If your siding is buckling or warping, or if you see mold or other signs of moisture inside, it may not have been installed correctly. Or if the mortar in your brick or stone siding is crumbling and causing cracks, you’ll need to repair it right away. Holes, dents, and other damage to siding look unsightly and should be fixed as promptly as possible in order to prevent much larger problems later on. Small repairs can add years to the life of the siding. Boards, shingles, and panels can be replaced, and bricks and stone can be re-mortared, deferring the need for complete re-siding jobs.
All of these types of repairs should be done by experts who have the experience to refurbish siding properly. With CLAD Siding, you’ll get free quotes from licensed, insured siding repair contractors who will do the job quickly and efficiently. Click now for a free quote in just minutes!
Common Repair Issues by Siding Type
Siding is one of the most important elements of your home. It protects the interior, keeping you safe and warm while beautifying the exterior of your house. But over time, weather, pests, and even neglectful humans can cause damage to your siding, resulting in the need for repairs. To make sure it continues to do its job, you need to keep an eye on your siding, and at the first sign of deterioration or damage, fix or replace the affected section of siding before the damage becomes much worse. Following, we’ll take a look at the various types of siding available today, and the most common repair issues that you’ll face with each one.
Vinyl Siding Repairs
Vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding options on the market today. It looks like real wood and is fairly low maintenance, only requiring an annual wash and a new paint job once a decade. But while vinyl is attractive because it doesn’t chip or peel like wood, it does have a tendency to warp in hot temperatures resulting in the need to occasionally repair vinyl siding. Warped boards will have to be replaced in their entirety, and if it’s years after the initial installation, they may not match the color of the original as vinyl tends to fade.
Vinyl siding also has issues in cold weather. If it gets too cold it can crack, leading to the formation of holes in the siding. Open areas will allow moisture to seep in, leading to possible wood rot, mold, and mildew under the siding. Holes need to be patched right away to prevent further damage. Thin vinyl is also problematic as it can dent or puncture easily. Some dents can be popped back out, but not all, and holes will have to be fixed. And finally, vinyl needs to be installed loosely in order to breathe, but too loosely and the boards can become displaced in high winds. Experienced installers should make sure they are fastened correctly.
Wood Siding Repairs
Wood siding is one of the most beautiful and versatile types of home siding on the market, but its biggest overall problem is ongoing maintenance. Wood siding must be painted or sealed every four to nine years to stay functional and attractive. While the wood used in siding is usually treated with chemicals to improve its performance, the type of wood you choose initially makes a big difference. Softwoods, such as pine, spruce, and fir are less expensive and easier to work with, but don’t last as long as hardwoods. Hardwoods, such as cedar and redwood, will last longer and be less susceptible to warping but will cost more.
With softwood siding repair issues, you’ll often see issues with warping, rotting, cracking around knots, and resistance to bugs and pests. This siding needs to be scraped and repainted every few years, or moisture can begin to permeate the wood, causing it to swell, warp, and eventually rot. Hardwoods last much longer and aren’t prone to splitting or other issues that can affect softwoods. Extreme weather also affects wood siding, causing it to freeze and crack in cold weather or dry out in high temperatures. A good oil-based stain and acrylic paint can considerably help protect your siding.
Engineered Wood Siding Repairs
Engineered wood siding is composed primarily of strands of wood that have been treated with a combination of water-resistant wax, resins, binders, and zinc borate. When installed and maintained correctly (usually requiring only a good power wash annually), it can last for up to forty years. But without proper maintenance, boards can begin rotting in a few years. Rain and other moisture can splash up from the ground, soaking bottom edges and causing the front material to flake off. Then inner layers are exposed which can leave the siding even more vulnerable to moisture exposure.
In general, engineered wood siding holds up pretty well during freeze/thaw cycles. But if the ends of boards haven’t been properly treated, water can infiltrate and cause the boards to become more vulnerable to freezing and cracking in cold weather or swelling/warping in excessive humidity. In addition, if the wrong nails have been used, or driven in incorrectly, boards can develop tiny holes that allow moisture in, causing mold, mildew, and rot. And as with any wood-based product, exposure of inner cellulose attracts insects and woodpeckers. You’ll want to ensure all edges are treated upon installation, proper gaps are left at the bottom, and the boards are hung according to directions.
Fiber Cement Siding Repairs & Common Problems
Fiber cement siding is manufactured from a composite material made of cement reinforced with cellulose fibers. It can come pre-painted/stained or painting can occur after installation. Factory-painted panels typically come with 15-year warranties that cover peeling, cracking, and chipping. But if a homeowner chooses to paint fiber cement boards, they’re likely to need regular painting to maintain their appearance.
Caulking may also be required to help protect against moisture absorption. Fiber cement can hold moisture leading to board damage, rot, and even mold problems. It’s critical that all installation steps are carefully followed by a professional to ensure that all openings and gaps are properly treated with paint or caulk to protect them from moisture permeation. And it’s important to check caulking regularly to make sure the seal is still good and recaulk as needed.
Fiber cement siding tends to be brittle. It can break or crack easily, especially during installation. Cracking can occur from over-nailing with a nail gun or under-nailing, where a raised nail head starts a fracture on the board being installed over it. The settling of a home’s foundation can cause cracking. Additionally, damage can happen if something hard hits the siding after installation.
Stucco is a siding material made of Portland cement, sand, water, and lime applied over a wire or wood frame. Its energy efficiency is one of the main reasons stucco is such a popular siding choice in areas of extreme heat. It’s also very easy to maintain, typically only needing a wash with a power washer or garden hose a few times a year.
Cracks and holes can develop on the surface that let water in which can quickly lead to further damage underneath leading to necessary stucco siding repair. Patches of the stucco can also break off, resulting in loose areas that can expand over time. Small holes can turn into bigger ones, increasing the chance of moisture exposure and damage. Cracks and holes can easily be patched due to the versatility of the material.
The permeability that makes stucco ideal for hot, dry climates makes it a poor siding choice for high-humidity climates as moisture can easily get in and cause mold. Staining and weathering can also be observed on stucco walls, causing them to need re-painting. This is usually caused by painting before the stucco had cured. Stucco application requires several steps and it’s important each coat is allowed enough time to set to prevent issues later on.
Brick Restoration & Repairs
Brick is a highly popular look for homes in all regions of the country. Houses that derive their structural support from brick are referred to as solid masonry construction. Most houses built in the last 30 years use brick veneer instead because of its affordability and ease of installation.
Brick veneer cladding is thin and lightweight and looks like traditional brick. It’s not applied directly to a house but rather to a freestanding wall anchored to the house. The bricks are laid on a foundation from the ground up and are then supported by their own weight. Brick veneer is easy for homeowners to maintain, removing dirt with a hose or low-pressure power washer, and mold/mildew with a bleach and water mixture and scrub brush.
Brick veneer is subject to many of the same problems as a solid brick. It’s affixed with mortar that can deteriorate over time, resulting in the need for repointing wherever the mortar has become loose. Bricks can also become stained from a variety of causes, including run-off from rust, lime, or hard water. Efflorescence is the most common stain where white salts form on the surface. All of these stains can be scrubbed off with special cleaners.
Bricks can crack if moisture works its way in, or if the foundation settles, leading to the potential for moisture to get in behind the siding. Damaged bricks should be replaced immediately to ensure the siding isn’t compromised. “Step cracks” can also form when the foundation, or ground beneath the siding wall, settles or moves. If the bricks are sound, the entire section will need to be repointed with new mortar to prevent moisture infiltration.
Stone Restoration & Repairs
Natural stone siding has been used as an exterior siding for hundreds of years. Stone siding is not only attractive, but it’s also very durable, easy to maintain, and doesn’t often require repairs. It typically only needs an annual wash with a low-pressure power washer and mild detergent to maintain its appearance.
Stone cladding is affixed to a home’s frame with a thick layer of mortar applied to a scratch coat and to the back of the stone or stone veneer. Over time, however, the mortar that holds the stones in place may develop cracks, which will allow the stones to fall out. Or, if the type of mortar that was used was incorrect, a weak bond may result in stones becoming dislodged.
Stone siding can become damaged from earthquakes/ground movement, water seeping into the wood house framing behind the surface, or improper installation. Deteriorated or improper mortar will require repointing. The mortar in the affected area will be ground away, a small amount of mortar will be placed on the end of a trowel, the trowel will be positioned against the edge of the stone and then a pointing tool will be used to work mortar into the crevice.
Metal Siding Repairs
Residential metal siding comes primarily in steel and aluminum. Steel is highly popular for its durability and ease of maintenance; typically requiring cleaning once a year with a garden hose, laundry detergent, and a soft brush. Galvanized steel is zinc coated which prevents the steel from corroding, or rusting, as uncoated steel would. With a layer of paint baked-in, steel shouldn’t need re-painting for decades. It does have the potential to rust, however, if the finish has been scratched or if it’s unpainted. Once the steel begins to rust, it can easily discolor and disintegrate.
Aluminum siding is much more prone to damage by impact than steel siding but patching it is fairly easy. A contractor will cut the damaged piece out, apply sealant, and press the new panel in place over the damaged section. Small dents can be pulled out by drilling a hole, inserting a screw halfway, pulling on the screw head with pliers until the dent pops out. Then the hole can be patched and spot-painted with acrylic paint. Aluminum siding is also notorious for not holding its color well. It can also become chalky due to time and weather. The chalky residue can be hand-scrubbed off, and the siding primed and re-painted with 100% acrylic paint.
Find a Siding Repair Contractor Near Me
Have you looked at your home recently and seen cracks or other damage in the siding? Are you wondering if it’s time to repair or completely replace your old siding? If so, there are several things you might want to consider before making a decision about who to hire.
Repair or replace?
How bad is the damage to your siding? Does it require a quick fix or is it more serious? Small cracks can probably be repaired by a general contractor. But larger holes in your cladding could mean water has seeped in, causing more destruction than you can see. This would necessitate replacing all of the siding. It’s worth getting estimates from a few different contractors to find out what they think is required and how much it will cost. Get quotes now!
Am I under warranty?
Many types of siding come with long warranties on materials. If you see damage in your fiber cement siding, for instance, you might still be under warranty in which case it would be on the manufacturer to repair.
Will insurance cover?
If your damage was caused by extreme weather or an accident, you’ll want to call your insurance immediately to find out what’s covered. Then, you’ll want to reach out to a contractor who understands your type of siding to determine if there’s any damage an adjuster may not recognize.
Is it the right time of year?
There are actually better times of the year than others to undertake a home siding repair or replacement job. Times of extreme heat or cold usually aren’t ideal as the materials may not handle the temperatures well. Most contractors advise undertaking these projects in the spring or fall when the weather is most temperate.
Who should I hire?
You might think you can save money by handling small repairs yourself, but if they aren’t done correctly, it may cost you more down the line. Your best bet is to find several contractors who specialize in the kind of siding you have and get advice as to the level of repair that’s needed.
How do I know if they’re reliable?
CLAD Siding can provide you with several free quotes from reliable companies in your area. And, as always, get referrals from friends and neighbors, check references, and take a look at similar work they’ve done for others nearby.
Have you decided it’s time to replace or repair your home siding? Find the right contractor for your remodeling or restoration project today. We’ll get you fast, free quotes on all your siding needs.