How to Save on Siding Repairs and Replacements

Many homes across our country may require siding repairs or siding replacements during the life of a home, going hand in hand with exterior painting. This can be attributed to not keeping adequate paint protection on a regular basis, as many exterior siding substrates require. It is a good idea to inspect trim and siding of a home yearly, finding any unusual deterioration of paint coatings, and siding underneath. Signs to look out for include any curling, cupping, or increased thickness. Sometimes in a man-made composite siding such as Masonite, nails fastening can appear to be counter-sunk, as too much air pressure was used with nail guns. This is certainly not the case. Nails having flat heads are not counter-sunk on new construction. As paint ages, and becoming flat in sheen, losing the elasticity, this protective coating allows moisture around exposed nail heads to penetrate siding. Thereby causing it to swell and expand like that of a sponge. Nail fasteners stay in place, appearing to sink in, but actually siding is swelling out, leaving a dimple or crater of nail head dimension. To rectify sunken nail heads, do not fill with caulk, but exterior Spackle before painting.

This is a little more work involved, but well worth the effort. Reason for this product over the other is caulk has a shinny appearance even after many years. As exterior paint ages, coating becomes flat in sheen, and the caulk that was used many years before is still shinny. What is left is a polka-dot appearance. Using exterior Spackle on the other hand goes on flat, which ages fine with any exterior paint of any sheen. Most exterior paints used are satin or low sheen which flattens out over time, both leaving a uniform finish over a longer period. Filling nail heads before painting is very important to any siding repair and painting job. Filling sunken divots seals out moisture before protective paint coating is applied, forever repairing siding. Filling divots with exterior Spackle also gives a smooth uniform finish to most siding restorations. A superior 45 year exterior caulk is important to siding repairs and exterior painting jobs. Sealing ends at all 90 degree angles, specifically at trim boards. However, where two siding boards meet, again exterior Spackle should be used for reasons mentioned above. Sealing out any moisture, painting with a high quality 100% Acrylic elastic paint such as Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Valspar, or Glidden offers will protect siding from outside elements that are extremely harsh to any siding substrate.

Knowing what correct products to use will add to the longevity of siding repairs and appearance until the next time substrate is painted. When replacing siding, it is a good idea to replace all wood on a particular side of home. Siding replacements required is very difficult to impossible matching seasoned and weathered boards next to new ones. Many HOA’s mandate if siding replacements are needed, all siding should be replaced on that given complete area or side. This makes perfect sense from a construction and siding replacement point of view, not to mention the aesthetics. Once siding is removed, bare walls are exposed. A good idea is to apply a protective vapor barrier before new siding is installed. Most common vapor barrier used is Tyvek, found at most hardware stores including Lowe’s and Home Depots. This allows the home to breathe out, but not in, sealing out wind and moisture behind siding. Stapling Tyvek to wall sheathing and studs, starting from top down, unrolling, and overlapping 10′ roll of Tyvek, left to right. When using nail fasteners for siding, a good rule of thumb is buying galvanized nails or screws instead of steel. Steel tends to rust, and leaving marks in wood as it ages. Galvanized materials cost a little more, but well worth the added cost in the long run. Involved with many siding restorations and siding replacements across Denver and Colorado.

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