical functions, it makes up the majority of your home’s exterior – which means it serves a very important aesthetic purpose.
In short, siding can make or break the functionality – as well as the outside appearance – of the home. This may seem obvious, but the reality is that siding is one of the most neglected and overlooked aspects of home ownership.
- There are many different types of siding
There are many different types of siding on the market to today, and some of them are extremely low-maintenance. But in order to get the most out of your siding, it’s important to understand the different types of siding, and the pros and cons of each – including vinyl, fiber-cement, brick, metal, wood, stone, stucco, and new materials such as engineered wood. The costs vary significantly, and different types of siding stand up better to specific climates. Informed decisions about siding begin with an understanding of what’s available on the market.
- Siding has to be maintained and eventually replaced
Different types of siding have different maintenance requirements and different life cycles. Wood and vinyl siding, for example, both typically last from 25 to 40 years before they have to be replaced – however, the maintenance requirements for wood siding will be much higher. That’s one of the reasons why vinyl siding is so popular – it has a fairly long lifespan, and requires very little maintenance. Stone and brick siding are more expensive, but they can last almost indefinitely in certain climates.
All types of siding are susceptible to the elements, however, and require some maintenance in order to stay in excellent condition. Mold and mildew are particularly common problems. Most experts suggest pressure-washing vinyl siding once every two years in order to keep it clean. Other types of siding, such as fiber-cement, cannot stand up to a pressure wash, and need to be hand-cleaned. Knowing the best practices and ways to maintain your siding, and keeping to a strict schedule, helps you steer clear of long-term problems.
Siding experts can help you make more informed decisions
As a homeowner, you’ll probably only make a handful of important decisions about siding. For that reason, a lot of people turn to the experts to make sure those decisions are informed. Reputable siding specialists in your area should be able to provide free advice and estimates, in addition to a full set of services including: Siding repair, siding installation, and siding maintenance.