Updating your home should be a time of excitement and fresh-starts. But as soon as the harsh reality of vetting contractors, timelines and budgetary constraints starts to sink in, a renovation project can seem more like a nightmare than a joyous occasion.
When it comes to home siding, life expectancy is always a topic of discussion and debate. While wood and aluminum siding are classic choices, vinyl siding has grown in popularity due to its longevity and durability. An added benefit to vinyl siding is that it is energy efficient and can help lower utility costs if maintained regularly.
Whatever material you decide to go with when installing or replacing your existing siding, make sure you join forces with a trusted siding contractor. Check to see that they have a verifiable reputation and a long track record of installing quality siding.
When Is It Time to Replace My Siding?
Replacing your home’s siding is one of those inevitable projects that tend to crop up every so often. As for the timeframe, that is dependent on several factors. If routinely maintained, siding can last for decades. But it will ultimately come down to the material your siding is made of, the quality of the install, how often you clean it, and what kind of climate you live in.
Whatever you do, don’t wait until larger problems come about. When siding begins to degrade and breakdown it can leave your home vulnerable to the elements. That is an ideal time for things like water damage and mold to take shape. When mold begins to infiltrate your home, it can be an expensive mess to clean up.
Fortunately, there are still trustworthy and reputable contractors out there that make the process of installing new siding easier and more affordable. But how do you know when to start shopping around for siding installers? You’ll need to keep an eye out for signs of aging and know how to spot the red flags.
- Dry Rot – Catching dry rot early may mean the difference between replacing a section of siding or having to get your entire home’s siding replaced. Don’t wait until the rot is visible to the naked eye. The fungi that cause dry rot start below the surface of the siding. If your siding is nearing 5 years old, just to be on the safe side, you may want to conduct a routine dry rot check. This is especially important in damper climates. Go around your home with the dull end of a screwdriver or the rubber handle of a hammer. Gently tap on different sections of the siding. If the siding feels a little spongy or soft, it may be time to call in a professional siding contractor to take a closer look. Again, you may think that’s a little extreme, but catching dry rot before it spreads can save you thousands of dollars and serious time.
- A Spike in Your Utility Bill – There can be a few reasons why you’ve seen a jump in your electricity bill. It could mean your roof needs repairs, poor insulation or even weatherstripping needs to be replaced around windows and doors. But if you can rule out all of these factors, consider that faulty siding could be the culprit. New siding should help insulate your home and regulate the temperature inside. Check the seams in your siding. There may be gaps in the siding or it is starting to warp. If that is the case, it is advised you contact a siding professional to check for any vulnerable areas.
- Noticeable Cracks in Your Siding – If you live in a part of the country that is prone to high winds or has an aggressive rainy season, it isn’t uncommon for your siding to take a beating during intense storms. If this happens, it is no cause for alarm but should be dealt with promptly. Again, you do not want to give water an opportunity to get under the siding. If you see that there are cracks or loose siding, you need to get that section replaced immediately.
- Fungus, Mold, & Mildew, Oh My! – If you can see black mold or fungus on the exterior of your home and across sections of siding, it can mean two things. Either there is just mildew forming on the surface of the siding, which can be easily treated by washing it down with a cleaning solution and a high-pressure hose. But if you notice that there is mold or mildew on the seams of the siding, then you should be concerned. Mold and mildew could be a sign of water damage under the siding. Do not let this go unanswered. This is worth a closer look by either yourself or a siding professional.
These are just several red flags to be on the lookout for. Simply put, if you get siding professionally installed by a licensed siding contractor, you should be good to go for a while. Most installs come with a warranty and discounted or free maintenance fees.
Just to be on the safe side, simply add siding maintenance to your list of chores. If you get in the habit of conducting routine maintenance, your siding should last you for decades.
Washing off the exterior of your home with a cleaning solution to get rid of on-the-surface mold and mildew is always helpful. Make sure you regularly clean out your gutters to prevent water from freely running down the side of your home. These are just a few tips to keep the outside of your home looking good and in great condition.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Home Siding Contractor
Remember that expertly installed siding can add value to your home and increase the resale price. It may be prudent to weigh quality to cost, and fall somewhere in the middle. While it is easy to reach for the best bargain, you don’t want to skimp on siding either. Making sure it is installed correctly the first time can save you money down the road.
Select a siding material that is visually appealing is always important, but consider the material as well. Can it withstand the weather fluctuations where you live? Luckily, there are more siding options than ever before. Speak in length with your siding contractor about the pros and cons of each before settling on one type of siding.
Finding a trusted siding contractor is key to the longevity of your exterior. From installation to the quality of the materials, go with a contractor that is licensed and experienced. Check sites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau to verify that they do quality work.
Window World Boston can completely transform the exterior of your home and add value to your property with our superior siding installation services. We are one of the most trusted siding companies in Massachusetts. We offer FREE in-home consultations.
Call today: 781.262.3925