When it comes time to sell your home having your homes siding in tip top shape goes a long way in increasing curb appeal. Wood siding is certainly a very desirable finish for many home buyers if you show it off looking its best.
Allura, a manufacturer of fiber cement products for your home has written a guest post on how to care for your natural wood siding. Regular care and maintenance will go a long way in maintaining the beautiful look of your wood siding.
5 Wood Siding Care and Maintenance Tips
One of the most beautiful siding choices for your home exterior is wood siding. It offers a classic warm feeling that works well in a variety of regions and on various styles of homes. With the rise in popularity of vinyl and various composites, wood siding has become less common in new home construction as many homeowners are hesitant about maintenance involved.
The upkeep of wood siding isn’t as intense or time-consuming as many believe, especially if you take actions to prevent potential issues before they become a real problem. For the most part wood siding will last anywhere from 20 to 40 years if cared for properly.
Here are 5 tips to ensure your wood siding remains beautiful and effective for many years to come.
Restain and Apply Weatherproof Treatment Every Few Years
One of the most important aspects of wood siding maintenance is ensuring you restain and weatherproof it on a regular basis. How often you need to do this depends on the type of wood siding (species of tree) and your region, but you can typically expect to do this every 3 to 5 years.
There are a couple options for re-weatherproofing the wood siding on your home. Using a complementing colored stain is a popular choice for wood siding that has lost its original natural wood hue. For example, redwood or cedar siding will gray over time so restaining with a color similar to its original reddish tinge is common.
After restaining you’ll also need to clear coat the wood as a final protective layer against the elements. If you have new wood siding you might go straight to a clear coat so you can allow the wood to really show off its natural beauty. Painting is another choice that works well for some, though it obviously covers the wood color and grain.
Replace Broken Siding Boards Quickly
If a board or panel becomes damaged to the point that you can’t repair it, you should contact a siding contractor immediately for its replacement. Severe damage can happen to wood siding fairly easily, perhaps a broken tree limb fell against it during a windstorm or a child lobbed a baseball at the side. Hailstorms can also wreak havoc and break siding.
If a storm or simple accident happened, don’t put off replacing the boards. It is far better to pay a professional now to replace a panel than hire a professional later to find that you now need multiple panels replaced since water got under the boards via the broken one.
Until a professional can come out and assess the situation, carefully cover the broken panel with some waterproof sheet or tarp so water can’t get under the siding.
Clean Stains and Dirt Off Siding Yearly
Many homeowners are guilty of only restaining every few years but don’t actually clean their siding until this happens. The issue with this is that stains will form and be much more difficult to remove, if not impossible, if you wait. Instead you should be cleaning your wood siding on an annual basis.
Wood siding will stain, with majority of common stains coming from dirt settling into the wood. You may also find staining from rusting nails and other hardware in the siding, which can leave odd colored streaks down the wood. Areas of the home that are just beginning to experience moisture damage will show black dots in the form of mildew. These spots need to be cleaned off immediately before real damage takes place.
All you need to clean stains is warm, soapy water (use a gentle detergent) and a long-armed soft bristled brush. You can also find wood siding cleaning products in stores for more difficult to remove stains or to get rid of rust streaks. Make sure you clean siding top to bottom and rinse with a hose to ensure all soap is removed.
Repair Holes and Cracks as You Find Them
Similarl to replacing broken boards it is incredibly important to repair any small damage as soon as you discover them. Water-damage aside, insect and wildlife can infiltrate wood siding and quickly damage entire panels. Insects can be particularly bad as you may not even know they are there until it is too late.
It is worth it to look over your home’s siding annually or twice a year. If you find a crack or hole you can fill them with wood siding filler or a weatherproof caulk. Keep in mind that if you’re battling with woodpecker damage it is a sign that there could be an insect problem in the walls. You may need to call out a professional for a proper inspection if you’re suddenly finding many small holes in your siding.
Take Proactive Steps to Reduce Moisture Damage
The natural enemy of wood siding is moisture. Wood siding can handle a lot of damage and can certainly take on heavy rainstorms, or even be used in humid regions, but problems arise when water becomes trapped or stagnant on the siding. You must take proper steps to ensure your home is protected from moisture damage to ensure longevity and reduce the chances of expensive repair work.
Be particularly careful checking and waterproofing seams around windows, doors and other trim with a waterproof caulk. Even if you already have caulking in these areas be sure to check them regularly as it can become cracked and brittle with age. It is also important to keeps plant away from your home’s exterior. At no point should shrubs or tree branches touch the side of your home. Even a small shrub planted too closely to the house will trap moisture on its leaves against the wood, eventually leading to a rotted spot.
Wood siding might require more maintenance than other home exterior finishing but many homeowners find that the time put in is well worth it. Wood siding can last an incredibly long time and, if you plan on selling eventually, can help increase value for prospective buyers that want that welcoming, rustic look.
Other Home Siding Resources:
- Bill Gassett- Painting Wood Siding
- Kyle Hiscock- Home Improvement Projects That Create Value
- Joe Samson- Eco Freindly Sinding Options for Your Home
5 Wood Siding Care and Maintenance Tips was provided as a guest post by Allura Fiber Cement Products for Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate of Tewksbury MA. If you would like to sell your home give me a call at 978-360-0422 and let’s get the process started.
Real Estate Services in the following areas: Northeast Massachusetts, Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Metrowest. Including the following communities and the surrounding area- Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groveland, Haverhill, Lowell, Melrose, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Wilmington, Westford