The first thing you want to do as a homeowner is inspect your siding. You don’t have to be an expert to notice any damaged or deteriorating areas. Look for signs such as: blistered or peeling paint, warped or broken panels, cracks, punctured vinyl, dented aluminum, or mold. Also check to see if any shrubs or ivy are brushing up against the house or working its way under the siding. Ivy is notorious for creeping in under siding and causing problems. It’s best to have all plantings at least two feet away from the house to prevent damage to siding and at that distance it also prevents any damage to the foundation. That’s a win-win! Call Alamo City Handymen for an inspection if you can’t do it yourself. We’ll evaluate your siding and determine what repairs are needed, if any; or if a cleaning and painting job will suffice.
Wood siding is a classic and elegant option for your home but needs the most maintenance compared to other sidings. You will need to tend to the wood siding’s finish every 2 to 5 years to protect it from leaks and moisture that could lead to warping, rot, and loose boards. Any moisture that gets under the siding will affect the interior structure over time and cause extensive and expensive repairs. If you’ve opted to keep the natural wood look, you will have to stain or add a protective oil finish to seal the wood and protect it from the elements every 2 to 3 years. If you choose to paint your wood siding; we recommend painting it every 5 years. Painted siding will begin to peel and flake so it will need to be scraped or sanded down. This is the time to patch any cracks, tighten boards, or replace boards if necessary. Once this is done then it’s time to prime and repaint. Wood siding will last 20 to 40 years if proper maintenance and care is taken.
Vinyl siding is the most common siding you’ll find on houses. It was created in the 1960s but really made its reputation a decade later when all the kinks were worked out. Over 33% of new homes are clad in vinyl siding according to the Census Bureau. Vinyl has become popular because it’s inexpensive, durable, easy to maintain, and comes in a wide range of colors and textures. Vinyl siding is very strong but can still be damaged. Look for any areas that may be dented, cracked, warped, have holes, or loose panels. Most damage is caused by the weather. Extreme heat can cause it to warp or blister. Excessive cold temperatures can make it brittle. Hail, depending on its size, can cause dents or holes. There are 3 different ways to repair damaged vinyl siding. 1. We can patch a small opening using a caulk that matches the vinyl. 2. If a medium sized hole needs to be patched; we can cut out a piece of siding that matches your siding and place it in the damaged area. 3. A new panel(s) will have to be replaced if there is a large damaged area. Other than the occasional repair the only maintenance you have to worry about is a good cleaning which we’ll discuss at the end of the blog.
Aluminum siding precedes vinyl siding and can still be found in older homes. Aluminum was widely used starting in the 1940’s until people began building with vinyl a couple decades later. The benefits of aluminum is that it’s affordable, stylishly versatile, recyclable, and can withstand fires considerably longer than vinyl or wood. Aluminum can be dented by hail or fallen branches and can easily be scratched. Repairing or replacing is pretty much the same process as used on vinyl siding. It will need to be done quickly so no underlying damage can occur. Aluminum siding has another flaw or perhaps it’s a benefit depending on how you see it. Aluminum needs to be painted every 4 to 6 years depending on the climate you live in. So if you like changing up the color of your house then aluminum is good for you. If you don’t like repainting often then maybe it’s time to consider replacing your aluminum siding with vinyl siding.
It’s common to see people pressure washing their homes’ vinyl or aluminum siding but that is a bit too aggressive and can cause problems. We recommend Soft Washing. It looks like pressure washing except the spray is much softer and delicate. We start off with an overall soaking of the siding and then spray it down with a soapy mixture. We can use a general detergent or an environmentally friendly cleanser that is formulated for use on vinyl and aluminum siding and safe for the environment. Finally a delicate rinse is needed to remove the soap and any debris that came off.