What You Need to Know About Siding Repairs and Replacement

Siding is a layer of protection for your house, and it takes a beating every year from the wind, rain, the blazing sun, and freezing cold. Modern siding is made to last, but at some point, repairing or replacing it will be necessary.

When the day comes, it’s important to work with an experienced contractor and you know what to expect. Here’s what you need to know about having your siding repaired or replaced.

WHEN TO REPAIR OR REPLACE YOUR SIDING

When your siding is getting close to the end of its lifespan, it will let you know in any number of ways. If you’re thinking about new siding, take a good look at your house—both up close and from a distance—and look for signs of damaged siding. A few key signs it’s time for siding repair or replacement include:

  • Chips, cracks, or dents. Common on the vinyl siding (but also possible with other types), chips, cracks, and dents can potentially cause a lot more issues than might be immediately apparent. These weak spots let water get underneath your siding, and can eventually lead to more problems.
  • Bubbles or blisters. A common issue on older vinyl siding, bubbles and blisters usually occur during the summer months when water gets trapped under your siding and evaporates.
  • Dry rot in wood siding. Wood is particularly susceptible to moisture damage. Dry rot occurs when water gets under the siding, leading to mold growth and causing the siding to rot from the inside out.

REPAIR VS. REPLACEMENT

You probably have a lot of questions about choosing between having siding repaired or replaced. How long does siding last? Is siding replacement possible? How do you know when it’s time to stop making smaller repairs and replace all your siding? Can you do it yourself? A few things to keep in mind:

  • Yes, siding repair is possible. Siding can be repaired, in a manner of speaking, but the repair is really just small-scale replacement. When we talk about “siding repair” what we’re really talking about is replacing a small section of siding instead of replacing all of it.
  • Consider the scale of the damage. One rule of thumb you might hear is if more than half of your siding looks like it should be replaced, then it’s better to replace all of it. This rule works more often than not, but be sure to also consider your budget, the age of your current siding, and how long you intend to live there.
  • Each type of siding is different. The choice between repairing and replacing may also depend on what kind of siding you have. Each type has a different lifespan, different maintenance needs, and is susceptible to different issues. Fiber cement siding, for example, lasts longer than vinyl siding and is more resistant to moisture.
  • Be careful about replacing siding yourself. Only install siding yourself if you really know what you’re doing. If you’re less experienced or are replacing more than just a small section of vinyl siding, it’s best to let a professional handle it. We also don’t recommend installing fiber cement siding yourself, as it’s prone to breaking if it isn’t handled correctly.
  • Get a professional opinion. If you’re on the fence about repairing or replacing your siding, then it’s best to talk to a pro. Have your siding inspected by a contractor who can make a recommendation as to whether repair or replacement is the best call.

SIDING REPLACEMENT TIMELINE

If you’ve decided to move forward with having your siding replaced, it’s good to know what to expect in terms of a timeline, and how you can prepare your home. Be sure to ask your contractor for an estimate, and make sure you understand everything the crew will be doing, how long it will take, and what it costs.

Once you’ve set a date for your new siding to be installed (this may have to be flexible due to weather, and it may not be possible to finish in a single day) it’s time to start preparing. Here’s how you can get your home ready in the days leading up to having new siding installed:

  • Clear a path. Move everything away from your home’s exterior, mow your lawn, and trim hedges so the crew can easily access your siding.
  • Protect your valuables. We recommend taking down pictures, artwork and other decorations hanging on exterior walls so they don’t fall.
  • Keep clear. Move your car away from your home, and keep children and pets away from the area where your contractors will be working.
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