Tips and Tricks for Wood Siding Maintenance
For stunning exterior that stand the test of time, few materials compare to wood siding. However, along with its attractive aesthetic comes a hefty price tag. To ensure your clapboard, shingles or board and batten look great for years to come – and save you from potentially pricey repairs in the future – regular maintenance and upkeep are essential.
Wood provides a gorgeous, natural appearance, which is why many homeowners choose it for their siding material. Wood can deteriorate quickly if not cared for properly when exposed to the elements, pests, or over time due to wear and tear. We’ve compiled seven tips and tricks for wood siding maintenance to keep your home in top notch condition:
1. Get into a Routine
When it comes to maintenance, the best way to stay organized is to take preventative measures and create a schedule for routine inspections of your siding. We recommend the following timeline for your siding upkeep:
- Every 6 Months
- Visual inspection focusing on wood rot and termites
- Every Few Years
- To help protect your wood siding from sun damage, wind and moisture build-up – repainting or restaining your wooden surfaces should be done every 2-5 years. For an extra layer of protection that will provide a glossy look, use a clear sealant as well.
- Focus on cleaning using warm, soapy water and a brush to remove dirt and dust. If mildew has formed, then bleach may need to be added to your solution as well.
2. Power Wash with Care
While power washing can be a convenient way to clean your siding, it’s important not to aim the pressure washer upward. This could force water beneath the surface and strip away paint, leaving gouges in wood or loosening caulk. For optimal results when power washing wooden surfaces, keep your tip one foot or more away from the siding while spraying downward.
3. Maintain Plants and Trees
Plants and trees commonly surround homes to give them a touch of beauty in the landscape, but it’s important to not let them come in contact with the siding. Moisture easily collects on live plants that can increase the likelihood of causing damage like scratches and rotting over time if the wood siding is exposed to it.
The best rule of thumb is to keep enough room for someone to walk comfortably through the space between any plants and your home’s siding. To prevent this type of damage, we recommend simply trimming any surrounding shrubs, trees, or plants that could pose a threat.
5. Repair Cracks and Holes Quickly
As mentioned above, any existing cracks or gaps in your siding leaves it vulnerable to let moisture in. When this moisture doesn’t receive prompt care and attention, it can begin to seep into your home’s walls – leading to damaging mold growth, rot decay and a risk of weakening the foundation that holds up your home. Don’t let this potential hazard go untreated!
6. Restore Color
Revitalize your home’s siding with wood cleaner or brightener, making it look as good as new! These helpful products can be purchased from most hardware stores, and are perfect for restoring all types of natural siding, including those that have faded over time.
7. Paint, Stain and Seal
When the weather shifts from hot to cold, your wood siding naturally expands and contracts, putting it under immense strain. Weaknesses in paint or scuffed caulking around windows and doors can let water seep into your home’s structure, causing major damage. To protect against these fluctuations, you should apply a new coat of either paint or stain with sealer onto the surface. Understanding the difference between each can be tricky, so here’s what you need to know about each option before making this decision:
A new paint job is typically required every 5 years, or as soon as you notice deterioration such as chipping or peeling.
Stain is a powerful protector when it comes to wood siding because of its ability to help shield surfaces against humidity, and also prevent cracks and chipping – unlike paint. Stain is also a more cost effective option in comparison to paint. However, one downside of sealer is due to the penetration sealer rather than coating, it can be extremely difficult to change colors down the road.
Keep your wood siding looking its best with regular sealant applications. Sealer acts as a protective barrier, helping to maintain the vibrant colors of paint or stain and prevent discoloration from UV rays. Make sure to reseal every two years for optimal protection.
7. Replace Damaged Sections
Damaged areas throughout your siding are unavoidable. To keep your home looking its best, replace those damaged spots sooner rather than later. A professional can assist in restoring specific panels quickly with minimal disruption so that you don’t end up with an uneven or mismatched appearance. Neglecting these repairs can quickly lead to a lopsided look and can easily dampen both its functionality and aesthetics.