Siding does not last forever; at some point, it will need to be replaced. But because deterioration starts off rather subtly and develops over time, homeowners often let their siding become too damaged before opting for replacement. Ideally, you should not wait until the siding looks terrible and is falling off before replacing it. Keeping damaged siding in place for too long can lead to more serious problems.
Below, you will discover some signs that your siding is ready to be replaced and also some consequences of leaving old, damaged siding in place for too long.
Signs of Siding Damage
When you look for signs of damage, you must look closely at the siding on each side of your home to determine if it needs to be replaced. Sometimes, one side of the home will suffer damage before the others due to the direction of the prevailing winds and rains. Below are some of the signs you should look for.
Algae Growth and Rot
If you have wooden siding, take a look at any areas where the paint is peeling or chipping. If the areas where paint is missing are covered with rot or algae, this indicates that the paint is no longer protecting your siding from the elements. You can paint the siding with an algae-fighting paint for a temporary fix, but more than just the surface of the wood is affected, so the siding really needs to be replaced.
Whether you have vinyl, aluminum, or wooden siding, exposed nails are a major concern. Nails become exposed when the siding shifts, which means that there are probably gaps in the siding, which could expose your home to moisture. If the nails fall out completely, entire pieces of siding could fall off.
As siding ages, exposure to the elements may cause it to warp. The warping is usually most visible right along the seams. Warped siding will soon split, exposing your home's structure to whatever water seeps through. If you're not sure whether or not a board is warped, squat down until your eyes are level with the board so you can look at it straight-on.
Problems Caused by Damaged Siding
If your siding is displaying any of the issues above, you will want to have it replaced before any of these issues develop.
Siding is meant to keep moisture away from your home's frame. If the siding is cracked, warped, or has peeling seams, water can seep behind it and cause the wood behind it to begin deteriorating. Concrete foundations can also become weak when exposed to continual moisture. In serious cases, this can affect the structural integrity of your home, putting you at risk for collapsed floors or walls.
Moisture and mold go hand-in hand, so leaky siding may lead to mold growth, especially if your home lacks the proper water barrier. When the mold is hidden between the walls, you may not see it - but you may experience symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and itching. As mold continues to grow, you may become increasingly reliant on allergy medications to even stay comfortable in your own home.
Carpenter ants love damaged wood siding, and they also love any damaged wood behind broken siding. Carpenter ant damage can compromise the structural strength of your home, and these pests are really tough to get rid of. Other insects, like ants and cockroaches, can also enter a home through cracks in old siding.
Loss of Efficiency
As siding ages and deteriorates, your home will also lose efficiency. Your energy bills may creep higher and higher as the siding stops insulating your home as intended. If the walls behind the siding are developing water damage, this will decrease efficiency, too.
If your siding is beginning to show signs of damage or you're worried that your home will suffer as a result of old siding, contact Mid-South Exteriors. We will evaluate your home and recommend the best siding option for you. We offer siding, vertical siding, insulated siding, and more.