The Builder's Blog

Useful information and home maintenance tips that we hope will help you prevent problems and solve issues.
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May 21, 2022

The Care and Inspection of Siding

You’ve had your siding for a long time and it’s showing a bit of wear, but is there a way to fix it up and make it work another year or two? Or is my house at danger if I don’t replace it right away? These are questions most home owners have at some point or another. We will try to address these questions and give you some ideas on how to keep your vinyl siding in good shape.

Whenever there are streaks, spots and other discolorations on your siding - be aware there may be an underlying problem that will only get worse if left unfixed. Look up from where streaks are and carefully inspect any area or overhangs that water might be dripping from. Look under the siding for signs of moisture, bugs, mold, or water damage. If any of those things are present, have a professional contractor have a look and give recommendations on the path forward.

The care of:

Overall, vinyl siding is one of the lowest maintenance house coverings you can get. But like everything, eventually it will need a bit of maintenance. Here are a few tips on how to address typical issues:

I have greenish, brown stains covering an area of my vinyl siding:

Patches of green, brown and black stains on your vinyl siding may have been caused by algae /or and fungi. Unlike mold, (which eats away organic construction materials), algae are usually just an unsightly cosmetic problem. To clean off algae and or fungi, you can use a dish soap and water with a brush. Another option is 30% white vinegar with 70% water. Algae grows in shady areas. To prevent it growing back, consider clearing some area around the shaded part of your house so that sunshine will be able to help with your problem.

Black dots all over the one side of the vinyl siding on my house:

Algae - there are different types of algae and all can be cleaned as mentioned above.

Mold:

The best and safest way to clean mold is with vinegar. This is more effective than bleach, as it kills mold at the root.

You should do an inspection of your siding occasionally. Poke your siding and see if it feels solid behind it. If it gives way at all, there may be a serious problem. Call a professional.

Cracks and warping:

Cracks often point to a larger problem. If left unfixed, the cracks will cause bigger problems, by allowing moisture through.

Warping: if warping occurs, it could mean your siding was installed incorrectly, or it could mean there is a problem with rot behind the siding. Call a professional if in doubt.

Blisters and bubbles:

Bad news! This is never a good thing! These typically develop if there is moisture trapped inside your siding. It may mean it is time to replace your siding.

Severe Fading:

Most siding is very slow to fade. If you see serious fading, it may mean it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. Not an emergency unless other problems are also showing.

Siding needs painting before 20 years old:

Most likely as low-quality siding was used. You can continue painting every few years, or opt to replace it with good quality siding.

Moisture problems on outer walls indoors:

If you have peeling paint, or buckling wallpaper on an outer wall, do not ignore it! There is a good chance that means moisture is seeping in from the outside. Do not delay getting a professional to assess the situation and fix it as soon as possible. Delaying the fixing can result in structural damage to your home.

This list may look like a lot of things can go wrong with your siding. In reality, properly installed, high quality vinyl siding is one of the best materials out there to protect your home with. When installed properly, and environmental issues are addressed, such as too much shade, maintenance should be almost none.

Plan ahead. Most contractors are booked out, up to 3-6 months. If you are hoping to have new siding to protect your home this winter, get on the schedule now, so that you can have it installed before winter weather sets in. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give us a call!

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