The rain let up and I headed for the garden. Then I saw it. Chunks missing from my wood shingles and paint peeling. Not surprising with the storms we had this year. But we just painted a few years ago! Is there some way to lower the maintenance and cost? And that doesn’t look cheesy? Yes, new siding.
Siding not only protects your house but good siding can add energy efficiency. But it’s a major investment, so how do you know when it’s really time to re-side. This is one category you will want to research – and you can start right here by asking yourself these need-to-know questions.
What is the condition of your current siding?
- Is there evidence of deterioration such as sagging, cracking, buckling or discoloration in vinyl siding.
- Are pieces missing or loose?
- Is the siding showing moisture or water stains? Water behind your siding can cause mold and rot on your home’s structure, and is a breeding ground for termites.
- Is paint peeling? Do you have to paint frequently?
Whether you choose to look at siding replacement for damage control or because it will give your home a beautiful new look, there are also energy saving benefits to doing so. The benefits:
- Whether its composite (vinyl) or fiber cement, siding products today are made to last and be low maintenance, even in our wet climate. The warranties run from 15 years to lifetime (and transferable).
- If you painted every 5 years, you’d save at least the cost of 3 paint jobs or more if you had lifetime warranty siding.
- New man-made siding products can look beautiful, even like cedar shake. They come in designer colors, with matching trims and moldings.
- The new materials used today and methods of application can lower your utility bills. For example, Cedar Ridge Siding says” If your home doesn’t realize a 20% improvement in energy savings in the first year, we’ll pay the difference”. You can install insulation under fiber cement siding or buy insulated composite siding. This can decrease your heat loss and make your home more comfortable.
- Many siding materials now include recycled materials. The US Green Building Council, for example, recognizes fiber cement siding for its sustainability. (Source: James Hardie Siding).
- Protection – some types of siding, such as fiber cement are non-combustible. Siding can straighten wall imperfections, and fortify corners and windows to prevent heat loss. And it can take a pounding – even hurricane force winds.
Costs vary by region but typically, vinyl and composite are lower cost. Fiber cement is in the middle and cedar and masonry are highest. You’ll want to speak to any contractor about their installation methods as these are important to having a good, energy efficient finished product and making sure your install meets warranty requirements.
To find out more about siding and learn how re-siding is done, contact Washington Energy Services in Seattle at 1.800.398.Home. Washington Energy Services sells top name brand Composite – Vinyl and Fiber Cement Siding and has design and installation professionals trained to make your siding experience turn-key and your home beautiful.