How Do I Know If My Home Needs New Siding?

Replacing your siding is probably not on top of your to-do list when it comes to home improvement, unless there is a specific and urgent problem with it. It is a big project that takes up lots of resources and for that reason homeowners are generally reluctant to consider it.

But think about this way; siding is the outermost layer of your home that is exposed to harsh weather conditions – snow, rain, cold and heat – constantly, all year round. It wears out, cracks and gets old just like any other part of your home’s exterior. The real problem is if/when your siding begins to leak, which can lead to bigger and potentially expensive repairs.

So how does a homeowner know when it is time for new siding?

We get this question a lot and compiled a list of 8 major signs of siding damage to help you through the process of deciding whether or not your home needs new siding.

1. Frequency of Painting

If your home needs frequent painting (once every 5 years or so) it is a sign that something is likely wrong with your current siding. Generally speaking, siding that is in good condition should keep its colour and shape for 8-10 years.

2. High Utility Bills

If your home’s heating or cooling costs are exceptionally high, this could indicate a problem with your siding. Cracks and leaks in your siding will cause air to escape your house, making your heater or cooler to work extra hard to maintain the interior temperature. It is important to note that roofing plays a critical role in insulating your home as well, which is why it is even better to have your roof inspected if you are experiencing higher than usual utility bills.

3. Rotting and/or Warping

Rotting and warping are the most clear visual signs of siding problems, which make them easier to notice even to an untrained eye. Simply take a screwdriver with you and conduct a thorough visual inspection around your house to see if there are any warped siding or rotting boards. If you see any warped layer, poke under it to see if the under layer is solid enough. If you notice softness or rotting underneath the warped boards, it is a clear sign that your siding is due for replacement.

4. Peeling Layers on the Inside of the Home

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you notice peeling paint or wallpaper on the inside of your house but this can be a symptom of faulty siding. When you have cracks in your siding boards, the moisture from the outside seeps through the cracks and percolates through the walls, causing significant damage to the interior of your home.

5. Fungus and/or Mould

Fungus, mould and mildew are all types of organisms that grow in moist environments. If you notice any growth of this type on your siding, it is a good indication that water is penetrating it and being held inside the wall. While not all signs of mould or fungus growth are a cause for alarm, it would be worth investigating further to understand the cause of it.

6. Faded Siding

Most siding material is specially formulated to hold its colour for only as long as the rating of the siding itself. If the siding looks severely faded, it should be a sign to the homeowner that it is coming to the end of its lifespan and the effective waterproofing of the siding may have run its course. Once again, not all siding are the same and colour fading may be due to other external factors as well but it is definitely something that needs to be looked into.

7. Bubbles

One almost certain sign that your home needs new siding is the presence of bubbles just under the surface of the siding. Bubbles are an indication that water has been trapped. Any indication of trapped water on or under the siding is an immediate red flag. The one thing that siding is meant to do is to keep moisture away from the walls under it and if it is not doing that anymore, it is time for new siding.

8. Holes in the Siding

Even small holes in your home’s siding can be a major cause for concern. Generally speaking, holes in siding are caused by insects. If insects have gotten into or through the siding, they can not only cause trouble on their own, but the holes they make also allow rain and snow to get into and, eventually, underneath the siding—and that can mark the beginning of some very costly repair work.

There are many reasons that you may want to replace your siding. The most obvious ones are those that relate to the protection of your home from rain, wind, snow and insect damage. But there are also aesthetic reasons. Your home is your biggest investment and you want it to look its best and increase its curb appeal as much as possible. On average, siding covers more than 60% of a home’s exterior surface. What better way to improve the visual appeal of your home than to install beautiful looking siding?

Last word of advice: replacing siding may look simple, but the truth is, it’s not. Cutting and fitting siding so that it is waterproof and windproof takes a certain amount of experience. Homeowners who are not experienced at replacing siding may be better off hiring professionals to do the job.