How Do You Know when You Can Patch an Exterior or Need a Complete Replacement?

calander May 12 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Rotted house exterior in Raleigh

Exterior surfaces like your home’s siding or outdoor deck endure a lot of environmental stress. Even if you make a concerted effort to maintain these features via regular cleaning and periodic residential exterior painting, some degree of wear and tear is inevitable. When your exterior takes on damage, you’ll be faced with a dilemma: do you patch up the material and move on, or is the surface past the point of repair? The answer isn’t always clear, which it’s why it’s best to hire professionals to inspect your property. Still, here are some hints that can help you determine whether to patch an exterior or invest in a complete replacement.

Does Your Exterior Need a Patch or Replacement?

Is There Water Damage or Rot?

Not all exterior surface damage is created equal. Small cracks from impact or thermal fluctuations are often resolved with simple repairs. On the other hand, water damage and rot are deeper problems that can lead to deeper structural deterioration. Your exterior surfaces might undergo these problems for a number of reasons -- residual moisture from improper power washing, small cracks, and holes that allow for water to gain entry, failed/worn down paint or stain, etc. After the root cause has been identified and stamped out, water damage and rot may warrant a total exterior replacement if left to fester and grow.

How Widespread Is the Damage?

No matter the specific type of exterior damage, deck or siding repair might simply be impractical if the damage is severe and widespread enough. A few small cracks in one section of your siding won’t take too much time or material to fix up. However, if there are cracks all along your home’s exterior, repairing each separate issue would require an inordinate amount of time and money. In a situation such as this, it often makes more sense to simply do away with the worn down surface and install a brand new one.

Has the Damage Affected Your Interior, Too?

It’s not always easy to determine the severity of exterior surface damage. If the damage is deep enough, however, you may notice some of its effects inside your home, such as water damage. Interior damage that results from exterior wear and tear is a major problem that can warrant large, expensive repairs. If this occurs, your best course of action might be to replace your exterior after reinforcing, repairing, or also replacing the insulative buffer in between your siding and interior walls.

Are Your Energy Bills on the Rise?

The internal effects of exterior damage don’t have to be visible to make a difference, of course. If you’re noticing an increase in your heating and cooling costs, your home’s envelope (i.e., siding, roofing) might be to blame. Usually, more than mere repairs are needed to re-seal your home and increase its energy efficiency -- some small cracks in your siding might slightly affect your energy bills, but not in any major way. If the difference in your energy output is noticeable, a siding replacement may be warranted.

To Repair or to Replace?

The considerations listed here can help you navigate the difficult decision to repair or replace your exterior surfaces. Once again, it’s always a good idea to receive an expert opinion from a reliable contractor before investing in either option. At Anderson Painting, our experience in carpentry, siding repair/replacement, painting, staining, and more allow us to make the optimal determination for your home’s surfaces and restore them, no matter the remedy. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!