How to inspect the siding on your home -When to switch to fiber cement-
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Identifying Problems with Wood and Vinyl Siding
source: structure tech
The two most common problems you’ll find with wood siding and trim are peeling paint and rotted wood.
Peeling paint is an obvious defect that can be spotted from a block away. Paint is meant to protect wood surfaces from decay and rot, but it’s not common to find rotted wood siding because of lack of paint. The main issues with peeling paint at siding are that it looks horrible, it’s an environmental hazard if the paint contains lead, and it may violate a maintenance code for the city.
To inspect your own home for rotted wood siding, start by figuring out which areas will be prone to rotting first. Areas of the house that are covered by big soffits / overhangs will probably be fine.
Other areas to pay special attention to are the siding below roof ends with missing kickout flashing, below bay windows, and at wood chimney chases. Also, any areas that have water splashing against them will be prone to rotting. To check for rotting at wood siding, start by looking for obvious things like holes in the siding. Be sure to look at everything. As shown in the photo below, this might require walking the roof.
The most common visible problem with vinyl siding is physical damage from hail, basketballs, baseballs, weed trimmers, or rocks thrown from lawnmowers or snowblowers. Small chips and nicks aren’t big performance issues; remember, vinyl siding is not watertight. The main issue with physical damage to vinyl siding is that it makes the house look bruised up.
Vinyl siding can also melt / deform when someone has a grill too close to the siding, or from reflected sunlight on low-e windows. The photo below shows an example of deformed siding caused by reflected sunlight. This is a cosmetic issue; the vinyl will still do its job even though it looks terrible.