Siding Maintenance: How Each Material Differs

Siding is one of the most important parts of a home. It’s one of the first things that you see when looking at a house from the curb, and it covers the most amount of space. Plus, it’s an important part of keeping the house in good structural integrity.

If there’s a problem with the siding, homeowners can face moisture problems, insect infestations, and more. The important thing is to choose the right type of siding material by considering all of the options.

You can look at the pros and cons of each siding type and decide which one will work best for your home and location. Read on to find out about siding maintenance and how each material is different.

siding maintenance

Aluminum

Aluminum siding has been around for quite some time. There are some benefits to aluminum as well as some drawbacks. Aluminum was first chosen to be a replacement option for sheet metal siding. While metal siding was a popular option for its durability, it was also prone to rust and did not work well in places with a lot of bad weather.

Aluminum, on the other hand, is a great material to use in all kinds of weather. Another plus to aluminum is that it’s not the type of material to be susceptible to insect infestations such as termites.

Aluminum also comes in a variety of thicknesses called gauges that range from very cheap to a bit pricier. On the lower end is 40-gauge and provides a very cheap option; on the higher end is 53-gauge which is much sturdier. With those benefits also come some negatives. For example, aluminum can be very easy to dent.

A flying ball that comes at the siding from a child or tree branch that falls and hits the siding is all that it takes to dent aluminum. Another possible problem is that a tree branch is dragged along the siding, or a gust of wind comes along and scrapes the side with a branch, and scrape marks form in the side of the aluminum.

Aluminum is not easy to fix. Even an experienced technician will have problems fixing siding that is dented or scraped. It usually requires replacing quite a large part of the siding since aluminum does not come in siding boards like vinyl.

To prevent scratches and dents, go around the perimeter of your home once a month and trim any trees or branches that may be sticking out. Remove any that look like they may pose a problem to your siding. Be also on the lookout for neighbors’ trees since they can come near your siding during severe storms.

Vinyl

Vinyl has been one of the most popular choices due to its durability and classy look. While vinyl does not have as much of an upkeep as other siding choices, there are certain steps to take to keep it in the best shape possible. First, homeowners should always be careful to not put grills too close to the siding as melting can occur. Once part of the vinyl shows signs of being melted, it’s very difficult and costly to fix. Another problem with vinyl is that it can become warped due to issues with the paint.

If you decide to change the color, it’s important to go for a color that is lighter. This is because the heat from the sun can cause warping to occur when a color that is darker is chosen. Since dark colors attract the heat of the sun, they may have a problem with the temperature fluctuations given that vinyl does not work well with contracting.

woman doing vinyl siding maintenance

Wood

Wood is a classic material that provides a rustic and traditional look. One of the best aspects of wood siding is that it comes in a variety of looks and can be customized to your taste. For example, it can be painted any color possible from earth tones to bright Cape Cod cottage colors. It also can come in many different styles and types of wood including redwood and cedar, both of which are popular choices.

However, wood is prone to insect and vermin problems since it’s an organic material. Termites tend to be attracted to wood and can quickly cause problems and even structural damage if they are not noticed and taken care of right away.

Another possible problem with wood siding is that it’s prone to warping or rotting due to the weather. If you live in an area with a lot of precipitation such as rain, snow, sleet, and hail, or if you live somewhere where the temperature changes intensely, wood may not be the best option.

The reason is that the heat causes the wood to expand, while cold air makes it shrink. The frequent shrinking and expanding that the wood undergoes causes it to eventually become deformed. Be on the lookout for any gaps or holes that can start to form due to this shrinking process. If those cracks or gaps are left unattended, moisture can start to seep in and eventually cause rotting of the wood.

Taking care of your siding is as important as choosing the right kind for your home. Considering the material and the pros and cons of each can be a great place to start. Wood gives a nice classic feel, but it can warp and rot and be prone to bugs.

Vinyl is a popular choice and is able to be customized to your liking, but it also requires some upkeep and smart choices when changing the color and situating your outdoor grilling equipment. Aluminum is durable, but it can be easily dented and scratched. Each material comes with its positives and negatives that must be thought about before settling on your home’s siding.

Vinyl is the Winner

In general, we like to choose a siding style that requires minimum siding maintenance, durable, classic look, and maximum energy efficiency. As a result, the best siding style for your home is vinyl. However, you should be cautious about where you get your vinyl siding from because companies like to claim they have quality products but these products start to wear down over time.

On top of that, the installation of vinyl siding is another important aspect and you won’t get the same benefits if your siding is improperly installed. At Feldco Chicago, we have quality products that are maintained to the highest standards and our installation team is factory trained to provide 100% satisfaction to homeowners across the Midwest. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today.

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