By Amy Lindholm
Look for these four signs that your house may need new siding
1. Buckling and warping
Buckling and warping are signs that excessive moisture has infiltrated your siding. If it’s not fixed, rot, mold, mildew or damage to the wall cavity may occur.
2. Fungus, mold or mildew
Especially at or near seams, look for fungus, mold or mildew and any water that might be penetrating the siding and held inside the wall, causing unwanted growth that can result in damage. If you don’t see any water penetration, a simple cleaning with non-abrasive household cleaners may help.
3. Dry rot
Dry rot begins below the surface and eats away the main body of house siding, causing it to become weak, crack and eventually disintegrate. The surface of the siding may look good even when the bulk of the substrate has rotted away. Dry rot can lead to buckling and cracking. Siding that suffers from dry rot must be removed and replaced – potentially over the entire home.
Take note of any dents or holes – even small ones. Holes may be caused by impacts or by insects, which can eventually lead to major damage. The holes allow rain and snow to get into the siding and then into the wall cavity, inviting fungus, mold, mildew, rot and more. There are easy ways to fix smaller holes with just a little effort. Talk to your siding contractor for suggestions.
Steps to make siding choices
Your exterior siding gives people a first impression of your home. Add value by enhancing curb appeal and getting the look that you really want for a show-stopping exterior.
Siding also helps protect your home exterior from potential damage caused by heat, cold, rain, hail, snow, ice, wind, pests – you name it. Periodically, do a thorough visual inspection of your siding to check for damage. This is especially important in early fall, after severe storms and in spring after a hard winter.
If you re-side your home because of damaged siding or you need a new look, consider these three simple steps to help ensure that your home looks its best.
1. Get inspired
As you’re commuting to work or taking an evening stroll, note the homes you pass by and the siding that appeals to you.
2. Choose your colour and style
Explore colours available to you and which ones complement existing elements of your home, such as brick, stone facades and the roof.
Also begin to picture which siding style would look best on your home. Do you prefer the look of Dutch lap siding? Or perhaps you love the elegance and beauty of cedar-textured siding. Or maybe you love versatile plank siding, which can be installed vertically or diagonally.
3.Visualize your results
Bring your dream to life with a visualizer tool, such as the one found at canexel.ca. From a selection of sample homes simply choose a home that most resembles yours, then change the siding colour to complement the roof, windows, doors and trim. Play around until you find your favourite combination. This will help you make an informed decision to get the look you’ve always wanted.
Seven questions to ask your siding contractor
When comparing contractors for your siding project, ask these seven questions of each company to give you confidence that you’re choosing the right one.
1. How many years of experience do you have?
2. Can I see proof of licensing, registration and insurance?
3. Do you have references?
Also, ask to see pictures of past projects and have the contractor explain why those specific projects were chosen.
4. Does your estimate include all costs?
Confirm that the estimate includes labour, materials, waste removal, applicable permits and any other contractor incidentals. During any project, unforeseen problems may be uncovered as the original house siding is removed. This may increase your estimate if you choose to have your contractor complete the repairs.
5. What are the product and workmanship warranties?
Make sure that your contractor is completely aware of the details of the siding, such as the warranty.
6. Who will supervise the project every day and how often will we be in contact?
Find out whether the work will be subcontracted and supervised, or whether the contractor will install the house siding. It’s important to know that your project will be properly managed from start to finish.
7. How long will the project take?
Weather may cause delays to your house siding project. However, try to avoid a contractor who begins installing your house siding and then takes off for a week or two to work on other projects.
Comparing siding types
Now that you’ve selected your contractor, you should consider what type of siding would be best on your home. Fiber cement siding, engineered wood siding, vinyl siding and traditional wood siding are popular building products. However, there are differences that set them apart.
Fiber cement siding is susceptible to breaking and cracking from incidental impacts, such as balls thrown in the yard or a bicycle pushed up against a home.
Engineered wood siding is resistant to breaking, cracking, warping and splintering.
Vinyl siding becomes more brittle in cold winters when it’s susceptible to cracking from impacts. In warmer seasons, pliable vinyl siding is susceptible to damage from the impact of stones thrown by a lawn mower, or baseballs or hail.
Traditional wood siding may warp and crack in extreme temperatures.
Find a retailer to start your home renovation.
Homeowners should see and feel the siding that will grace their home. Request colours of free siding samples.
Amy Lindholm is the Brand Manager, LP® CanExel® Prefinished Siding
For more information go to canexel.ca