Winter is a tough season for homeowners. Your siding can be especially vulnerable to the snow and wind of winter storms. In general, vinyl is the most durable siding material, but siding can also be made of metal, wood, or fiber cement. No matter the type of siding you have, make sure to inspect it thoroughly before winter weather hits to catch early signs of impairment before they have a chance to get worse. If your siding is showing major wear and tear, it may be time to consider a siding replacement.
If siding is damaged, the barrier between the elements outside and your home is broken, allowing destructive moisture and pests in. It can also cause your heating and cooling bills to rise significantly. If you’ve noticed an upswing in your heating or air conditioning bill, consider insufficient siding as a possible culprit.
Vinyl Siding Cracks
Plummeting temperatures can cause older vinyl siding to become rigid and vulnerable to cracks. This problem is made worse as temperatures go up and down, causing the material to expand and contract. If vinyl siding is installed too tightly, this can cause cracks around the nails, as well. Another issue that can cause cracks are holes created by insects. These minor issues can be repaired as long as they are caught early.
If your vinyl siding already has existing cracks going into the winter season, more extensive breakage can occur from ice, hail or storm debris. Because of the unyielding nature of vinyl once the temperature dips below 40 degrees, pieces of siding can break off. That’s why it’s important to identify and fix small fractures before the problem escalates.
During winter storms, high winds can cause siding to loosen, especially if it is not securely installed. Any form of siding can be blown off, especially vinyl, due to its light weight. If siding dislodges, it can leave your insulation exposed, and thus needs to be repaired immediately. Otherwise, you can face high heating bills and moisture damage to your home’s interior. Siding is difficult to install during the winter time, especially vinyl, due to the nature of the material. Check regularly for signs of buckling or lifting away from the house, and if you notice these before or after winter, consider having a professional installer replace those pieces.
Wooden Siding Rot
Wooden siding is the most vulnerable type to winter’s effects. Melting snow and temperature changes cause the laminate protecting the wood to wear off over time, especially if this temperature fluctuation happens repeatedly over the course of the season. Wooden siding generally needs to be repaired every 5 years or so.
A more insidious problem that can go unchecked is rot that occurs underneath the siding. Because it is hard to see, this problem can grow, even to the point of damaging your house’s structure. Rot is caused by moisture, and this problem can even creep further inside, encouraging the growth of mold or mildew inside the home. Any warping in the wood is a sign of rot underneath.
Spring is an ideal time to repair damage that begins over the winter so that the heat of summer doesn’t compound those issues. Be sure to inspect your siding before the first snowfall, if possible, and also once the snow has melted. If you find any problems, a professional inspection should be your next step. Give Budget Exteriors a call at 978-289-9222 to speak with our experienced siding professionals, who can inform you of your best options for repair or replacement.