When it comes to the exterior of your home, siding plays an essential role in protecting the structure from water damage, energy loss, and other environmental factors.
Continuous exposure to these factors can cause your siding to ruin over time. You may notice cracks, holes, peeling paint or vinyl, and other defects developing. This is when the dilemma arises – do you repair the damaged areas or replace the entire siding? There are several factors to consider in making this critical decision.
This article will provide an in-depth look at the signs that indicate your siding needs attention and things to evaluate when choosing between repair and replacement.
Signs That Indicate Your Siding Needs Attention
Several tell-tale signs indicate that your home’s existing siding may need repair or replacement. Pay close attention to your siding’s overall condition and note if any issues listed below are present:
- Rotten Boards: Look for soft, soggy spots on wood siding, indicating rot from moisture damage over time. Rot spreads and significantly weakens the structural integrity of the siding if left unchecked. You should carefully check areas near roof lines, windows, and where two different siding materials meet.
- Cracks and Holes: Large cracks or holes provide easy entry points for water and pests like insects and rodents. If the underlying damage is not addressed, small cracks can worsen with repeated freeze/thaw cycles during winter. You may need to get up close using a ladder or lift to inspect thoroughly.
- Skyrocketing Energy Bills: Old, damaged siding may not insulate and protect your home’s interior and new material. This causes higher heating and cooling costs for you due to increased energy usage. Check your utility bills for unexplained increases.
- Mold and Mildew Growth: If you notice mold or mildew on or around your siding, it’s a clear sign moisture is getting trapped behind the material where you can’t see it. This poses health risks that should be mitigated.
- Warped Boards: Wood siding that has warped from moisture exposure is no longer lying flat and protecting your walls. Warping also detracts from your home’s appearance.
How to Find the Right Contractor?
Finding a qualified pro is vital to a successful project. A professional contractor can help you decide between repair and replacement. Ask family and friends for referrals of contractors they recommend and trust. Check online reviews by searching for replacement siding near me to learn about work quality, customer service, and warranties offered.
Get estimates from three licensed, insured contractors to compare proposed work, materials, schedules, and pricing. Choose one with many years in the industry, a good track record, and positive reviews. Ask what experience and certifications they have specific to siding work. Inquire about warranties for labor, installation, and any materials provided.
Provide complete bids that include disposal of old materials and all necessary work. A competent contractor guarantees your project satisfies building codes and manufacturer installation standards for durability. Till you’re sure about your contractor, make inquiries.
Factors in Deciding Repair or Replacement
Consider the level and spread of damage when inspecting. Isolated issues on a small portion can likely be repaired, but widespread damage means total replacement is best. Think about your siding’s type, age, and any manufacturer warranties. Vinyl and fiber cement over 15 years and wood siding around 20-30 years may have reached the end of their lifespan.
New siding improves insulation, which boosts energy efficiency. Repairs might leave noticeable patches, but replacement offers a fresh, uniform look that increases value. Consider whether repairs will last as the material ages or if replacement is cheaper in the long run but more expensive upfront. Considering all these aspects yields the best choice.
Pros and Cons of Repairing Damaged Siding
Repairs are initially less expensive than total replacement. This allows restoring protection to problem areas promptly before further deterioration occurs. However, repairs sometimes don’t last as long as new material and may be noticeable as patches.
They also won’t improve insulation, efficiency, or appearance overall as replacement does. You’ll likely need additional repairs as other sections degrade, too.
Consider repairs a temporary solution only if damage is minimal and isolated. Otherwise, repairs may cost you more over time than a replacement, as extra work is required later.
Also, remember that repair quality depends on the contractor’s skill – an inexperienced worker may not correctly prepare surfaces and install patches that don’t last.
Benefits of Replacing Old Siding
New siding provides maximum protection for decades with little maintenance required. Modern composite and vinyl sidings carry extended 50-year warranties and are highly durable and resistant to sun, rain, snow, and wind damage.
You’ll gain superior water resistance and better energy efficiency through improved insulation. Replacement allows you to choose various colors, styles, and textures that suit your home’s architecture and personal taste.
This improves curb appeal and home value. Replacement is often more cost-effective in the long term for homes with extensive damage than repetitive repairs that may require additional work later. New siding ensures your home’s exterior is restored to like-new through a uniform appearance and high performance for many years.
Facing siding issues can seem overwhelming, but taking time for a thorough inspection, comparison of repair versus replacement, and hiring the right pro leads to the best outcome. New siding provides maximum protection, curb appeal, and value for decades with little maintenance required. While repairs are initially less expensive, replacement often proves more cost-effective in the long term. It improves energy efficiency—careful planning results in the smartest choice to safeguard your home and investment.