Siding does much more than enhance your home’s curb appeal. It also protects your home. Much like insulation, siding shields your property from the elements. It acts as a barrier to prevent rain, snow, and harsh winds from seeping into your house. Siding also has other purposes, such as deterring dirt, moisture, and insects. While we all know that siding is important to the health and stability of our homes, it is how that siding is installed that makes the biggest difference. Poor siding installation can have detrimental effects on your home over time and choosing the right siding contractors for the job is equally important.
Main Functions of Siding
Siding has several important functions, starting with its architectural value. After a home is framed, it is sheathed with particle board. As particle board is not moisture-resistant, it must be protected. Often times, tar paper or house wrap is used to create a waterproof barrier and to add an extra layer of insulation. However, even wrap needs to be protected. Different types of siding, such as vinyl, aluminum, or wood panels, provide this protection. Some sidings are more durable than others, while some may offer better aesthetic value. Sidings for homes can also be found at various price points.
Of course, the siding on your home can also have great cosmetic value. Depending on your personal tastes, where you live, and what your budget allows, you can choose from a wide range of materials. There are benefits and downfalls to each type of siding. For example, wood siding creates a beautiful, classic look. However, it requires ongoing maintenance as it needs to be painted or stained to maintain its appearance. Wood also needs to be treated to prevent rot. For homeowners who desire an affordable and low maintenance option, vinyl is popular. Installation is fairly quick for proper siding contractors and the finished look is pleasing to the eye.
How Siding Saves You Money
Siding looks good and protects your home, but did you know it can also save you money? By upgrading to energy-efficient siding, you can boost your home’s defense against temperature changes and seasonal weather conditions. If your home is poorly insulated, it likely loses a significant amount of heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. This not only affects the comfort level inside your home, but also makes a notable difference in your energy bills. Similar to leaving a window open in the middle of winter, a bad siding job can cause conditioned air to escape from the home.
Vinyl siding is one of the most popular options for better insulation, more savings, less maintenance, and overall improved performance. Constructed of PVC resins and acrylics, vinyl is designed to withstand the elements without affecting its appearance. Vinyl will not rot over time and does not attract insects. You can also find vinyl siding in a wide range of texture options and colors. If you want even more bang for your buck, consider insulated vinyl over standard vinyl. These panels are backed with insulation to create an extra protective barrier and to help the siding keep its shape better.
Effects of Poorly Installed Siding
Just because a contractor claims to be a professional does not make it so. It is highly important to choose the right siding contractors for the job to prevent costly complications from occurring. Unfortunately, most homeowners will not know the extent of the damage caused by poor installation until the siding is later removed and there is extensive damage to the structure of the home. While some wear and tear is normal over time, poorly installed siding can drastically shorten the lifespan of the siding and cause a range of other issues.
All types of siding shows age differently. For example, wood will show signs of rot or warp, while vinyl often shows signs of solar weathering. Depending on the type of siding used, you can expect it to last upwards of 20 to 40 years or more. However, if properly installed, the lifespan of your siding will likely be significantly shortened. It may start to show its age prematurely in the form of buckling, gaps, unevenness, or waviness. When this happens, the siding needs to be replaced.
Look for signs that your siding is in poor shape or was improperly installed. Are the heads of the nails rusty, exposed, or missing? If the nails have popped out, it may be caused by expanding and contracting or movement in the siding. The presence of rusty nails signifies moisture damage. Some damage may also be seen around the joints and seams. When caulked properly, your siding should appear nearly seamless. However, poor caulking can lead to shifted or uneven panels. If you have wood paneling, the paint may chip prematurely and if you have vinyl siding, it may fade.
Water damage is one of the biggest problems caused by poorly installed siding. When your siding is not interlocked properly, water can seep through the gaps and affect the interior of your home. Streaking on the siding or discoloration are usually the biggest signs of water damage. In some cases, water damage cannot be seen from the exterior of the home. The damage may also affect the underlying structure, or if the moisture sits long enough, the interior of your home. Moisture that seeps through the exterior walls can affect everything from the insulation in your walls to the interior drywall.
Call Expert Siding Contractors
When it comes to your home’s siding, do not settle for less. In addition to choosing a quality, energy-efficient siding material, you will want to hire siding contractors who will install it with great attention to detail. A qualified contractor will not take shortcuts or install inferior siding to make a bigger profit. Choose a siding contractor who is fully licensed and insured. Do not be afraid to ask for referrals or references to see what past customers have to say. Also ask about the company’s workmanship warranty. Your home is one of your biggest investments. Choosing the right siding contractors and siding type not only affects your home’s curb appeal and structural integrity, but also increases its value.