Many homeowners love wood siding for its natural beauty, but a regular maintenance is key to keeping it looking great. Without proper cleaning and care, your wood siding can accumulate unsightly dirt, diminishing its appeal. To prevent this, and to keep your wood siding in top form, follow these basic maintenance steps.
Risks to Your Siding
With wood siding being constantly exposed to the elements, they are prone to many risks. The moisture exposure often leads to rotting, insect infestations, mildew, mold, paint peeling, cracks in paint, and so on. Siding is exposed to humidity, temperature, and weather conditions. These exposures lead wood siding to expand and contract. Fluctuation can lead to paint to chip and crack.
Protecting Your Siding
Inspect your siding about once a year for any potential damages that need to be addressed. Your wood siding is more likely to remain in a desired state if it has been protected with a proper finish. Try using a paint, stain, or clear sealer. When your siding is left unprotected, it much more susceptible to decay. Another form of protection for you siding is to ensure that your soil is at least eight inches below it. This will help to prevent moisture and insects from infecting your wood. Do not throw balls against your siding. Keep an eye on any children playing to ensure that they respect the integrity of your siding and don’t do damage with games.
The more humid your environment, the more danger your siding may be in. If you live in a more humid area, you may need to check your siding more often as it will likely be more vulnerable to damage.
Cleaning Your Siding
Wood siding is often discolored by dirt. Clean your sliding regularly with warm and soapy water and a soft bristled brush. Cleaning off your siding regularly will help you to avoid dirt stains. Before washing your siding with water, be sure that all power and outside lights are off.
Mildew will often appear on wood siding in the form of black spotty stains. If you see this on your siding, dab the area with bleach and then scrub with warm water and a soft bristled brush. When mildew become a reoccurring problem, try using mildewcide to prevent it from returning.
Rust stains can also appear on your side, usually in the form of dark black splotches and streaks. It is usually caused by a metal nail or screw in the siding. These stains can usually be scrubbed away with a homemade solution of vinegar, dish soap, and warm water.
Using a power washer to clean off your siding will be very beneficial. The force of the water can effectively remove dirt and stains but be wary that it can also removed paint and loosen caulk in your siding. It can also get moisture trapped in your siding and cause rotting. When you do use a power washer, go the full length of the board from side to side and not up and down. This will help you avoid water getting trapped in your siding.
Repairing Your Siding
If your siding is in need of repair—painting, caulking, or replacement, it is best to act as soon as possible. Damaged siding can allow water to further damage your siding and your foundation.
If you need tips on maintenance and care for your vinyl siding click here.