Costly Home Repairs

Siding Saves Costly Home Repairs

Posted on January 15, 2017 · Posted in Home Security

Cladding for the exterior of homes serves two main purposes: presenting an appealing look and protecting materials underneath from exposure to the elements, which has the potential to cause significant damage requiring costly repairs. Clapboard used to cover exterior surfaces of homes is available in wood, vinyl, cemented fiber, and plastic: the best choice for what type will be employed requires consideration of circumstances surrounding the job, including budget and home location.

Consumer Reports suggests that most homeowners use the services of professional contractors to have their siding installed. Once the decision to hire a professional has been made, ask for reference from friends and read internet reviews before choosing a local home siding company: Austin, TX; Baton Rouge, LA; and other locations around the country have a number of firms to choose from.

Double Check Your Installer’s Numbers

To ensure you are being treated in a fair manner, consumers can make rough estimates of the amount of siding needed to cover their home by breaking outer walls down into rectangular portions, multiplying the height and width, adding the results for each area, and then dividing the final result by 100. Most packages of siding, known as “squares” cover 100 feet squared.

Professional siding installers will ensure that enough fasteners are used to keep pieces from moving significantly, or being blown off in strong winds. However, experienced contractors know to leave a space, about the thickness of a dime, between the siding and the head of the fastener to allow for shrinkage and expansion through summer and winter months. Assuring that potential leak areas, such as beneath eaves-troughs and around windows and doors, are treated with caulking, flashing, or other measures can save thousands in potential water damage at a later date.

Wood Looks Great, Requires Most Maintenance

Just about everyone can appreciate the look of a home covered in wood clapboard or shingles. However, compared with vinyl and cemented fiber siding, wood is seen as quite expensive. Some manufacturers offer pre-painted wood siding that is said to hold up to elements better than wood that has been painted after it has been installed. Depending on the location, painted wood siding will need to be scraped and repainted at regular intervals. Wood is also the most susceptible to fire among popular materials available.

Comparatively, plastic siding costs as much as three times more than vinyl, but may offer significant cost savings down the road, possibly even paying for itself. Up close, visitors to your home will be able to tell that vinyl is installed, whereas plastic siding can appear indistinguishable from wood. Plastic is also said offer superior resistance to hits and knocks.

Fiber cement siding costs about the same as vinyl and offers a look quite close to natural wood. Unlike other artificial shingles or clapboard, fiber cement requires regular refinishing, but not as often as painted wood siding does. Pre-painted fiber cement siding should hold up longer than wood siding, painted after being installed.