There are two things that are part of your home or commercial building that often receive the most neglect: the roof and the siding. When it comes to siding, this exterior material layer offers the building protection to ward off moisture as well as hot and cold temperatures to keep your place safe from the outdoor elements. However, rot and decay from negligence, pests, and age can quickly leave your building exposed.
There are many different types of siding out on the market. Wood siding has been a popular choice for centuries as people enjoy the natural look of wood while taking advantage of its benefits as it can come in clapboards and beveled siding. The durability and strength of the siding will be based on the type of clapboard wood that was used.
Many people delay getting new wood siding when one or two boards are rotted out because it can be hard to match new materials to the wood species and look of the existing siding. However, by waiting to replace the one or two rotten boards, this problem can lead to more significant damage in time.
Common Signs of Wood Siding Damage
Wood siding is susceptible to rot, mold, warping, and mildew in different ways. Here are several common reasons for damage:
- Woodpecker poking holes to get at the insects lurking underneath
- Pests such as termites, rodents, and other animals
- Missing ring-shank nails that popped out due to age or movement
- Worn, cracked or missing caulking allowing moisture to penetrate
- Normal wear-and-tear from age and weather
- Impact from blown debris, tree limbs, or other objects
The moment that wood siding becomes damaged, it can allow water to penetrate into the core of the board and to the felt paper underlayment. You can find signs of water damage on the exterior and interior of the home. Warped, loose, and cracked clapboards are common signs of rot that can be seen outside.
If you frequently paint or stain the surface due to constant color fading or paint blisters and bubbles, this situation could be another indication of moisture penetration. Inside your home, you may have peeling wallpaper or paint on your walls. Mold or mildew on interior drywall or fungus along exterior siding seams are additional signs of wood rot. If this is something you can relate to, it may be worth getting in touch with professionals such as a Mold Inspection Los Angeles company, who will be able to get this issue sorted. Plus, as the growth of mold in the home could have an effect on your health, it is best to be safe than sorry.
When to Get Professional Help
Replacing wood siding will be based on the amount of damage that may be present. Holes caused by pests and woodpeckers should be addressed immediately as a person only has to fill in the holes with wood putty. A single rotted clapboard can usually be replaced by the homeowner or the commercial maintenance crew by using the old rotted clapboard as a measurement board for the new siding plank. However, the amount of present rot can be deceptive. If your siding has a lot of damage due to pests or rot, then that’s probably the time to think about replacing it for a more robust siding like this fiber cement lap siding. Generally, fiber cement sidings last a lot longer than their wooden counterparts.
In terms of damage from pests, if you are suffering from a serious infestation you will most likely need to seek professional help from some termite control experts. If wood damage isn’t fixed quickly, the results can be devastating which is why you need to contact a professional as soon as you are aware of a problem. You may want to check out something like Termite Control Kansas City if you want a comprehensive extermination of any and all pests and termites in your property.
While you may think only the clapboard is damaged, the underlayer may have also turned soft from rot. Using a screwdriver to poke at the underlayer can determine if rot penetration has impacted far more than just the wood siding in one spot.
If you are unsure of the amount of rot that is present, always hire a professional such as Northface Construction. A contractor can perform an inspection without damaging the existing clapboards or beveled wood siding to determine the extent of the rot. If you are dealing with a few boards, the contractor can help assist you in finding materials that match the wood species and color of siding, as they have broader access to wood siding suppliers as vendors.
Why it’s Not Worth the Risk of Doing it Yourself
The process of replacing rotten wood siding isn’t difficult. The steps involve cutting away the rotten siding, clearing out the old nails, cutting the new siding to the appropriate length, and fastening the siding as well as caulking it to make the siding watertight.
However, if the process is not done right by the homeowner or commercial building owner, you could damage the existing clapboards around the rotten boards. This issue can increase your costs and prolong the repair project.
In addition, replacing wood siding can take time and frustrate regular home and commercial building owners. With the right team of contractors, the wood siding can be replaced the first time correctly. You won’t have to deal with inferior workmanship or need to fix repair efforts if you do the job personally and rush through the process.
Protecting Your Wood Siding
The obvious solution to protecting and ensuring the longevity of your wood siding is regular maintenance. While maintenance is probably the least sexy term in the homeowner’s dictionary, it is essential to keep up on, especially when you have wood siding. Wood that’s left unprotected and exposed to the environment will decay, underperform, and cost the homeowner much more in the long run. Fortunately for those who are looking to protect their wood siding, you have options. It should be noted; if you have neglected maintenance on your wood siding, you may need to do some restoration work before jumping to protective methods.
There are three common ways to seal and protect wooden siding. The first is by using a clear, oil-based finish. This clear finish is absorbed into the wood, preventing any water from working its way into its pores. The second option is staining your wood. Staining your siding is exactly the same as using a clear sealant, but with color to change the final look of the wood. Your third option is to use special paint to both seal and recolor your wood siding. Painting wood siding does add some additional protection by creating a layer between the wood and its environment.
Determining which method of protection you should use depends on what you want out of your siding. If you like the look of your bare wood siding, you should consider using the transparent, oil-based stain. An added benefit of this protection method is that mistakes are very difficult to detect. So if you aren’t a professional, then this one may be for you. If you like the wooden texture but want to change the color, apply a colored stain. Finally, if you are willing to do a bit more work for some added protection, finding a paint for your wood siding is an excellent option.
Use NorthFace Construction for Your Home Repair Needs
Northface Construction can help homeowners and commercial building owners with their siding projects. If you suspect rot, contact us immediately so we can perform an inspection and provide you with options to help repair the exterior of the building to prevent further moisture penetration.