by Lindsay Frankel
Siding is your home’s first line of defense against damaging weather and pests. It’s also one of the most visible parts of your house, so when it fails to do its job, it fails to look the part.
Replacing old siding can seem like a big undertaking, but fortunately many homeowners only have to do it once. That makes it even more important to do it right the first time, and to address the project before it can lead to other expensive repairs.
How do you know when to replace your siding? Here are seven signs that can help you recognize when it’s time.
As siding wears out, the maintenance cycle shortens. Also, the tendency to skip maintenance and just “let it go” can cause damage to the integrity of the underlying wood structure. It may be worth it to simply replace and upgrade your siding now. The cost/benefit may be better in the long run and help free up time for other projects (or just to relax).
Loose or Missing Siding
Siding that is falling off a house can no longer protect the underlying structure. A few of the primary concerns with loose or missing siding is that excessive moisture (such as rain or snow), as well as pests, can get underneath. Those factors have the potential to lead to a range of issues and potentially expensive repairs.
Woodpeckers, termites and other pests are more than just a nuisance – they can cause serious damage to your home. If you have frequent issues with pests, you may want to consider replacing your siding with a material that offers little appeal to critters, such as fiber cement siding.
Faded siding can be unsightly. You can judge if your home is standing out by comparing it to surrounding houses. While fading doesn’t mean you need to replace your siding as soon as possible, it might be a good idea to start considering your options. Educate yourself by exploring the different house siding options that are available for your home.
Buckled, Cracked, Sagging or Warped Siding
Siding that is buckled, cracked, sagging or warped can damage your home’s curb appeal and may be a sign it’s not doing its job to protect your home. If there is damage only to small areas, you may be able to just replace those pieces of siding. But widespread damage may get worse, so if you notice it all around your house it may be time to get a consult for a full siding replacement.
Siding is exposed to Mother Nature all day, every day, for years. Weather, water and time can all lead to trouble, and rot may be a symptom. If you have wood siding that is soft or crumbling, that can be a sign of rot, which should be addressed sooner than later. You’ll definitely want to investigate the root cause to determine the extent of any damage. If the damage extends beyond your siding, a consultant can help you determine which materials may need replacement.
Finish that’s Bubbling or Blistering
If your siding is blistering or bubbling, you may want to take steps to repair or refinish it before the damage spreads. If left unaddressed, this could lead to even more unsightly conditions and other issues. The long-term solution is to replace your siding with a more resilient material that has a durable finish, like fiber cement products with ColorPlus® Technology.
How Long Does Siding Last?
The length of time your siding will last depends on the type of material you currently have, the way it was installed and other factors, such as climate and degree of exposure to the elements. To keep your home in top condition, it’s a good idea to do an annual inspection by simply walking around your home while taking a very close look and noting anything that can be addressed with basic maintenance. It’s always better to address issues early rather than after they become major problems.
If it’s time to replace your siding, consider using a material that’s durable and long-lasting, such as Hardie® fiber cement siding. You can explore the performance and durability of James Hardie brand products, and discover all of the design options and color choices for your project.
When you’re ready, the next step is to connect with a local professional to help with your project. This guide on how to choose a contractor can help you find the best pro for you.