How long has it been since your home’s exterior siding was maintained or replaced? If you don’t know, then it’s probably been too long. While we may think of the exterior of a home as lasting essentially forever, contrary to popular belief your siding does eventually need to be replaced. If you think back for a moment to all the homes you’ve seen, there are plenty of examples of old siding beginning to droop, discolor, and look downright shabby. Siding doesn’t last forever, but most people don’t think of that when they buy a home. In fact, homes generally change hands quickly enough that almost no one feels responsible for exterior assets that ‘seem okay’ when they move in. Of course, as time passes, ‘seems okay’ could be hiding increasing decay and eventually, time takes its toll. The only question is how long overdue is your home for a little siding maintenance?
Lifespan of Wood Siding
The age of your home and material used for the original siding make a big difference in how often you should be maintaining it. Older homes, often made with wood siding, should be refinished at least once every five years, which means that the vast majority of homes have skipped more than a few maintenance cycles and moisture will eventually begin to seep in. This is what causes the sagging and discoloration you often see in older wood-sided homes. If your home is sided in wood, there’s a good chance that you have already missed one maintenance cycle and no guarantee that the previous owner took care of the siding either. While this does mean you’re not alone, you should consider getting it re-sealed and finished soon.
Requirements of Aluminum Siding
There’s also a good chance that your home was made with aluminum siding, as is the way with many of the more modern homes built in the last several decades. Aluminum has a tendency to last longer than wood and is much less likely to leak moisture into the house as it ages, but even this sturdy metal needs to be maintained about once every 15 years and fully replaced about every 40. Many find that it’s not the aluminum itself that takes damage but the paint enamel that is baked on in the factory. Eventually this begins to fade, becomes chalky, and then washes off in the rain leaving an unattractive and patchy appearance so it will need to be repainted every so often. While fundamentally sturdy, aluminum siding can also become scratched, pitted, or dented in a way that could permanently mar the external appeal of your home if not replaced.
Maintenance or Replacement
If your home is overdue for its regular siding maintenance, you have an important decision to make. Upkeep and repair the current siding or replace it with something that will last nearly forever with minimal maintenance in the future? If you have wood siding, want to keep your house looking nice, and don’t want to worry about maintenance every three to five years, replacement could save you both time and money in the long run. For homeowners with aluminum or even vinyl siding, you can wait another ten years to replace it, leave it to the next homeowners, or replace it now.
Modern siding technology is working hard to bring you the truly indestructible and maintenance free siding solution we’d all prefer and the latest option along these lines is fiber cement. With a predicted lifespan of 100 years with good maintenance, this could be the best decision you make for your home this decade. For advice on which siding choices are best for your home, please contact us today!