Siding Repair: How Fall Weather Threatens Your Siding and What to Do About It
The arrival of the fall season brings unique problems for your siding. From changing climate to dropping temperatures, there are a lot of challenges to prepare your home for. This post will discuss how fall can damage siding and ways to prevent these issues.
How Fall Can Damage Your Siding
While fall weather conditions aren’t always as harsh as winter or summer, your home’s exterior siding can still get damaged. During this time of the year, North Carolina homeowners experience unpredictable weather conditions and a gradual drop in temperatures as winter fast approaches.
Siding, the protective shell of your house, bears the brunt of these seasonal changes. Depending on the siding material, fall weather conditions can cause moisture-related issues that call for repair or replacement. These issues can include rotting, buckling, and warping.
Furthermore, fall represents peak hurricane season. Storms are one of the worst threats your siding, property, and family can face. They bring heavy rainfall and powerful winds that can cause your siding panels to tear off.
How Wind and Cold Temperatures Damage Siding
Siding is durable, but it is not indestructible. Two of the things that can cause significant damage to this part of your home are strong winds and cold temperatures.
The primary way wind damages siding is by putting pressure on it. Powerful gusts can push debris, such as branches and rocks, against the siding's surface, causing dents and cracks. Wind can also lift and peel away loose or improperly installed siding panels, leaving gaps that allow moisture to infiltrate and wreak further havoc.
When temperatures drop, the materials used in siding can become more brittle and susceptible to cracking or splitting. Not only does this compromise the siding's functionality, but it also diminishes its visual appeal. Additionally, temperatures fluctuating above and below freezing can cause materials to expand and contract, leading to warping and further structural damage.
Identifying Signs of Damaged or Deteriorating Siding
Damaged siding is not the end of the world. You can still have it fixed by a siding repair professional. But if the damage isn’t addressed immediately, you will likely deal with a more expensive repair and may even need replacement siding. If you want to prevent major siding repair or replacement, inspect your home’s exterior for signs of damage and have it fixed as soon as possible.
Here are a few signs your exterior siding needs repair.
Warped, Cracked, or Rotting Boards
These are some of the most noticeable signs of damage. You don’t need special equipment or a trained eye to spot any of these problems. Perform a visual inspection of your siding, and if you notice one or more boards warping, being eaten away, or weakening, it’s time to take action.
Rusty, Missing, or Popped Nails
A nail pops out when the siding expands and contracts, while rusting is caused by moisture infiltration. It’s important to address these issues as soon as possible to prevent the siding from falling off or getting blown away by strong winds. If you're wondering what happens if your siding falls off, it won't be able to protect the underlying structure.
Visible Mold or a Musty Smell
If you’ve seen mold on your interior drywall or smell something musty but can’t find where it’s coming from, moisture has likely infiltrated your siding. Mold and mildew thrive in warm, dark, and wet environments. Aside from being unsightly, these fungi can also pose a health hazard and weaken your home’s structure.
Termite infestation is one of the problems to look out for in homes with wood siding. Termites will tunnel through your siding from the ground up. These insects can stay undetected for a long time because they leave the surface untouched, causing significant damage to your home over time. You can check your siding for a termite infestation by tapping on the boards. If they sound hollow, you’ve got termites to eliminate.
Higher Energy Bills
If you’ve noticed an unexplainable increase in your energy bills, it’s probably time to check your siding. Insulated siding prevents indoor air from escaping and outdoor air from getting inside your home. If the siding is damaged or has deteriorated, it won’t do its job properly, which can result in increased energy bills.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Siding?
The decision to repair or replace siding generally boils down to the extent of damage and age of your siding. It’s generally more cost-effective to replace damaged siding when it’s nearing the end of its expected lifespan. A siding replacement may also be a better option if the damage is extensive.
Some signs it’s time for replacement are rotting across the exterior, cracks and holes, hidden hazards, and skyrocketing energy bills. You may also want to consider a replacement if you plan to sell your house.
Best Practices for Preventing Siding Damage in the Fall
You cannot control the weather in the fall, but you can do things to minimize or prevent damage to your siding. Here are some of the best practices you should consider.
Keep the Gutters Clean
This is particularly important if your property is surrounded by leafy trees. Fallen leaves and other debris in fall can easily accumulate in gutters. If you don’t remove them, dirty water could leak and damage your siding. The excess water that spills over the side and onto the ground can also become a slip hazard, putting you and your family at risk.
Inspect Your Siding
Doing a siding inspection in the fall will allow you to catch any damage from previous seasons. By catching problems early, you can prevent them from worsening and becoming more costly to fix. Take note of the signs of damage listed above and watch out for them during your inspection.
Be Proactive in Repairs
Make sure to fix any issues with your siding, no matter how minor. Don’t wait until after winter to work on repairs because doing so will likely result in further damage to the siding. Fall is a great time to tackle repair tasks because the weather isn’t too cold or hot.
Trim Shrubs Close to Your House
To prevent constant exposure to moisture, trim overgrown plants too close to your siding. Cutting back shrubbery will also prevent twigs and branches from falling onto your property during a storm.
Aside from these practices, you can protect your siding by learning about what damages it. Siding materials have unique weaknesses. Let's take vinyl vs. wood siding as an example. So, what causes damage to vinyl siding? Well, improper installation is a common reason for vinyl siding damage. Aside from that, this type of siding gets damaged by moisture, strong winds, and sunlight. On the other hand, wood siding is also susceptible to insect damage.
Protect Your Siding This Fall
If you’re looking for experts in siding installation or repair near you, you can count on Anderson Painting. Our team of professionals can protect your siding from harsh elements so it can do its job properly.
In addition, Anderson Painting can handle a variety of other tasks, including drywall repair, popcorn ceiling removal, concrete floor coatings, power washing, and more. Our team can do it all, so you won’t have the hassle of hiring multiple contractors for different projects.
If you’re ready to repair or replace your siding, don’t hesitate to contact Anderson Painting today.