Siding is the exterior view of your home and the weatherproof layer protecting all the layers beneath it, such as the building paper, sheathing, wall studs, insulation and then, of course, your interior. Like the body of your car, its first job is to hold together and save all the elements within; its second function is to do it stylishly.
Whether your siding is wood (boards, shakes or shingles), man-made (steel, aluminum or vinyl siding) or masonry (brick, stucco or stone), it should last at least 20-30 years and, with proper maintenance, perhaps even the life of your home.
Luckily, siding is not typically a source of trouble if it’s correctly installed and maintained, which makes it a smaller issue than many around the house, and an absolute treat compared to the care and maintenance of your roofing. Even so, siding ages like anything else (or falls victim to poor installation or long-term neglect), and sometimes you’ll find yourself having to fix a sprung nail, replace a faulty board or do some cosmetic work to keep your house the envy of the block...or at least suppress comparisons between it and Boo Radley’s shotgun shack.
Siding Problem Areas
The places where siding deteriorates quickest are:
- Where it meets a chimney
- Where it supports downspouts
- Under the eaves
- Around doors and windows
- Where holes are created to install vents or pipes
- At or near ground level
- Where it has contact with bushes and treetops
Since these areas are not as noticeable as the large planes along your home where the siding is the least vulnerable, it is easy to ignore damage to siding for a long time. But then your in-laws visit and of course the first things they espy are the peeling paint, protruding nails and cracked masonry. So before their next visit, you may want to give your home a cosmetic check-up and makeover.
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