There are few home repairs more thoroughly ignored than failing siding and exterior trim. This may happen for several reasons. Many people simply do not notice – out of sight out of mind. There is often a perception that the exterior of a home is invincible, however, even brick homes have trim that can fail. Or it may feel too big and confusing to handle. In addition, the cost can be intimidating – never mind that waiting will just make it more expensive. This is not a repair that should be ignored. Dealing with siding issues early on will save time and money. When siding fails bad things happen, much of which cannot be seen. Left unattended, siding and trim failures will eventually bring a building to the ground. Our homes, unlike the great structures of yore, are made primarily of biodegradable materials. Though they are unlikely to last millennium, if well cared for, they can certainly last generations.
Here are six specific problems that you can look for.
Or you can just call us for a for a Free Siding Consultation at 979-696-0524 or arrange to have us call you.
1 – Rot
Here in College Station and Bryan we live in a hot, humid climate that is unkind to wood and paint. When the paint fails, wood is exposed to our harsh climate conditions. A small paint failure will allow water to get to wood, which in turn will speed up paint failure. This will eventually lead to rot in the wood.
Rot is a self-exacerbating condition. As wood rots, it softens and is able to hold more water, which encourages rot to spread faster. This is why it is important to deal with rot issues as soon as they appear. If caught early, repair is possible. However, if left unattended, replacement becomes the likely scenario.
Rot frequently hides under gutters, behind metal trims and at hard to see roof intersections.
2 - Frequent Painting Needed
If your paint is not holding up as long as you feel it should, this may be a sign your siding or trim is beginning to soften and may need replacing. In the hot summer, moisture trapped in the wood will try to escape pushing at the film of paint on it. Once the wood begins to soften it can hold more water building up more pressure behind the paint.
3 - Poorly Installed Siding
In our region, the people who build the frame of a house are usually the ones who put the siding and exterior trim on it. Framing a house is a fast process that does not require close attention to detail. However, siding and trim do. Because those doing the work tend to be less detail oriented, important details often overlooked. Siding is frequently run too close to the roofing, protective flashings are often left off and trim is run on top of the siding rather than bringing the siding to the trim. These are just a few of the many application problems that we most often encounter when residing a home.
4 – High Utility Bills
There are many factors that can lead to higher than necessary utility bills. Key among them is how well the envelope of the house is protected. In the Brazos Valley, heating and cooling are our biggest utility costs. The interface between the space that we are conditioning and the outdoors is a large part of what determines how much energy we will have to use to heat and cool. The two big variables are air infiltration and insulation.
Air and moisture infiltration are significantly handled by the application of siding and trim. When corners are cut, which in new home construction they usually are, bad things happen. Consequently, when siding is replaced it is an opportunity to tighten the house and reduce air and moisture leaks.
The opportunity for improving insulation when replacing siding may seem less obvious, but it is a significant opportunity. Usually, when replacing siding we open the wall and have an opportunity to inspect the existing insulation. It is common that we find significant voids and even completely missing insulation. This is the time to fix the issue making the home more comfortable and energy efficient.
Often clients will choose to go even further in improving the insulation in their home by adding a continuous layer of high-density foam insulation sheathing. The value in this step is less about the amount of insulation that is added and more about where it is added. A typical 2X4 wall has R-13 insulation in it, but the R value passing through the frame of the house is only about 5. This is known as thermal bridging and accounts for a significant amount of a homes energy loss. By adding just ½” of foam sheathing a considerable energy savings can be realized.
5 - Dampness in the house
As we have seen, improperly sealing the envelope of a home can lead to energy consuming air leaks. In our hot, humid climate outside air most often carries with it a good deal of moisture. Consequently, this moisture makes achieving comfort in the home more difficult and energy consuming. It can cause mold, which presents significant health issues. By tightening up your home when new siding is installed, we are able to reduce the amount of moisture that gets into the house. If your house frequently feels damp, it could be a sign that you may need to replace your siding.
6 - Bad siding
There are a few good siding choices for our hot, humid climate. There are far more bad ones.
For a Free Siding Consultation you can call us at 979-696-0524 or arrange to have us call you.