Siding is the protective layer on your house meant to protect it against all the different elements such as wind, snow and rain, however when you either want to install, replace or repair siding, it’s time to reach out to local home siding contractors near you to ensure it is done properly.
Over time, more and more types of siding have started being manufactured, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll help you make sure you make the right selection. We’ll also walk you through all the different services offered by these companies for you to know what they can help you with.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Siding for Your Home
Siding options are not made equal and you may have a specific type in mind that you’re very keen on getting. There are different factors for you to consider when evaluating siding.
- Maintenance: This includes both in terms of time and money. The different types of siding do not require the same amount of maintenance, and an option that originally seems cheap due to its low installation cost may not be so once you factor in all the maintenance.
- Repair costs: Regular maintenance is one thing, repair is another. How expensive is it to repair if you accidentally damage the siding, and how easy is it?
- Common problems experienced with a siding option: Before choosing the material, it can be a good idea to find out what common types of problems other homeowners have experienced with the given type of material you’re considering.
- Contractor’s recommendation: There may be certain regional recommendations a contractor will make. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of insects, the contractor will likely recommend that you don’t get an option that is prone to insect infestation.
- Price: Most of us don’t have unlimited budgets when we’re remodeling our homes. The different types of material come with very different price tags, and it’s a good idea not to fall in love with an option that is way out of your budget.
- Fire-resistance: This is an uncommon characteristics you hope to never need, but if you do, fire-resistance is a good thing to have, which will allow you more time to flee the house. Stone, brick and metal are some of the ones that are known for this characteristic.
- Water-resistance: In places with heavy rainy seasons or a lot of humidity, you will want a siding option that doesn’t give up the first year it is installed. Wood is often considered worse in terms of water-resistance, and if not maintained properly will start showing wear and tear quickly. However, when it is painted or stained, it can stay beautiful for a very long time.
- Appearance: You may have a specific look in mind that you want to go for, and if this is you most important option, go for it. Make sure you know what the material will look like 15 years from now too, before making your decision.
- Durability: Research how different materials age, and if you can, see if you can find another house in your neighborhood with that type of siding. With some types of siding, you may need to expect to replace them 30 years from now, while others can last more than 100 years.
Signs You Should Replace Your Home’s Siding
There comes a time when you need to call siding replacement companies since the material is no longer protecting you against the elements. If you don’t replace or repair the siding when it’s needed it could cause unnecessary deterioration to your home’s framing, flooring and drywall.
Here are some of the signs that you need to look out for, which could be a sign that it’s about time to have a talk with a local pro about your siding needs:
- Dry rot: Since this problem will often only become obvious when it’s really serious, it’s something you need to be especially on the lookout for. This is wood decay caused by fungi and should be addressed as soon as it is discovered or it will spread.
- Cracks and holes: Cracks and holes may start appearing over time and could be caused by a range of different things. You may be able to have siding repair companies come and fix them, but it depends on the reason they’re appearing.
- Water damage: If you start seeing water stains or other signs of water damage, you should get a pro to evaluate the extent of the damage and what needs to be done. It could also be a sign that there is a water leak that needs to be addressed. If you see it on the outside and it is caused by a leak on the inside of the house, it has made its way all the way through the siding. Talk to a plumber as soon as possible also as to limit the damage to other parts of the house too.
- Mold: Mold is harmful and caused by trapped moisture that could also increase the risk of other types of damage to your home. As well as repairing or replacing the affected siding, you will need to address the moisture buildup.
- Rotting: Rotting is not very nice to look at and it will be an indication of various problems. You want to make sure the rot does not spread to the framing.
- Warping siding: Poor maintenance, heat and cool cycles, improper installation and water damage can all lead to warping siding panels.
- Peeling and cracking paint: When the paint starts chipping without there being an obvious reason, you need to have it checked out and find out the reason it is doing so.
- A higher than expected heating and cooling bill: Siding also serves the purpose of insulating your home. You can expect your heating and cooling bill to be higher during times of extreme weather, but if it jumps for no apparent reason it’s worth looking into.
- Frequent painting required: Different types of siding require different maintenance, and siding generally needs to be repainted at least every 8 to 10 years, however if it’s significantly less often than that that you notice a need to paint, ask a contractor to do an inspection. Mind you, you could be living in am area that is not very friendly in terms of the type of siding currently installed on your home.
- Warranty: Installers may be willing to give longer warranties on some materials over others.
There are a lot of different materials and options you can consider for your home’s siding. We will briefly walk you through the different options for you to consider.
- Vinyl siding: Vinyl is a very popular material due to its highly versatile nature. It can also be made to look a lot like other option such as stone or wood. Its low maintenance requirement makes it a good option for people not wishing to constantly stain and be on top of maintenance. Its price point is yet another selling point.
- Engineered wood: It has a lot of the appeal of normal wood but without a lot of the downsides. It’s less expensive than real wood, yet is very attractive. Due to the way it’s made, it’s usually more weather and insect-resistant than its natural alternative.
- Wooden bevel/clapboard: Wooden bevel does not need a lot of maintenance, although occasional painting or staining is needed.
- Wooden shingles: Needing the natural maintenance of wood, while being easy to replace when an individual shingle needs to be replaced, it offers a distinctive and attractive look. With this option, you will need to watch for termites that could quickly become an issue if left by themselves. Proper maintenance will make termites less susceptible to chewing away at the wood.
- Wooden shakes: They’re thicker and larger than shingles, but come in many different designs and will give your home a unique and authentic look. Since there’s more material, they are also more expensive than shingles. It requires the same amount of maintenance as shingles do.
- Wooden board and batten: With its rustic look, board and batten wood siding can make your house stand out. It’s an option often used for barns, although it can also be used for homes. Since this type is installed in planks, replacement of different sections will mean replacing whole panels, if simply patching the affected area does not suffice.
- Wood strip: Wood strip siding can give your home a truly modern look. The system that is used to interlock the individual boards is often tongue and grove. You must know that this option, although looking extremely good, is not easy or cheap to install, but if you have room in your budget, it can be worth it.
- Split log: This option is commonly used for cottages and gives the home the same look as those cabins that were entirely made of logs, but with the way the material is cut and applied, it uses less material than full log cabins. It’s not an easy option to install. It comes in either genuine or faux wood, with the genuine option being heavier and more difficult to install.
- Brick veneer: Brock veneer is like split logs in the sense that it is replaces actual full brick, while still providing the brick look. When maintained properly, it can last more than 100 years and is rot-resistant, and you won’t need to worry about termites as it’s not made from wood.
- Real brick: Brick can be used when you decide so from the beginning as the foundation will need to be made to support it, and you don’t replace an alternative siding with brick because the work required would be too extensive. It looks better than brick veneer but also has the price tag to reflect it.
- Fiber cement: Fiber cement can last 30 to 50 years if it’s maintained properly in the right weather, although the maintenance needed is limited. It’s a good fire-resistant option but you will need to talk with a contractor to make sure moisture accumulating on the inside does not become a problem.
- Stucco: Stucco has been around the block for some time. The actual material itself is not expensive, but the labor cost is slightly higher than other alternatives. If you live in a place where severe weather changes is a thing, stucco could be the right option for you. It should be painted to provide the best possible protection against moisture.
- Stone: If you’re on a budget, this is not the option for you, although it’s very attractive. It’s very durable with minimal need for maintenance, but the installation is challenging and expensive. You will also need to make sure the frame can handle the weight of this option. It’s insect-proof, water-resistant and fore-proof.
- Stone-veneer: This option is like brick veneer, cheaper than normal stone siding and made to look like stone. The actual material is often Portland cement mixed with coloring. Its advantage is also that the framing does not need to be reinforced because of the weight. It’s very durable too.
- Aluminum: It does not require a lot of maintenance and does not rot. Since it’s a less dense type of metal than others, it’s prone to denting, although scratches can be rectified with paint. To keep it from rusting, it will require painting. If you get a lot of hail where you live, you may want to avoid aluminum.
- Metal: While aluminum is one type of metal, there are others. Metal is generally chosen because of its weatherproof and insect-proof characteristics. It will need to be painted and can last a long time with the right maintenance.
- Cedar shingles: Shingles are thinner than shakes and, strong winds can be a challenge for this, so getting it professionally installed is crucial. It looks great and has good durability with proper maintenance, including staining or painting.
- Faux rock: Literally meaning fake rock, this is made from plastic or cement. It’s cheaper than the real thing and is not hard to maintain or install, nor does it rot. Repairs are fairly easy too.
- Steel: It’s durable, does not easily rust and repairs will include taking off the damaged panel and replacing it with a new one. It can last up to 50 years, but will need to be painted to last as long as possible.
- Masonite: This is a type of fake wood and it does not rot, nor should water damage be an issue.
- Charred wood: This option was invented by the Japanese, where the wood gets a black surface from the charring. The process makes it more resistant to termites and water, and it also allows it to last longer than normal wood.
- Plywood: It’s an affordable option that looks a lot like normal wood, although being made from a mixture of materials. The installation is relatively easy, and good maintenance can make it last 30 years, although it will need to be sealed or painted since it’s still a wooden product.
- Corten steel: It does not corrode and is made from alloy sheets. Often used on modern homes, it can make your house noticeable from far away. With its red and brown tones, you’re sure to get noticed with this option.
- Concrete log: These are made to look like wood, but since they aren’t they won’t need the same amount of maintenance. As a consequence of it being made from cement, it’s heavier but also more durable than actual wood. Your contractor will need to determine if your home’s frame can currently support the weight of this option.
- Hardwood: Hardwood is truly unique to use as siding and will be visually pleasing. It is expensive to install since the material costs a lot, but it’s very resistant towards most of the elements we’ve talked about. The type of hardwood you choose will also determine which kind of maintenance is required.
- Corrugated metal: While this is more common for roofs, it’s not only used for them. It does not weigh a lot and will not rot either. It’s not the best insulator, so it will need to be coupled with good insulation to keep your heating and cooling bill down.
- Bark: It’s often a reclaimed product from poplar wood. It has a distinctive look that isn’t for everyone, although it has a lot of character.
- Tin: It’s easy to install as it’s lightweight, and should it need repairs or replacement, these things are not hard to do either. Doing a good job at painting it will make sure it doesn’t start rusting. Dents and scratches are inevitable and the same way that you can hide scratches with aluminum, it’s the case with tin.
- Liquid siding: This is installed using a spray-on material that hardens on contact. It is commonly used on top of stucco and even other materials too. Even if it is just a thin exterior layer, it can still last a very long time.
- Fire-resistant: When fire-resistance is a big concern of yours, choose a good fire-resistant material. A lot of materials that were previously not very fire-resistant are now because of the treatment they undergo.
- E.I.F.S.: It consists of layers of plywood, glue, mesh, styrofoam, base coat and a finish coat and stands for exterior insulation and finish system. If your home does not have good opportunities to otherwise insulate it, this can be a good option.
- Pine: Often treated, it is very water and pest-resistant and is a very beautiful type of wood.
- Bamboo: Bamboo is not just very durable, but is also a very sustainable option to have installed and does a good job at insulating.
- Composite siding: This option can be made from a range of different materials, but often including plastic, sawdust, fiber cement and other materials. The specific characteristics will depend on a lot of different factors.
Services Offered by Siding Installation and Repair Companies
There are a lot of different siding services offered, and we’ll walk you through them. Some of them apply to specific types of siding and the maintenance that they need.
- Installation: This is of course one of the main services offered by siding installation contractors. This includes inspection of the area, preparation of the area.
- Guidance: The contractor will be able to give you recommendations on the basis of the different wishes that you have, which includes on materials, cost and more.
- Repair: There may be a lot of different reasons that repair is needed, and there are many types of repair depending on the type of material and the issue. The repairing of siding is usually not a DIY job as there could be underlying reasons that need to be addressed for the problem to not come back. Issues such as crack, mold, water damage and warping can be caused by a problem you aren’t able to identify yourself.
- Repair holes: Holes in siding will be an easy way for water to enter your home, and they should be addressed as soon as they’re found. The same way that roof leaks can lead to water damage, so can holes in the siding. Holes in the siding will also be effective at driving up your energy bill.
- Patching: Small holes may just need to be patched, and if they were made from impact with an object, it could be a DIY job, although inexplicable holes could be caused by a more serious issue. When done by a pro, you’re more likely to have a solution that looks better.
- Fixing warped siding: Warped siding is usually the result of improperly installed siding or exposure to water or heat. The board that has started warping will need to be replaced. Warping caused by defects in the manufacturing might be covered by the warranty you received during the installation.
- Replacement: When your siding is too beat up to simply be repaired, that is not when you call a handyman but instead you call a siding replacement company. It could also be needed in cases of severe weather such as natural disasters.
- Cleaning with a pressure washer: While you may think using a pressure washer is easy, doing so incorrectly can cause damage to your siding and should be left to the professionals.
- Preparing siding for painting: For the paint to better stick to the siding, good surface preparation will be needed, and the preparation will also include identifying things that cause problems.
- Painting: Painting a three story home is not easy and will need to be done by a professional if you want to avoid the risk of doing the work. The pro will also know the right paint to use for your specific type of siding.
- Removal: Removing the existing siding can not just be difficult but dangerous and messy too. There are materials that are still on houses, such as asbestos, that needs to be handled with uttermost care.
- Mold removal: Removing mold is an extensive process, especially when it’s been allowed to be there for too long. Pros just know the best ways to address mold.
- Stain removal: Stains, the same as mold, can be hard to remove, if you don’t have the right knowledge and tools.
- Moss removal: When moss is removed, the source of the moss needs to be removed too, or it will just come right back within too long. Failure to treat moss will cause problems from its roots penetrating the siding deeper, and could mean you will need to have it replaced instead of just repaired.
- Removing paint and spray: When you try to remove spray paint, you will want to do it in a manner that does not leave marks or damages the siding underneath.
- Installing shutters: Shutters will help your home in blocking out the light when need be. There are both internal and external ways to get the job done, which the pro can help you with.
- Asbestos removal: Asbestos siding is dangerous if it turns into dusts, and removing it must be done by a properly licensed licensed contractor. The contractors have undergone extensive training to ensure that this is done safely.
- Staining siding: Wood is one of the materials that needs to be stained or painted to keep it protected, and this includes first preparing the surface prior to applying the stain.
- Panel replacement: Panels can be replaced with certain types of siding, although the process of doing it could prove harder than you initially imagined.
- Rust removal: Improperly protected metal siding can start rusting, especially in areas with a lot of moisture and rain, and by treating the rust, having it removed and then protecting the surface, you’ll be able to retain the long life of your metal siding.
- Fix and reattach loose parts: Loose siding is a problem as it does not protect your home the way it’s supposed to, and it can greatly lower the efficacy of the insulation too. It could also let in water without you even realizing it.
- Inspection: Occasional inspection helps minimize the risk of problems arising, and the issues that are discovered can be handled in a timely manner too to avoid bigger problems.
- Maintenance guidance: If you are unsure of the correct type of maintenance, ask contractors for their recommendations.
- Restoration: You may have an old beautiful home that no longer looks as great as it used to. Contractors can help restore its earlier glory.
- Fix cracked part: Depending on the crack, it may either be repaired or need to be replaced. Either way, when you notice cracked siding, it’s good to call on a contractor to have them find the reason for the crack.
- Insulation: If your home isn’t currently very well insulated, doing this will vastly help lower your bill.
- Address rotten parts: Without addressing rot, it will just keep deteriorating, and you need to find out why the rot is currently happening to get it stopped.
- Mobile home siding installation and repair: Siding not only goes on regular homes, it also goes on mobile homes, and all the same types of services will need to be done there.
Knowing about the different types of services that siding installers offer will leave you in a better situation for when it becomes necessary to get their help.
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