Signs of Water Damage to Your Home’s Siding
1. Peeling Paint
Paint is used to protect your wood siding while also adding a finishing touch for curb appeal. However, the trouble with paint is it only lasts about five years before the elements start taking their toll. Peeling paint on siding exposes the wood to rot, which can eventually damage the materials below.
Solution: As long as you act fast, you can sand and repaint your wood siding before serious damage occurs. However, if you don’t repaint, it just takes a few years for water damage to be serious enough to call for a complete siding replacement. If you don’t act fast, the damage will also impact the layers below. If you poke at the wood and it feels soft, the damage is already too severe, and you’ll need to call in the pros.
2. Rotting Wood
Wood rot is a significant issue. Not only does it affect your exterior, exposed wood, but it can also seep into the structural supports of your home below. Whether it’s due to old paint or loosening, aging siding, gathering moisture, dampness, and exposure to rain and ice all add to wood rot. Wood rot is serious and can lead to all kinds of issues, from cosmetic damage, such as staining inside your house, to structural damage to your entire home.
Solution: Wood rot doesn’t “go away.” If you catch the rot before it impacts all your siding, you can often replace the damaged parts and then refinish and paint your entire home for a unified look. Just keep in mind what we mentioned above: The more severe the damage, the more likely you’ll have to deal with damaged materials on the layers below.
Discolored patches on your home exterior usually tell you that you either have wood rot or algae, fungus, lichens, or mold growth. This growth thrives in moist environments and is a tell-tale sign of water damage on your siding.
Solution: It depends on how long the growth has been there, the condition of the siding below, and the type of growth. Early growth can often be removed with a pressure washer. If pressure washing exposes peeling, damaged paint, you’ll have to follow up with sanding and repainting with high-quality paint. However, if the wood itself is damaged by the growth, you’ll need to replace severely damaged siding panels.
4. Shifting Nails in the Siding
As wood becomes wet, it swells and warps, impacting the nails used during the siding installation process. If you notice crooked, sunken, or lifting nails, you have water damage. The last scenario tends to be the worst as it means the moisture is below the siding, causing your structural studs to swell.
Solution: Have the siding assessed by an experienced contractor to determine the cause.
5. Cracked, Soft Windowsills and Trim
Water damage spreads. So, if you notice your windowsills are cracked or feel soft, there’s a good chance something bad is happening with your siding. It’s also possible the windows are the problem, but that damage will eventually impact the siding, so rot is sure to follow.
Solution: An exterior contractor specializing in windows AND siding can determine where the issue originates and let you know the best course of action to limit the damage.
6. Damaged Caulking
Caulking is the final step of window, roof, and siding installation providing a secure seal against water. Inspecting your caulking for signs of damage, cracking, peeling, etc. will spot vulnerable areas that could lead to water damage to your exterior elements and the layers below.
Solution: Remove damaged caulking and replace it with new, high-quality exterior caulking every spring and fall.
How to Prevent Siding Water Damage
The best way to prevent siding water damage is to start with a high-quality, water-resistant siding installation and our team at Craftsman Exterior Remodeling can help with that! Even vinyl siding is vulnerable to issues like mold growth which eats away at the siding’s integrity. James Hardie fiber cement siding is rain, snow, and hail resistant, protecting your siding and entire home from water damage. Check out our information about James Hardie fiber cement siding installation and exterior home assessments and book a free assessment!