If you are asking the question, “should I repair or replace my siding”, here is help for you in your decision-making. The siding on your home is not just there for decoration. It serves a very important purpose to protect your home from the harsh elements of southern Ontario weather. As your home gets older you might notice signs that your siding is looking a little worse for wear. Of course, if you experience damage caused by a storm, the need for repairs or replacement becomes a lot more obvious.
However, homeowners should recognize the signs of damaged siding so they can decide if it makes more sense to repair it or replace it. Here we review the signs that repairs will do, and when it’s time to replace your siding.
Signs That Repairs Will Do
Unless you are thinking about an exterior makeover, repairs are obviously the more cost-effective solution for damaged siding. But how do you know repairs will be enough? The following siding issues can be easily fixed with a siding repair:
- Missing or loose panels of siding: High winds can cause pieces of siding to become loose or completely fall from the home. Although sometimes it can be hard to match the siding perfectly, this is usually an easy, affordable siding repair.
- Signs of mildew and mould: As long as the mould and mildew aren’t too serious, you might be able to get away with a pressure cleaning to remove it. However, it still makes sense to call in a siding expert to assess the damage. They might recommend removing the really damaged pieces and replacing them with new siding. More importantly, they will determine what is causing the mould and mildew so they can make sure it doesn’t come back or progress. This is more important for wood siding as mould can be a sign of wood rot.
- Holes: Holes can be a sign of insect damage for wood siding. This can be problematic for your entire home. Get holes checked right away to see if they can simply be repaired, or if they are a sign of an underlying pest problem.
- Minor chips and cracks: Small chips and cracks can be repaired, either with sealants or by replacing the panel. However, once it becomes excessive, replacement of the entire home might make more sense.
- Denting: This is common in aluminum siding which can be dented when something hits the house. This could be ice or branches. In most cases, this is an easy fix by just replacing the panel(s) in question.
All of these siding issues should be checked by a siding expert. They will assess the damage and offer a quote to repair it. However, if the damage is too severe, siding replacement might be the more cost-effective solution.
Signs That Siding Needs Replacing
Now that you know what siding issues can be repaired, we can look at more serious issues that point to siding replacement:
- Constant upkeep and repairs: If your siding seems to be costing you time and money to maintain, this is a sure sign a replacement is in order.
- Bubbling: Bubbling siding is a sign you have severe, irreversible water damage. When this happens, it might not just be your siding that is compromised. There’s a good chance the inner wall below could also be damaged, or at least at increased risk of damage in the near future. Acting now makes the most sense to avoid costly repairs and replacements beyond just the siding itself.
- Dry rot: Wood siding will eventually experience damage called dry rot. It is literally the wood disintegrating over time due to moisture. It leads to damage below, so it is best to check old wood siding regularly for dry rot. Just tap the siding to see if it feels unstable, or worse, crumbles when you tap it. The issue with dry rot is that it takes a long time to reach the outer layer of the wood. Instead, it starts from below, so it can go undetected for years. Meanwhile, the under layers are completely disintegrating. Dry rot is 100% reason to replace your wood siding with easy-care, long-lasting aluminum, or vinyl.
- Peeling paint: Peeling paint is common on aging wood siding. If you find more and more peeling paint on any of the wood on the exterior of your home, be sure to have it assessed as soon as possible. Peeled paint leaves the wood exposed so that water can leak in easily.
- Fading: The sun and elements will eventually lead to fading for just about all types of older siding. If you can see your siding has lost its rich colour, it could be a sign the protective outer layer of your siding has worn away. Regardless of the cause, it’s always best to have it checked by a siding expert to see if it is time for a replacement.
- Comfort issues inside: When your siding is failing you might start to find your home temperature is less comfortable throughout the year. If your home is colder in the winter and tends to feel hot and sticky in the summer despite running your HVAC system, your outer insulation, including your siding, might be failing. A good tip is to keep an eye on your energy bills and how often you are adjusting your temperature. Higher bills and frequent adjustments are classic signs of inefficiencies in your insulation.
- Moisture damage inside: If you are spotting mould and mildew inside your home, it could be a sign your siding is failing. If the moisture doesn’t seem related to any other causes, such as not having a fan in the bathroom, then you might want to consider looking at the exterior of your home for signs of siding damage.
Whether your siding looks like it needs repairs or replacement, having a siding expert assess your siding sooner than later is always recommended. They can tell you what is needed so you can reap the benefits of new siding including a new look, energy efficiency, easy maintenance, and a 10-year warranty. Click here for a quote today.