Siding is a home’s first line of defense against elements like moisture, heat, wind, and humidity, so it is wise to take the time to properly maintain it. Because modern siding options like vinyl and hardboard are so durable, it’s easy to assume that they don’t require any real maintenance at all. At Aloha Construction, they knows better than that—and want their customers to know better too. After all, after investing your hard-earned cash to have quality siding installed, don’t you want it to keep protecting your home and enhancing its curb appeal for as long as possible?
Taking the time to maintain your home’s structure and exterior can improve your home’s market value and overall appearance. Aloha Construction is a family owned and operated general contractor located in Lake Zurich, Illinois. With a specialization in roofing, siding, and gutter repair, they know how to take care of a home’s exterior.
Since many types of siding are available these days, the kinds of care and maintenance that are needed will vary. However, there are some general rules for caring for and protecting the siding of all kinds. As you will see, siding isn’t something that can be installed and then forgotten. For it to continue to provide adequate protection–and to keep looking appealing—certain steps should be taken to occasionally clean, inspect and protect it. Keep these tips in mind to keep your siding in tip-top shape:
Don’t wait until you have an obvious problem on your hands before taking a closer look at the siding of your home. For best results, make a point of inspecting the siding on your home at least once a year. Section by section, check for signs that the siding is pulling away. Check for holes, gaps and cracks that could allow in things like moisture and wind. Check for signs of rotting or staining and keep your eyes peeled for signs of insect damage or infestation. If your home has two stories, be sure to take proper safety precautions when using a ladder.
Take the Steps to Clean your Siding
Regardless of the type of siding that you’re dealing with, it pays to give it a thorough cleaning at least once per year. The way in which you clean the siding will depend on the material in question. There are several reasons to clean siding annually. Doing so helps to wipe away dust, leaves, dirt and other debris that may have accumulated. It gives you the opportunity to wash away insects that may have taken up residence there. It also allows you to uncover potential problems along the way. Most importantly it freshens up your siding helping to improve the overall curb appeal of your home.
Clear Off Debris
All too often, homeowners take the durability of siding options like vinyl for granted and give little thought to the possibility of damage from nearby trees, bushes, and other plants. A major part of maintaining any type of siding involves maintaining the landscaping of your property. Overgrown branches can easily scrape or dent certain types of siding, and piles of wood and other materials that are kept too close to the house can be breeding grounds for pests that may damage the siding. They can also harbor excessive moisture that can lead to the development of mold and mildew.
It is important to protect the siding of a home any time that potentially harsh or damaging chemicals or materials will be used nearby. If you need to spray paint something out on the driveway, make sure to cover nearby expanses of siding with a tarp to avoid accidentally marring them. Take care any time that you will be using things like fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides near siding, and keep things like motor oil away from it as well. In case of natural disasters, research the appropriate steps to take to protect your home’s siding.
Finally, it always pays to take a proactive approach any time that you notice damage to the siding on your home. If the damage is minor, you may be able to handle it yourself. Otherwise, Aloha Construction can help to get your siding back into good shape again. It serves all of Illinois and Southern Wisconsin and offers free home inspections. In this part of the country, ice dams are a real possibility. Check the siding under the eaves for signs of water damage as this can be a sign of ice dams. If ice dams are happening, you can try sealing gaps around pipes and ducts in the attic and adding more insulation. You can also contact Aloha about possible upgrades, maintenance, or repairs on your home’s siding.
How to Maintain Your Home’s Siding
We’ve created a specific maintenance information with advice for today’s most popular types of siding. Simply find the type of siding that is installed on your house and read the tips to get up to speed about how to properly care for it. If you are tired of dealing with old siding that needs a lot of upkeep, keep in mind that Aloha Construction can install new, durable siding for you for affordable prices. Their family owned and operated business serves customers throughout the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Vinyl Siding Maintenance
When it first appeared in the 1950s, vinyl siding was an absolute game-changer. Prior to its invention, aluminum siding was the go-to choice for homeowners. Durable and affordable, vinyl siding is resistant to insects, heat, cold, moisture and winds in excess of 110 miles per hour, and minimal upkeep is required. This type of siding is so durable that it is usually warrantied for anywhere from 20 to 40 years; some brands even offer lifetime warranties.
Inspect vinyl siding at least once per year to ensure that it is in good shape. Take particular care to look for pieces of siding that may be coming loose. If they do they can quickly bend or otherwise become warped, and replacement is usually the only option then. Like all types of siding, vinyl siding is susceptible to water infiltration wherever it meets corner moldings, doors, and windows. In those places, look for caulk that may be cracked or pulling away, and reapply it on a dry, warm day.
Keep vinyl siding looking bright and new by giving it a thorough cleaning at least one time per year. Washing it will remove dirt, mildew, mold and other debris, which will help to boost the curb appeal of your home. If you have a smaller home, you can probably get away with using a bucket of warm, soapy water. Mix half a cup of TSP, or trisodium phosphate, with one gallon of water for best results. Tackle 10-foot sections one by one, scrubbing them with a soft-bristle brush with a long handle. Work your way from the bottom to the top, and make sure to rinse well as you go.
You might also consider renting a power washer, which usually runs around $75 per day. However, take care because the washer can inadvertently strip paint, gauge softwood, damage mortar, loose caulk and otherwise cause damage. Professional cleaning will cost anywhere from $300 to $500. If the siding is simply too old, consider investing in some new vinyl siding. With professional installation by Aloha Construction, it is sure to make a huge difference in the quality and appearance of your home.
Aluminum Siding Maintenance
For many years, aluminum siding was the go-to option for homes across the U.S. It fell out of favor somewhat with the advent of vinyl siding in the 1950s, but it continues to be used because it is a practical choice in many situations. This soft metal is an exceptionally affordable option for siding, and it comes in several thicknesses. The thicker the aluminum, the better it will insulate the home—and the more expensive it will be. Aluminum siding is completely resistant to water, so it won’t rot, swell or develop mold or mildew. It is fire resistant and insect proof, but it dents very easily. Replacing a single section can be very difficult and expensive. Over time, the finish on aluminum siding may begin to appear chalky or dull in color, but the underlying metal will not rust.
If you have aluminum siding on your home, perform an annual inspection to ensure that new types of damage haven’t developed. Pay attention to the quality of the paint as you inspect the siding; cracked or chipped paint can be a sign of an underlying problem. Look carefully for gaps, holes or other areas where moisture, wind, insects and other potentially damaging things can get through, and seal them up with a metal filler like Bondo.
Although aluminum siding is quite durable, it should ideally be cleaned at least once or twice per year to keep it looking new. The best way to accomplish this is by using a pressure washer. If you do not own one, you can rent one for around $75 per day. Fill the tube in the washer with laundry detergent; take care not to aim it at softwood or anything else that can be easily damaged by the high-pressure spray. Never scrape aluminum siding; if you need to take something off, use 400- or 600-grit sandpaper. Apply a zinc oxide primer to the bare underlying aluminum, and then use spray paint to finish it.
Wood Siding Maintenance
Wood siding is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most difficult types of siding to properly maintain. Typically installed as shingles or clapboard, wood siding is highly susceptible to water damage. It expands and contracts with fluctuations in temperature and humidity, and this can cause the paint finish to chip and crack and for caulk in the seams to become stressed and fall away. Wood rot is a real problem; to combat it, wood siding must be repainted and refinished at least every five years.
While inspecting wood siding, be on the lookout for signs of water damage. Check for small holes, cracks and other places where moisture and insects can easily gain access. If you find signs of rotted wood, cut it away and replace it. Check to sheathe everywhere, and nail it back into place if you find any that have become loose. Patch any holes, cracks or gaps that you run across to ward off additional water damage. Every four to six years or so, repaint or re-stain the siding to seal the wood fibers away from moisture. Using a sprayer, two people can get the job done in about four to five days for around $500.
Note that performing repairs to wood siding isn’t a do-it-yourself job in most cases. That is because it is very difficult to remove the section that needs to be repaired without damaging adjacent sections. Aloha Construction is available to perform repairs on your wood siding as they’ve completed more than 18,000 projects, They have the experience and coverage that are needed to get the job done right the first time—and quickly.
Stucco Siding Maintenance
Stucco siding is an attractive and practical choice in many parts of the country, but it has its drawbacks. In particular, it is very susceptible to being attacked by woodpeckers, and the birds can cause considerable damage to this type of siding with their constant pecking. Because it is so porous, stucco is also very susceptible to staining; a small spot of mold can spread and become a major problem quickly, so it is crucial to act fast when problems arise.
If you have stucco siding on your home, it is crucial to carefully inspect it at least once or twice per year. While doing so, look for signs of pest damage; in particular, check for holes that may have been packed into the siding by woodpeckers. Look for stains too, which may be caused by things like mold and tree sap. Small cracks and holes may be sealed with a color-matched exterior acrylic caulk; press a little sand onto the surface of the caulk when it’s still wet to make the repair less obvious. You can then paint over the patchwork as needed. For larger repairs, professional intervention is a must; you can count on our team to make short work of damage to stucco siding.
Clean your stucco siding at least one time per year. Use a mixture of one part bleach and four parts water, and gently scrub the surface with a soft-bristle brush. If you run across stains from things like mildew, mold or tree sap, start by dabbing them with some diluted bleach. For larger areas, test a small area first before proceeding. Note that degreaser is also very effective for cleaning stucco.
Fiber Cement/Hardee Board Siding Maintenance
Made from a combination of cement, wood fiber, sand, and other materials, fiber cement siding, which is also called Hardee board siding or hardboard siding, is one of today’s most popular siding choices. This is largely because of its durability and because it can be made to look like real wood, stucco or even masonry. Non-combustible and resistant to termites and moisture, fiber cement siding typically comes with warranties of 50 years or so, so it is a good investment. If you are interested in having hardboard siding installed, Aloha Construction can make it happen.
As with other types of siding, it is important to inspect hardboard siding at least once per year. Like wood and vinyl siding, sections of it must be removed to be repaired, which is why do-it-yourself repairs aren’t usually an option. Therefore, if you run across signs of damage while inspecting the siding, you should plan on calling a contractor to perform the repairs and to avoid causing damage to adjacent sections. Like wood siding, this type of siding can be damaged by the freeze-thaw cycle, so look closely for signs of this type of damage.
Like wood siding, hardboard siding must be refinished from time to time. Luckily, it doesn’t tend to need this type of maintenance quite as often as wood. Many types of fiber cement siding come factory primed; some styles are even factory primed and pre-painted, and these ones tend to stand the test of time the best. When refinishing and repainting hardboard siding, double-check any caulking that you find to ensure that it is still in good shape and preventing moisture from getting inside.
Get Help with Your Siding from Aloha Construction
Even if you are conscientious about properly maintaining the siding on your home, things happen. Over time, even the most durable and well-designed types of siding become due for replacement. Given the impact that siding has on the energy efficiency of a home, it is reasonable to say that having new siding installed is well worth the investment thanks to savings on energy costs and the like. Whether your current siding has seen better days and you want new siding installed or if you need professional repairs performed to your siding, Aloha Construction is here to help. With their help, maintaining existing siding or upgrading to new siding couldn’t be easier. The team recently won the BBB’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in 2017.
With over a decade of experience taking care of customers all over th Lake Zurich and Bloomington areas, they’ve extended their expertise. They have experience taking care of nearly all times of siding.