Wood is a hard-wearing, visually appealing option for exterior siding, trim, or other architectural details. When properly looked after, wood siding can easily last 20-40 years, but it does require regular maintenance to keep it looking great. Moisture, heat, dry rot, insect damage, and wear and tear from old age can cause splitting, bowing, or splintering. At best, this affects the look of your property. At worst, it can cause structural damage.
Here’s how to keep your exterior wood looking great and when to think about replacing it.
Maintaining Wood Siding and Trim
Maintaining wood siding and trim is mostly a matter of protecting it from the elements. Regularly check your wood exterior and do the following if problems are found:
- Paint exterior wood. Untreated, exposed wood can easily be damaged by the weather. If used for decks or flooring, it can also become a slip hazard. Paint or treat all exterior wood to protect it from the elements.
- Patch holes in wood. Unpatched holes can let water and refuse into your building and can also encourage animal infestations. Remove any rot, then patch holes with a waterproof filler, sanding when dry.
- Clean wood siding. Pressure cleaning wood siding can remove stains, mildew, and mold that can affect the integrity of your paint finish and lead to wood damage. Arrange to have your property professionally pressure cleaned at least once a year.
- Cut back any intruding foliage. Trees, shrubs, and foliage conduct moisture and can damage your wood siding. Ensure that any greenery is trimmed back and with adequate room between any foliage and your siding.
Signs Your Wood Siding Needs Replacing
If your building suffers from deferred maintenance or the weather has been extreme, your wood siding might need more than routine maintenance. Here’s when a replacement might be required:
- Wood is extensively cracked, warped, or damaged. If it’s just a few boards, you might be able to replace those in question. But if the wood is showing signs of significant damage, new siding might be your best option.
- Your wood siding is reaching the end of its lifespan. Wood is long wearing, but all good things eventually come to an end. Replacing old wood can be the best way to prevent potential structural damage or water intrusion into your building.
- There are signs of water intrusion into the building. Mold, mildew, or peeling paint and wallpaper can indicate that water is getting into your property. An old roof, old wood siding, or even wood foundations can be the culprit.
Choosing the Right Replacement for Your Wood Siding
If replacement is required, here’s what to consider:
- Choose a matching wood. If you’re only replacing part of your siding, strive for a wood that matches your existing wood finish. It will have similar aesthetic and durability properties, meaning you won’t end up with a mismatched result.
- Choose a hardy wood. Pine and cedar are the most common species for wood siding, with cedar being the hardiest against the elements – but also more expensive.
- Consider a wood alternative. Engineered wood, vinyl siding, and fiber cement are all popular contemporary choices. They’re long-lasting and more affordable than traditional wood siding. Note that vinyl siding isn’t designed to be painted.
- Who will perform the installation. Wood siding is the protective “skin” of your building, so proper installation is vital. Inexpert installation can lead to gaps, overlaps, and an uneven finish. Always have a professional fit and install your wood siding.
Talk to Manders About Maintaining or Replacing Your Wood Siding
At Manders, we have extensive experience in maintaining, repairing, and replacing the wood siding of all types for a variety of buildings. Whether your wood exterior needs a spruce up, a quick repair, or a wholesale redo, we can help. Talk to our expert team today about repairing or replacing your wood siding – and know that your investment property will be in good shape for years to come.