WEST MICHIGAN SIDING AND EXTERIORS

The exterior of your home is just as important as your roof when it comes to the elements.  Your siding is what keeps out rain, snow, hail and wind, and ensures that your home lasts a lifetime.  At Werner Roofing, we recognize how important your siding is, which is why we also provide siding repair and installation services.  If you have questions about your siding, or think you might need a repair, call the experts at Werner, and we’ll get your home back in shape as soon as possible.  

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know if you need a new roof? You might get another year out of your current roof or it might not last through one more summer. The only way to truly know if you need a new roof is to have a licensed professional come to your house and inspect your roof. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Types of siding for homes:

  • Vinyl – The most popular siding option in the US, vinyl is relatively inexpensive, and easy to maintain.  It is available in a full range of colors and textures, making it a versatile option that is simple to install.  Some people even opt to install their vinyl siding themselves, though it’s important to follow manufacturer instructions exactly.  

 

  • Wood – A natural, green option, wood siding comes in a variety of patterns, from shingles to shakes.  Valued for its rich, architectural look, as long as you follow proper maintenance procedures, most wood siding options will last anywhere from 10 to 100 years.  It is important to note that wood siding is much more susceptible to termite and other pest infestations.  

 

  • Brick – Due to extra labor and installation time, brick is a siding option with a higher upfront cost.  The benefit, however, is that once your brick siding is installed, you’ll have little maintenance to do, and the brick is likely to last the lifetime of your home.  Commonly used on English and Tudor style homes, brick is an aesthetically pleasing option guaranteed to last, as long as you can stomach the higher upfront cost.  

 

  • Fiber cement – Another popular option, fiber cement siding was constructed to offer homeowners the possibility of a wood-like siding without the higher costs and maintenance hassles.  Constructed from a mixture of cement, sand, and wood fibers, this siding option is highly durable, and requires little maintenance, all while providing a more textured look.  A perfect option for the homeowner who prefers wood, masonry, or stucco siding options, but doesn’t want to spend as much.  

 

  • Stucco – Typically used in Mediterranean, Ranch and Spanish style homes, stucco is a long-lasting siding option.  Though it requires a higher upfront installation cost, and a bit more maintenance, if properly installed a stucco finish will last for the lifetime of your home.   It is important to hire a professional for the installation however, because if improperly done, stucco siding is likely to crack.  

 

  • Stone/Stone Veneers – A high-quality option, stone siding can also be expensive.  Since it is much heavier, and can take a while to install, upfront costs reflect the additional labor.  However, the architectural appeal of a stone-finished house is very popular.  For a less expensive stone option, stone veneer siding is also available.  In this case, lighter stone siding is placed over the existing walls of a home.  

 

When to replace your siding:

Unless your home is sided with a material like brick, stone, or stucco, you’re eventually going to have to get it re-sided.  Though it may seem like a hassle and a lot of money to spend, having quality siding will prolong the life and structural integrity of your home by keeping in heat and air conditioning, and protecting your home’s structure from the elements.  Here’s seven signs it might be time for a replacement:

  1. Cracked and peeling siding – If a few pieces of your siding have come loose in a storm or high winds, while you’ll want to replace those as soon as possible, you don’t have major cause for concern.  But if there are considerably more sections of siding that are beginning to crack or peel, it’s a big sign that it might be time to get your home re-sided.  Cracks and peels leave your home exposed to the elements, and generally big issues like this mean you might have a more serious problem going on behind the siding.  It’s a good idea to call a professional to see what’s going on.  
  2. Mold and fungus – Some regions with humid climates are very susceptible to molds and fungi that grow on the outside of a home, but these can also be major signs that it might be time to get your siding replaced.  In many cases, molds and fungi are an indicator that your siding is trapping water within, which is bad for your home’s structure and encourages even worse problems like dry rot.
  3. Peeling paint or wallpaper – Believe it or not, peeling paint or wallpaper on the interior of your home can be an indicator that something’s not quite right with your home’s exterior.  If siding is allowing water to enter and stay in the walls of your home, it’s possible that the moisture will cause your paint and wallpaper to peel.  So if you recently painted, and your walls still seems to be peeling, your siding might be at fault.  It’s a good idea to get it checked out to see if it’s time for a replacement.
  4. Warped or buckling siding – If you notice your siding seems misshapen, if it’s warped or seems to be buckling, this is a sign that you should have it looked at.  When moisture gets past the exterior of your home, it gets trapped in the underlying boards, causing them to warp and buckle.  This is a major indicator that your siding is not keeping out the elements like it’s supposed to, and you should get it replaced as soon as possible.  
  5. Dry rot – Most common in wood siding, dry rot is a major problem that’s not always detected immediately.  Dry rot usually starts in the under-layers of siding, and eats those away before the top protective layer of your siding is even affected.  It’s a good idea to go around with a screwdriver and lightly tap on the exterior of your home.  If you feel any soft spots indicating dry rot, those sections should be replaced immediately, and in extreme dry rot cases, you may have to get your entire home re-sided.
  6. Holes in the siding – Even small holes in your siding can be a major problem.  Beside the fact that holes mean water and precipitation can more easily enter the interior of your home, they’re often an indicator of rodent or insect infestation.  If you see any holes in your home’s siding, call a professional immediately.  
  7. Faded siding – While this may seem like more of a surface-level issue, faded siding can be another indicator that it’s time to get your home re-sided.  Most types of vinyl and synthetic siding materials are made to maintain their color for their entire lifetime, so if you notice a lot of fading, you might want to call a professional to see how much a re-siding job will cost you.  Extremely faded siding is a sign that your siding is reaching the end of its life.  

 

How to maintain your vinyl siding:

Vinyl siding is probably the lowest maintenance option on the market, but that doesn’t mean you can just put it up and forget about it.  While it is very low maintenance, there are a few things you’ll have to keep in mind to make sure that your vinyl siding stays looking fresh for as long as possible.

 

Wash it – It’s a good idea to wash your vinyl siding about once a year.  It shouldn’t take you more than a few hours, and if you wash it regularly, it will stay brighter for longer.  You can wash vinyl siding by hand, or you can opt to wash it by pressure washer.  If you do go with a pressure washer, make sure you follow manufacturer instructions on power level, and always wash from eye level so no water gets trapped under the siding.

Don’t paint it – The biggest benefit of vinyl siding is that it doesn’t have to be painted.  It comes in a variety of colors and finishes for the express reason of avoiding painting projects, so pick a color you like, and stick with it.  If you absolutely have to paint it, or think it’s necessary, make sure you check the manufacturer’s warranty before you do so.  Many warranties will be voided in the event that you paint your siding.  Additionally, if you do paint your siding, make sure you pick a light, reflective color that will discourage warping due to changing temperatures and direct sunlight.  

Avoid heat – Since most vinyl sidings are composed of an organic, plastic-like material, they have a very low melting point.  Make sure you keep any grills or other combustible materials far away from your siding.  Believe it or not, the heat put out from your grill can melt a big spot of siding before you even notice it.  So, keep the grill a fair distance away from the house when you’re barbecuing.  

Don’t run into it – While vinyl siding won’t dent like other materials, it can crack and break, so be conscientious of where you park lawn mowers and vehicles.  If something does happen, and a piece of your siding does crack or break, get it replaced as soon as possible.  Siding exists to keep the elements out, and if it’s broken it won’t adequately perform this job.  

 

How to maintain wood siding:

  • Re-stain – Since wood is highly susceptible to water and the elements, it’s important that you restain your wood siding every few years.  Stain seals out water and precipitation and lengthens the life of your siding.  If stain isn’t the look you like, you can also go for a wood-siding specific paint.  It might be a good idea to hire a professional to do the job if your house is large, or taller than one story, since it can be a time consuming and dangerous job.  
  • Remove mold and fungus – Since wood siding tends to hold in water more so than other types of siding, it’s likely to grow small spots of mold and fungus.  Before you restain your house, it’s a good idea to clean these spots off, as long as they’re few and far between.  If you have a lot of mold or fungi on your siding, you might need to call a professional, as the problem could be much larger than just a little bit of mold.  
  • Check for holes – Holes in wood siding are a much bigger deal than other siding options.  Holes allow entrance to pests, and can promote fungus and mold growth as well as dry rot.  If you see any holes in your wood siding, first make sure it’s not a sign of termites or other pests, and then replace the affected shingles as soon as possible.  If you do see signs of infestation, call a professional immediately.
  • Trim trees and bushes – If you have wood siding, it’s important that you keep all foliage at a respectable distance from your home.  If trees and bushes are too close, pests are more likely to infest your wood siding, and they also can expose your home to more moisture.  Make sure you trim encroaching leaves and branches away from your house regularly.  

 

How to maintain fiber cement siding:

Though fiber cement siding is often touted as the lowest maintenance siding option, this doesn’t mean it’s no-maintenance.  Just like all other options, fiber cement siding does require some regular maintenance, although it is considerably less than is necessary for other siding types.  

 

Caulk – Because of the nature of fiber cement siding, wherever it meets with another part of your house, say windows, doors, or corners, a layer of caulk is applied to seal out any water that could potentially invade your home.  Though this is a very durable material, it’s a good idea to go around and check these caulked areas about once a year, to make sure the caulk is still holding up and there are no holes or gaps that could allow water in.  

 

Wash – Just like any other type of siding, fiber cement siding needs to be washed once in awhile to keep it bright and shiny.  The easiest way to wash a fiber cement home is with a pressure washer.  If you wash the exterior of your home once a year, you’ll be getting rid of dirt and grime that would otherwise build up and discolor the appearance of your home.  

 

Paint – While most fiber cement siding comes pre-painted and pre-finished from the manufacturer, it is necessary to repaint your siding, but only every 7 to 15 years.  Most manufacturers warranty the siding finish for about 15 years, but this number does vary from company to company.  Painting a fiber cement exterior is fairly simple, since the surface is flat and holds up well against the elements.  Just make sure you purchase a paint or stain that is specifically for fiber cement siding.  
Siding can be difficult.  It’s tough to install, and problems can be hard to identify. If you have any questions regarding the siding of your home, or if you need help repairing your home’s exterior, feel free to contact Werner Roofing.

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