Most homeowners think a lot about interior improvements—a new bathroom, a kitchen remodel, hardwood floors, new paint colors, and so on. As a result, it’s easy to give little regard to the home’s exterior. The need for improvement isn’t always noticeable, after all.
But if you want the inside of your home to stay looking great, you should think more about what’s on the outside. Siding is your home’s first line of defense against things like weather, insects, rodents, freezing temperatures, and other influences. As your siding starts to deteriorate, protection in each of these areas fades.
Many homeowners are in desperate need of new siding, but they don’t realize it. When your siding needs replaced, there will be several tell-tale signs. You just need to know what they are, so you can do something about it.
1. Bubbling, Warping, Cracking, or Loose Siding
Bubbles, warping, cracks, or looseness in your siding, all indicate water damage. Bubbled siding means water is trapped beneath the surface. Over time, the water will spread, and warping will ensue.
Cracked and loose siding are signs of damage from exterior influences or deterioration over time. Oftentimes, following a storm, a couple of boards can crack or come loose, which isn’t a huge cause for concern. They can easily be replaced, and your warranty may even cover it.
However, if there are loose, broken boards all over the house, your siding is toast.
2. Increased Heating and Cooling Bills
If you recently received your utility bill and felt a little outraged at the cost, your siding may be the culprit. It’s directly linked to the efficiency in your home. When it’s working properly, it traps heat and cool air inside where it belongs, but over time, siding can deteriorate and let air escape. As a result, your HVAC system works overtime to compensate for the lost air, and your energy bills skyrocket.
You may not notice the rise in utility bills because it can happen gradually. However, if you look at what you paid for utilities this month verses five years ago, you might see how much your bill has increased from siding deterioration.
3. Dry and Wet Rot
Rotting is a serious problem, whether it’s wet or dry. It means the structure of your home, which your siding is meant to protect, is crumbling away because the siding didn’t do its job properly. Rotting in any form merits an immediate replacement.
Wood beneath the siding begins rotting because of water damage. Condensation on the siding’s underside can slowly destroy the walls. Using a screwdriver, you can poke underneath the boards. If it’s soft, you’re dealing with wet rot.
As wet-rot advances, it turns to dry-rot, which is crumbly and a breeding ground for pests. You can spot dry-rot pretty easily by tapping the siding with a rubber tool like a mallet. The dry, rotted wood will shift and fall. You may also see signs of the fungi that started the dry rot or pests who may be living there.
4. Mold or Mildew (Outside or Inside)
Mold, mildew, and fungus all indicate water damage. It can be obvious and spread along the entire face of your siding, or it can be more discreet. Examine the seams and corners of your siding carefully. If you see green, black, brown, yellow, or white spots, there’s a good chance that water has penetrated the seal and the siding has grown spores.
If the problem is severe, mold will manifest on the home’s interior. If you see wet spots, any form of unwanted growth, or bowing in your interior walls, it means your siding problem has escalated to cause serious structural damage, which will warrant more than just a siding replacement.
Unfortunately, mold isn’t always visible. Oftentimes, it resides in the walls. Mold spores float invisibly through the air, which will make you sick if you breathe them in.
If you or your family members have been feeling sick lately, it may be a hidden mold problem. It might be worth taking a look inside your walls and having the siding replaced as soon as possible.
5. Paint or Wallpaper Damage Inside
The state of your interior walls says a lot about how your exterior walls are faring. Aside from wet spots or mold, you might also witness issues with your paint and wallpaper. If paint is constantly peeling or your wallpaper won’t stick, no matter how often you’ve repaired it, there’s a good chance that moisture in the walls is damaging the paint and wallpaper.
6. Drafty or Never Comfortable Interior Conditions
If you set the thermostat to 74 degrees, but it still feels drafty or the perfect temperature evades you, your siding may be the culprit. Your HVAC system may work tirelessly, but it can’t reach the set temperature if they are constant drafts and leaking air.
7. Discoloration or Fading
One of the best indicators of old siding is fading color. If your home seems lackluster and a fresh coat of paint won’t stick, your siding likely needs to be replaced.
You might also see discoloration along the exterior of the home. It could mean that the siding is fading faster in certain spots, but it usually means there’s water, mold, or other exterior factors that have compromised the color integrity.
8. Frequent Repainting
When your siding fades or starts to peel, it’s natural to repaint. Repainting your siding once or twice in a 20 year period doesn’t mean is natural, as quality siding will only maintain its color for 10 years at a time.
However, if peeling, fading, and discoloration require that you add a new coat every five years or so, it could mean that your siding is old and out of shape.
9. Seam Separation
When siding is new and properly installed, the seams should be neat and nearly imperceptible, maintaining structure for a couple of decades. When you notice the seams are starting to separate, replace the siding as soon as possible. It won’t be long before moisture pools inside your walls and rots away the exterior structure of your home.
Need Your Siding Replaced? Call Lakeside Exteriors Today!
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms with your siding, replace it as soon as possible. The experts at Lakeside Exteriors can help. We can evaluate the current state of your siding and make recommendations for the best replacements.
We have a variety of siding options to fit your budget and personal preferences. For more information about the services and siding options we offer, contact us today!