Is your relationship with your home’s siding starting to feel like a tale as old as time? Maybe the paint is looking a bit faded, or the siding material’s color is beginning to dull. Maybe you’ve simply always wanted siding of a different, more interesting color, or have been wanting to upgrade the exterior of your home. Or, perhaps you’ve been experiencing water or draft-related issues with your current siding. No matter the reason, it’s important to remember that siding looks and performs its best during a lifespan that varies based on the materials used—and it may be time for replacement.
Whether you’re itching to make a major cosmetic change to the profile of your home or eager to address any potential issues with your old siding before it’s too late, replacing your siding is a great way to upgrade both the looks and the practical performance of your home.
How Often Is Siding Typically Replaced?
Barring unexpected damage from natural disasters or other accidental destruction, how often you’ll need to replace your roof will largely depend on the materials used in its makeup. The four main types—wood, vinyl, aluminum, and steel—vary widely in their respective lifespans. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:
- Wood siding is a classic choice for home siding, providing a traditional look and the durability to last from 10 to 100 years. Wood is a great choice environmentally, as it degrades quickly in land-fills. However, not all homeowners are willing to spare the extra time, effort and expense to take care of wood siding and prevent it from succumbing to rot and water damage.
- Vinyl siding is the most common option in the US and has a lifespan of up to 50 years. Its lower cost, ease of cleaning, and ability to mimic the style of any other siding material makes it a popular choice for modern homeowners. While vinyl is one of the most customizable options, it cannot be painted and is prone to warp in extreme heat.
- Aluminum siding can last spans of up to 50 years. It has a slightly higher cost than vinyl but can potentially be applied directly over your current siding, potentially saving you some installation costs. The downside to aluminum siding is the fact that you may wind up needing to repaint your aluminum regularly. Most homeowners repaint every 10 years in areas without many storms, but as often as every five if your home is in an area prone to damage.
- Steel siding is one of the most durable options, with at least a 50 year lifespan. It is relatively impervious to many of the damaging forces that can harm other siding, including water, wind, hail storms and many other natural disasters. When treated well, steel siding can potentially last your whole life, but it isn’t the most energy efficient option on the market.
Signs Your Siding May Need Replaced
Staying ahead of your siding maintenance can help you avoid minor issues becoming larger ones that require siding replacement. However, when your siding has reached the end of its usable lifespan, it is important to choose a replacement before the elements damage your home. Take heed of these ten signs your siding may be ready to be replaced:
- Noticeable exterior damage. When there is enough damage done to the siding of your home that you’re able to recognize it with the naked eye, it’s time for an inspection. A professional can help you determine whether you’re in need of a fresh paint job, a patch, or a total siding replacement.
- Increasing energy expenses. Damages to your siding can lead to gaps in cracks between panels and boards. This creates areas through which heat and cool air can escape. A professional can perform an audit of your home to help you find some concrete ways to improve your energy consumption, which may involve replacing old, warped, drafty siding.
- Interior water damage. Siding without an airtight seal can put your home at risk for water damage. While warping and staining is a concern, you may be at risk for mold and mildew—especially if you live in a rainy or humid climate.
- Peeling interior paint. Too much moisture in your home can also lead to issues with peeling wallpaper and paint. This issue can seem small or cosmetic in the grand scheme of things, but it is a symptom of a larger water intrusion problem that can seriously damage your home.
- Blistered or bubbled siding. When your house is exposed to harsh heat and a great deal of amounts of moisture, sometimes siding can begin to bubble and blister. Bubbled siding can also warp, damaging its watertight seal and compromising your home’s moisture-repelling capacity.
- Dull, fading colors. When faced with direct sunlight, many materials are known to fade, including paint and vinyl siding. The dull, faded color is a great sign that it’s time to replace the siding, especially if it is a material that cannot be easily painted.
- Loose siding. Any areas of your siding that are loose are a red flag that the elements may be making their way into your home. Be sure to have the problem addressed by a professional, who can advise you regarding whether you need to secure your existing siding or invest in new siding.
- Cracked siding. When your siding is cracked, it can be dangerous to the health of your home. Cracked siding allows water to seep into the underlayment, causing serious damage to the walls the siding was meant to protect.
- Fungal growth and dry rot. Fungi that grows in damp conditions and dry rot help decompose wood. While the fungus of dry rot can be quite the unappealing sight to behold, it’s even worse to realize it’s been eating away at your siding, reducing its potential for protecting your home against the elements.
- Increased maintenance needs. Sometimes, the number one sign that it’s time to replace your siding is that it’s required more frequent maintenance and repairs lately. If you’re finding yourself spending your weekends addressing siding issues, it may be time to take the leap and invest in newer siding.
If you notice the above signs, your first step should be to call a professional. Not only can they conduct a complete assessment of any warning signs above, but they can also find potential issues you may not have noticed. You’ll be better informed and can discuss how to proceed with the siding that is best for your budget and your home.