Roof and siding are the two most important aspects of your home that must not be neglected at any cost. Siding maintenance is important as they provide an additional layer of protection to your home from natural elements such as winds, rain, etc. It also maintains the temperature of the house in summers and winters. However, if you neglect it, rot and pests can target it and weaken that layer of protection.
There are now various types of sidings available in the market. The most popular choice of homeowners has been the wood sidings. Wood sidings reflect the look of real wood and also come in clapboards and beveled sidings. Each type of siding has its own durability and strength. Despite multiple benefits, wood siding maintenance is equally important. When one or two boards of wood siding get damaged, homeowners usually delay getting them repaired or buying new ones as it may be difficult to find an exact match. But delaying buying or repairing them can lead to multiple other problems for your house.
Common Causes of Rotten Wood Sidings
Rot, mold or mildew usually affects wood sidings the most in multiple ways. Several reasons for damage to wood siding can be:
- Holes poked by woodpeckers to find insects underneath
- Pests such as rodents or termites residing in the sidings
- Missing ring-shank nails caused by age or movement
- Moisture penetrating through missing or cracked caulking
- Common wear and tear due to weather
- Impacted by extreme weather conditions such as blown debris or tree limbs etc.
Another big problem with neglecting wood siding maintenance is that they can allow water to penetrate underneath them and the felt paper underlayment. Signs of water damage to your house can be seen from the interior and exterior of your house. Loose or cracked clapboards can pave the way for rot to damage the house.
If you are repeatedly getting your house painted every other season due to color fading or from blisters popping on your walls, then you need to look for the root cause. Color fading, blisters, and peeling paint is another indication of moisture penetrating into your house structure. Fungus on the exterior sidings and mold on interior walls is a sign of wood rot. Get in touch with professionals as soon as you find these signs to repair wood siding rot. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
How to Make Your Repairs Last Long
Once you have repaired your wood siding rot, it is better to look after it to make it last longer. Here are some tips on how to maintain wood sidings:
- The back and edges of the new sidings should be primed and thoroughly painted.
- Avoid driving nails flush or countersink them. The heads might break the paper face and water will soak in and damage the siding. Seal any nailheads that break the paper face with cement.
- Leave a gap of ⅛ inches at corners and butt joints and seal them with 35-year, paintable acrylic caulk.
- Install gutters to prevent water from splashing on the sidings. Also, install lawn sprinklers in a way that the water does not hit the sidings.
- Leave a 1-inch gap between siding and shingles so that the siding does not rot when it touches the roof.
- Use fiber-cement siding to replace rotted areas. It is ⅛ inches thinner and is highly rot-resistant and also has a comparable cost. It also carries a 50-year warranty.
When to Call for Help?
The decision to call for professional help depends on the size of the damage. Holes poked by pests or termite damage must be addressed urgently by filling the holes with wood putty. If only one or two clapboards need to be replaced, homeowners can do it themselves. However, the amount of dry wood rot on the surface can be misleading.
If it is a serious infestation then you need to call local termite control experts immediately. And as soon as you are aware of the damaged wood sidings, call a professional to get a thorough look at the damage caused. You might think you only need to replace the clapboard, but you might not know how much damage to the underlayer has already been made. Therefore, it is always a better idea to hire a professional for a thorough inspection.
Why it’s not a Good Idea to do it Yourself?
Replacing wood siding is not a difficult process but it does involve different steps such as cutting off the rotten siding, clearing out the old nails, cutting the new siding to the required length, fastening the siding and caulking it to make it watertight. If any of these steps are not done right, you could cause damage to the existing clapboards and further increase the costs of repair. Also, it might get frustrating for homeowners as the process takes time. Contractors have the right equipment and skills to finish the job properly and know how to fix dry rot siding permanently.
Professional contractors can help homeowners in repairing rotted wood siding. If you suspect rot, contact them immediately so they can perform a detailed inspection of your house and provide you with different options in repairing wood siding rot to prevent further moisture penetration, wood rot or termite damage.