Your home’s siding is kind of like its skin because it keeps everything inside safe from the elements. However, those same elements can be brutal – and can leave lasting damage. What happens when your skin is damaged? It leaves your body vulnerable to impurities and infection. In much the same way, when the outer layer of your home is damaged it can leave you and your family vulnerable to water damage, mold, mildew and pests.
The best defense is a good offence. The best way to stop siding damage is to make sure it never happens in the first place. How? Read this guide for ways to avoid some common causes of siding damage.
1.Siding Damage Caused by Trees and Branches
The best defense is a good offence. The best way to stop siding damage is to make sure it never happens in the first place.
Tall trees and their branches are beautiful, but they can be problematic when they are too close to your home. Heavy winds and rain can break off the branches and whip them at your home, causing serious damage. If the storm is powerful enough, or if the tree has damaged roots, the tree could topple onto your home or even into power lines causing even more costly and potentially life-threatening problems. Make sure to trim tree branches that are close to your home, or even getting rid of the tree entirely. If you don’t want to chop the tree down, consult a tree expert to see if it can be moved to a less hazardous spot on your property.
2.Water Siding Damage
Water can find any weakness in your home’s exterior – no matter how small – and make a big expensive mess. Water can be sneaky, too. You may not see physical proof of the water damage for months or even years. That’s why it’s important to check your home’s roof and gutter system regularly to ensure they are moving water away from your home the way it should. Inspect your home’s siding for signs of mold and mildew or for cracks or holes.
3.Siding Damage Caused by Improper Installation
If your home’s siding wasn’t properly installed in the first place, it’s much more likely that it will become damaged. When hiring someone to do work on your home, make sure they are an experienced professional. It may be tempting to cut corners by giving your sister’s best friend’s brother-in-law a few bucks, but you’ll end up paying in the long run when the work doesn’t stand the test of time. Get references from potential contractors and ask for photos of past work. You could also check any company you are considering working with out with the Better Business Bureau to see if they’ve had any complaints lodged against them.
4.Sun Siding Damage
The heat from the sun can cause some siding materials to melt, crack or warp. Consider the placement of your home and the climate in your area before deciding on what kind of siding you should use on your home. A good professional will be able to guide you through the process of selecting the best siding for you. Some other options are planning trees or bushes to provide some shade for your home or using awnings to reduce sun glare from windows.
5.Dirt and Debris Siding Damage
Dirt and debris can make your home’s exterior look stained and dingy. Clean the outside of your home periodically to prevent set-in stains. Depending on what your siding is made of, you could use something as strong as a power washer or as gentle as a scrub brush. The manufacturer of your home’s siding probably has guidelines about what should and should not be used to clean it – hold on to that material and consult it before cleaning your siding. In some cases, failure to do so could void your warranty.
Your home’s siding has to take a lot, but an informed consumer can be its best ally. Be proactive to prevent damage before it happens.
Georgia Tech Facilities Management: http://www.energyconservation.gatech.edu/