No part of your home’s exterior is more visible than its siding. Siding covers almost the entire surface of your home. Good siding can last for decades, protecting your home and adding beauty. But no siding can last forever. Some siding can be washed or repaired, but if your siding is starting to deteriorate, it may be time to consider replacing it. If you’re ready to jump into springs with new siding, TrustDALE wants you to know a few things before you start.
The Importance of Siding
Siding serves two critical purposes for your home. First, the siding is the most visible part of your home. It is an essential aesthetic feature that defines the whole look of your home. So if your siding is starting to look old and tired, your entire home can look run down. New siding is a way to reinvigorate your home and make it look like new.
The second crucial function of your siding is that it is the first layer of protective coating on your home. Siding is your home’s first defense against the elements. The quality and condition of your siding determine how well your home is protected. Good, high-quality siding will keep your home warm and dry in the winter and cool in the summer. But if your siding is starting to fail, there may be dangerous and severe damage underneath. While you can’t see it, the damage underneath your siding could be rotting away the structure of your home, leading to thousands of dollars of damage.
If there is damage to a small area of your home’s siding, you can repair or replace the damaged section. But if the damage is spread out, it may not pay to make the repairs. The cost of repairs over a large area can multiply quickly. Also, widespread damage is a sign that your siding is starting to fail altogether. You could make some repairs, but it is likely that more problems will pop up. There is also probably damage you can’t see. And the damage that is hidden from view can be the most problematic. If water gets under your siding, it could be rotting the very structure of your home. By the time that damage becomes visible, you could be in for some very costly and disruptive repairs.
The Efficiency of new Siding
Siding is your home’s first defense against the elements. And when we talk about the elements, we don’t just mean destructive stuff like rain and snow. Your home also protects you against the freezing cold of winter and the sweltering heat of summer. But the climate control capabilities of your home are limited by your home’s insulation.
We all know that trying to heat or cool your home with the windows open is not a good idea. But trying to heat or cool a home with poor insulation is almost as bad. Insulation is a barrier between your home and the outside temperature. It keeps the heat or cold outside from seeping into the interior of your home. If your insulation isn’t as effective as it could be, your heating and cooling system will be in a constant battle against the outside temperature.
New siding is an opportunity to increase your home’s insulation and boost the efficiency of your climate control system. Many types of new siding, especially vinyl, now come with a foam backing that helps insulate your home. Also, if your old siding had cracks or wasn’t sealed properly, new siding can have a surprisingly large effect on the efficiency of your HVAC system. So while new siding looks great, it can also lower your utility bills in summer and winter.
Choosing a Material
Traditionally, most siding was made of wood. Today, however, homeowners have many choices of new materials, and wood siding is far less common.
Vinyl is the most popular material for siding. It is the cheapest material, and it requires the least maintenance. Vinyl siding, unlike some other materials, will not warp or twist with moisture or changes in temperature. It is also unaffected by rot and insects. Most modern vinyl siding is backed with a foam layer of insulation that boosts the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system. However, vinyl is not completely impervious to damage. It can still burn, melt, or crack.
Vinyl today looks more like natural wood than ever before. Natural coloring and deep grains help complete the illusion. But even the best vinyl looks most like wood from a distance. It doesn’t really look like wood up close. Vinyl is the most widely sold material for siding, and it makes sense for many homeowners. But you should look around your neighborhood to see if vinyl siding is appropriate for your home and your area. Vinyl can look great, but you don’t want your home to stick out.
Plastic siding is a close cousin to vinyl. Like vinyl, it is unaffected by rot and insects. However, it is much thicker and can be much more expensive. One of the primary benefits of plastic is that it can very closely mimic the look of cedar shake. That allows homeowners to get the classic look without the maintenance.
Modern composite materials are some of the most wood-like siding materials on the market. Fiber cement is made of a mix of cement, sand, and cellulose. It is fireproof and insect-proof.
However, it can be affected by freeze and that cycles during the winter months.
Fiber cement needs to be primed and painted to protect it from the elements. All fiber cement siding will come primed and ready to paint from the manufacturer. For an added cost, fiber cement siding can also come painted. While it is higher-cost and the color choices are limited, factory painting has some advantages. It tends to be more durable and last much longer than any paint job that you or your contractor can provide.
Classic Wood Siding
Wood is the most classic material for siding. It may be less expensive than shingles, but it is still more costly than any of the synthetic alternatives. The greatest challenge with wood siding is that it is susceptible to many types of damage. It won’t crack like some synthetic materials, but it can be damaged by rot, insects, and birds like woodpeckers. Like fiber cement, you can get wood siding pre-primed from the manufacturer or even pre-painted. Staining is another popular option for wood siding since it retains the natural look of the material. If wood is stained or painted, the stain or paint needs to be reapplied periodically to protect the siding.
Finding the Right Siding Installer
Siding is a critical part of your home for both aesthetic and functional reasons. Siding that isn’t installed correctly can leave your home looking like a mess. And it can also leave you susceptible to water damage that could destroy the structure of your home. If you need new siding, you need a reliable contractor to install it. The stakes are too high to try to install it yourself or to pick a random installer. Instead, try one of these TrustDALE certified siding installation companies. They are all researched and investigated by Dale and the TrustDALE team to ensure excellent customer service, industry-leading warranties, and, most importantly, excellent quality.