Siding is vulnerable to so many things. As it stands on the outside of your house it is affected by the elements, kids playing outside, weed whackers, water damage, chemical fertilizer, and more.
How To Protect Wood Siding
Wood siding will last longer if it is properly finished with stain, paint, or sealer. You can also protect your siding by ensuring that soil is at least eight inches from your siding. Do what you can to prevent bushes, branches, and shrubbery from rubbing up against your wood—they will scratch it. Scratching your wood siding will leave marks but it will also leave holes or divots for water and insects to infiltrate, leading to more damage.
How to Clean Wood Siding
Because siding is exposed to so much, it is natural for it to get dirty. If left uncleaned, siding can easily become discolored. Cleaning off your wood siding regularly will help you to avoid mold growth and cause your siding to last longer. You can clean your siding with a simple cleaning solution and some water. Be sure to use a soft brush to avoid scratching your siding. Before you begin, be sure that you turn off any outside lights or power outlets that could get wet and all windows are closed tightly.
If your siding has discolored over the years, you can try using some wood cleaner to brighten it and restore it to its former glory.
You can use a power washer on your siding, but you have to be careful. Power washing can effectively clean your siding, but it can also potentially strip away paint, loosen caulk, and harm your wood siding. When using a power washer, be sure to aim it downwards and to the side. Spray the full length of board, avoid spraying up and down. Standing at a distance will also help ease the pressure on your siding. You should never get closer than 12” away from your siding. Do not point your power washing directly at windows. The power can cause damage when not properly used.
Before you clean or paint your siding, repair any damages. Replace caulking, cracks, or holes that could be penetrated by water. If this happens your wood siding can be damaged and begin to rot.
Painting Wood Siding
Painting on wood siding typically needs to be redone about every five years. You may also need to do small touch up through the years. If your siding is stained, it will likely need to be stained again about every five years.
Before painting or staining, be sure that you thoroughly clean your siding to avoid getting any dust, dirt, or other debris caught in your paint or stain. Your paint or stain will last longer if your wood is adequately prepared. Applying primer will also help with this. Be sure that you allow your primer to dry completely before applying any paint.
Do not paint (or stain) over mildew. It will not kill the mildew and will cause the paint to discolor.