Exterior Siding

While the primary purpose of siding is to protect your home from the elements, siding can also have a dramatic impact on the visual charateristics of the home. In addition, the type of siding you choose can have a significant impact on maintenance requirements– click here.

In repair situations, it is generally necessary to match the existing siding for esthetic purposes. However, there are situations in which it is possible to replace some areas of siding, such as gables, without detracting from the appearance of the home.

Until the middle of the twentieth century, wood was the primary material used for siding. After World War II aluminum and vinyl were introduced as low maintenance alternatives. Though both are still used today, vinyl siding has become more popular, particularly in the Northeast.

More recently, fiber-cement sidings have been introduced and are quickly becoming the product of choice. These sidings are rot resistant, dimensionally stable, and impervious to insect damage. Their stability helps them hold paint better. Fiber-cement sidings look much like wood, and with the introduction of dimensional boards (such as 1”x4” and 1”x6”) fiber cement can also be used for many trim applications.

All types of siding can be painted. However, vinyl and aluminum sidings should always be painted with a color the same as, or lighter than, the original color. Darker colors will absorb heat, and can cause the siding to buckle and deform.

Exterior Maintenance Program

There are many reasons why a good preventative maintenance program will benefit you:

  • Makes sure your exterior paint is protecting your home
  • Limits costly wood replacement
  • Spots potential problems before they become major replacement issues
  • Keeps your paint looking fresh longer
  • Extends the number of years before a complete repaint is needed

This is how it works:

There is no charge to place your home in our Exterior Paint Maintenance Program. To keep your paint looking great, simply authorize us to contact you each year to schedule a FREE exterior paint evaluation.

When we visit your home we will conduct a through evaluation of your exterior paint and make recommendations to protect your investment.

We’ll look for:

  • Exterior paint failure or damage
  • Caulk separation or deterioration
  • Mildew
  • Rotted wood

We’ll provide a free summary of our evaluation and should we find any areas of concern, we’ll let you know. This service is free, and you are never under any obligation.

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”.