Regular wood siding maintenance is required to keep your siding healthy and from experiencing any potential issues. The home exterior experts at Feazel will help navigate how to complete annual upkeep and things to look out for while cleaning your siding.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Wood Siding
Wood siding performs at its best when maintained annually. Upkeep involves annual cleaning and then either staining or painting the siding every couple of years. Routine maintenance will allow you to stay in front of any potential problems.
How to Clean Your Siding
Cleaning your siding is meant to spruce up the exterior of your house and give you a chance to inspect it. Siding protects you from wind, snow, hail, rain, and more. Considering that it carries a heavy load, it is critical to give it some occasional TLC.
Supplies that you will need to clean your siding.
- Five-gallon bucket
- Soapy water mixture of dish soap and warm water
- A store-bought solution
- Brush with soft bristles
- Garden hose and spray nozzle
Now that you have the necessary supplies, let’s clean the siding.
- Don’t look at cleaning your siding as the entirety of your house simultaneously. It needs to be broken into chunks.
- Remove large dirt or debris such as spiderwebs, wasp nests, bird nests, and so on.
- Wet the area of siding you want to tackle first
- Apply the solution with the brush. Move horizontally from the bottom to the top.
- Rinse from the top to the bottom.
- Scrub the siding again and rinse
- Move on to the next piece of siding to clean
Mildew on Wood Siding
Discovering mildew growing on your wood siding is common. It may look unsightly and you should take efforts to remove it. A fungus-killing cleaner will do the trick. Simply cover nearby plants and scrub away (after reading the directions on the package).
Rust stains form from un-galvanized nails being used. If you start to see rust stains on your wood siding you will need the following
- Oxalic acid
- Warm water
- Acid proof gloves
- Eye protection
- Soft-bristled brush
Mix four ounces of acid into one cup of water. Cover your nearby plants and any nearby surfaces. Scrub with your brush and rinse.
Can You Power Wash Wood Siding?
Power washing in the hands of a professional can be a quick and effective way to clean your siding. Power washers can peel caulking, force water behind the siding, and even gouge the wood. If you must power wash, trust a professional.
Sealing Wood Siding
Taking the time to seal your wood siding will prolong its life. Paint and stain break down over time and cause homeowners to re-seal their siding. Actively cleaning and re-sealing your siding, you can prevent chips in the paint, cracks, and caulking issues.
Wood siding needs to be repainted every 5-10 years. If you want to change up your exterior from painted to stained, consult this article for pointers.
Follow these four steps to paint your wood siding.
1. Clean your siding thoroughly
2. Re-caulk the joints
Use high-quality exterior caulking to fill all gaps. This will prevent moisture from getting into your home.
Priming a shade or two lighter helps achieve full coverage and allows you to see where you have already primed.
Roll on, spray on, or hire a professional. If you are going the DIY sprayer route, cover your windows and any other places you do not want to be painted. It may be beneficial to move your vehicles unless you want overspray to get on them.
You will need to re-stain your home every 3-5 years. Stain penetrates the fibers of your wood siding and acts as a barrier against UV rays and protects your home from moisture penetration. It also helps prevent chips and cracks.
Wood Siding Maintenance (These Small Problems Can Turn Big)
Regardless of what type of siding you choose, there is a level of annual maintenance that needs to be completed. Much like your gutters or windows, annual maintenance goes a long way in identifying potential problems before they become big.
Caulking is a line of defense against moisture penetration. Take a look at all the caulking around your windows for any worn or missing caulking and replace it immediately.
Venting keeps air flowing into your home and out. If hot and humid air is trapped in your attic, it can rot your siding. If you have experienced ice dams in the winter, it may be wise to look into ventilation issues in your roof.
Siding repair can start small or go big and it depends on the level of damage. Small dents, dings, or holes can be patched with exterior wood putty, sanded, primed, and painted. Large holes or cracks may need to be repaired by a contractor who can safely remove the piece and replace it.
Lawnmowers can throw sticks, rocks, and more at your house. Your siding or windows will take the brunt of the damage. Look for cracks, dents, and dings. You may patch those with exterior wood putty. Large holes or cracks may need a professional to replace a portion of the siding.
Insects/ Critters/ Woodpeckers
Insects such as carpenter ants and bees can cause wood siding damage. Contact an exterminator to address the insect damage and the next steps before sealing off the damage.
Squirrels can gnaw on the wood to help keep their teeth down. You can trap squirrels or set up measures to keep them away from your home like unfavorable scents or a fake owl. Make sure that they have not made a home in your attic before sealing off the holes.
Woodpeckers may poke away and poke holes. They may come back yearly, but there are steps you can take to dissuade them from targeting your home. Put CDs on a string to simulate movement or place a suet feeder away from your home. Some woodpeckers are protected so be cautious with any drastic measures.
Wood Siding Maintenance Helps Keep Your Home Beautiful and Safe
Wood siding maintenance is a necessity to help prolong the life of your siding. It is a beautiful material and regular upkeep helps it remain strong, and sturdy, and keeps you safe. If you are experiencing any issues, reach out to the home exterior experts at Feazel today. We have offices in
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