Out With the Old, In With the New — When to Replace Your Siding
It’s easy to take your home’s siding for granted. It’s on the house, protects the house, and is just there — until there starts to be issues with how well your siding is holding up. If you live in regions where you get inclement or rough weather frequently, your house will probably take quite a beating, thanks to the wind, rain, snow, and other debris flung at your house as a result of the elements. At some point, you may need to get siding contractors in to help get your siding looking ship-shape again. Before you call siding contractors though, you’ll want to have an idea about what kind of siding you want to replace your existing siding with and what to look for in siding companies and contractors to begin with. And, of course, you should know the warning signs that it’s about time to call in a siding company for siding replacement.
Types of Siding
One of the first things you should know is that siding is measured in squares of 100 square feet (10 x 10 feet increments). There are fifteen different kinds of siding but the most popular types of are cedar, vinyl, and fiber cement, and a high percentage of homeowners have siding made from one of these varieties.
Cedar is the most popular of these three types and can last up to 25 years with the right maintenance. “Proper maintenance” means that a new coat of paint, sealer, or stain should be applied on your siding every three to seven years, so it’s definitely not a set-it-and-forget-it type of siding.
Vinyl, on the other hand, is extremely low maintenance. Good quality vinyl siding doesn’t need to be painted or caulked and cleaning is easy — all you need is mild soap and a garden hose.
How Do I Know When I Need My Siding Replaced?
Most of these cues are visual. It might start looking shoddy from the outside — cracks or gaps are evident in the siding or it’s starting to crumble and peel away. You might also consider changing to a different kind of siding (one that’s more low maintenance than your current choice) if you find yourself lacking the time and energy to conduct proper maintenance. Lack of maintenance will lead to your siding’s disrepair, so if it’s time for new siding installation, you might consider switching your type of siding entirely.
Another tell-tale sign that it might be time to call in the siding contractors is if you see a substantial increase in your energy bills. Faulty siding is more likely to let drafts in and so you’ll expend more energy heating and cooling your home, raising your bills.
And of course, if you see signs of rot or mold, it’s time to start looking for siding companies to come evaluate and make a plan for replacement. Keep in mind too, that replacing insulation when you replace siding is also a smart move.
What Should I Look For In a Siding Company?
Shop local. Find a siding company in your area who’s been around for awhile, has a good reputation, and who can direct you to other locals who they’ve completed jobs for successfully. You should always ask about what kind of warranties or guarantees they offer and what happens if siding needs repair after the initial installation. Make sure they have the right insurance, licenses, and certifications as well.
Siding contractors should also be knowledgeable about the different kinds of siding, how they’re installed, and be able to offer you advice on what they think might be the best for your home, depending on your needs, the home’s appearance, and the area you live in. And of course, you’ll want to know how payment works — what the schedule is like, what you’ll be paying for, and so forth.
Don’t let your siding slip too far into disrepair. It’s an important part of your home’s overall health and can wind up saving you money in the long run. Plus, new siding can have a positive effect on home resale value, if you’re considering that down the line.