How to Care for Your Home’s Wood Siding: 7 Essential Maintenance Tips

wood siding

Whether it’s made of vinyl or wood, the siding on your home is left exposed to all sorts of elements throughout the year.

If you have wood siding, it’s crucial to learn how to care for it so that it lasts for years to come.

Read on to discover a list of seven essential maintenance tips that will keep your siding looking beautiful all year round.

1. Use a Quality Sealer

As the weather and temperature changes, your wood siding will naturally expand and contract. If you don’t protect the siding, the paint can chip, the wood can crack, and caulked seams can start to come apart. All wood products need a sealer, especially those that are outside.

Make sure you seal your siding at least once a year to keep it safe and protected. Certain types of wood that are known to be rot-resistant like cypress and cedar still need to be sealed. Look for sealers that can handle hot temperatures, extreme cold, and everything in between.

2. Keep Your Wood Siding Clean

All types of siding should be kept clean, so clean yours at least once per year using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Start by doing your cleaning in 20-foot sections as you work your way from the bottom to the top. This ensures that there are no drips that can leave unsightly stains and marks behind.

If you notice any mildew, be sure to use a fungus-killing cleaning product and wear eye protection for safety. Once the antifungal solution is applied, rinse the siding thoroughly with water. For rust stains, dissolve some oxalic acid in warm water and gently scrub the rust spots away before rinsing.

3. Give Your Siding a Makeover

One way to maintain your wood siding is to give it a fresh, new look. If you love the appearance of natural wood, refinish it using the same color or try something different to bring out the grain. Allow the finish to dry and then apply a new coat of sealant on top.

You can also paint your siding if you want to give your home a different color. Just make sure you use a quality outdoor paint and have it professionally applied if you can. Use several coats, then finish it with a sealer to keep it looking new.

4. Replace Damaged Sections of Siding

It’s almost impossible to avoid damage to your siding at some point, so make sure you replace those damaged spots when you can. A professional can help to remove the damaged areas and leave the remaining areas intact. If you don’t repair wood siding properly, it can look uneven and mismatched.

It’s difficult to match up damaged wood siding perfectly, so rely on a pro who can ensure that everything looks in line. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $300 or more per damaged panel. Repairing and replacing damaged siding can prevent further issues and will keep your home protected and insulated.

5. Take Preventative Measures

Your wood siding can become damaged due to a variety of factors including the weather and landscaping. During warm days with temperatures that are 65 degrees or higher, inspect and then replace any missing or damaged caulk.

Keep a close eye on plants in your yard and remove all tree limbs or shrubs that are coming into contact with the siding. Plants can transfer moisture into the tiny cracks and other openings of your wood siding. When you mow the yard, be aware of any sticks or small stones that can be thrown onto the siding and cause dings and other damage.

6. Check Your Home’s Ventilation

An attic with improper ventilation can transfer humidity and moisture to your siding which can result in rotting or other damage. Make sure your attic has the proper ventilation to keep your home and your wood siding nice and dry.

Your indoor humidity should be around 65-percent or lower to prevent moisture from getting behind the siding. In areas that are prone to ice dams, add roof heat tracing wires to prevent excess ice buildup. With good ventilation and reduced moisture exposure, the siding should last for a lot longer.

7. Powerwash with Caution

Power washing is a great way to clean your siding quickly and easily, but it can also wreak havoc on wood. The strong water can strip your paint, leaving gouges in the wood and loosening caulk. It can also force moisture into the wood even if it’s painted on the surface.

Don’t aim a pressure washer upward since this can force the water to go underneath the siding. Spray away from the surface and then slowly point the tip upward toward your siding at a distance of one foot or more away. Go the full length of your siding and never move it up and down to ensure a smooth and even sweep.

Keep Your Siding Fresh and Maintained

Use these tips to ensure that your wood siding stays beautiful for years to come. Always keep your siding clean and check it frequently for signs of damage so you can replace it as soon as possible.

Keep trees and other plants away from the siding, and check the ventilation in your home to keep humidity levels at a reasonable rate. With the right maintenance, this siding can give your home a beautiful look that will last.

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