With routine maintenance, your homes siding should last for years. To keep your house looking at its best you should inspect your siding for damage in the spring and autumn. Make any needed repairs as soon as you can and clean and repaint regularly.
How to maintain and inspect you homes siding:
Inspecting Your Homes Siding: Look for obvious problems such as warped boards, missing or damaged shingles, holes in stucco, crumbling mortar, cracks in your home’s exterior paint. Don’t ignore problems such as dry rot and termite damage. Dry rot and termite damage is the most serious damages that can accrue and may eventually destroy your house.
Begin with a visual inspection of your home: The following is a list of problems and solutions to guide you through a visual inspection of your homes siding:
Deteriorated caulking: Make a note of any caulking that had dried out and need to be re-caulked. Check the seals around windows and doors and where a deck or fireplaces adjoins to the house. If any cracks in a boarded siding are found, you should caulk them.
Defective Paint: Repaint any defective areas of paint. If necessary, repaint all of the siding.
Cracks: Long, vertical cracks in masonry walls may be a result of settling. To find if the crack is due to settling of your home, place tape over a crack and leave it in place of several months. If the tape twists or splits, this may mean you your foundation is settling and you should consult a professional to determine if there a serious structural problem. If the tap is still in place all that is need to be done is to repair the crack.
Mildew: Combination of heat and humidity may lead to mildew on wood and painted surfaces. To retard mildew see how to clean your homes siding.
Efflorescence: Brick or stone veneer may become covered in efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white powder formed when water-soluble salts are washed to the surface. On an old wall, this may indicate a leak. Cleaning the siding will remove the efflorescence.
Dry Rot and Termite Damage: Dry rot is a fungus that causes wood to crumble. Termites destroy wood by crewing out its interior. Both can work away at wood timbers and siding.
To detect damage by termites, probe the edges of wood siding with a knife to look for soft, spongy spots. Pay special attention to any part of the siding that’s close to or in contact with the ground. Check for visible evidence of termites by looking for any bug that has translucent 1/2 inch-long wings. If you find any mud tubes this also may be a sign of termites.
If you find evidence of dry rot or termites, consult a licensed termite inspector at once.