Exterior Maintenance and Repairs

Insects and water are the most common causes of damage to exterior wood. Promptly replacing damaged wood can prevent more extensive damage. A number of different types of wood are used on the exterior of homes.

Pine (both treated and untreated) and cedar are the most common, though redwood and fir are used on many homes. Replacing damaged wood with the same species is not as important as matching the appearance.

Wood siding is available in a wide variety of styles, such as 105, T1-11, lap and gap (or channel), shakes, and v-groove. Masonite and concrete-fiber sidings are also available in many styles.

Masonite sidings, which are manufactured from wood scraps, are particularly susceptible to water damage. The nature of this siding is such that water is easily absorbed, causing the material to expand and separate. This allows more moisture to be absorbed, exacerbating the problem.

Concrete-fiber sidings, such as the Hardi products, are impervious to damage from water and insects. Because of the limited styles available, as well as the dimensions of those styles, these products generally cannot be used for replacement purposes. However, new styles are being introduced regularly.

Pressure treated pine is resistant to both insect and fungal damage. However, pressure treated pine is generally only available in dimensional lumber, such as 2″x4″, and 1″x6″. Sidings and mouldings are seldom available in treated pine.

Some products— such as Masonite and brick moulds— can be purchased pre-primed.

As a precautionary measure, all sides of the wood should be primed. This will prevent moisture from entering and damaging the wood if a leak or other exposure to water occurs. Even air-borne moisture can cause wood to curl, a defect known as “cupping”.

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