Your siding is a long-term investment in protecting and preserving your home. When siding damage occurs, it can take away your home’s first line of defense from the elements. It only makes sense that as a savvy Indiana homeowner, you’ll want to protect your investment by spotting damage early on and taking swift action. We want to make it easy for you to understand the most common causes of siding damage, how to spot them, and when you should bring on a contractor for siding repair or siding replacement. Read on to learn the ins and outs of siding damage.
In Indiana, we experience all four seasons- and that means homeowners have to be on the lookout for weather-related siding damage. Wind storms and hail are two of the biggest culprits behind siding damage we see in our line of work. Most people assume that storm damage to your siding will be immediately obvious, but that isn’t necessarily the case. You’ll obviously notice if your wall comes crashing in, but don’t breathe a sigh of relief right after a storm, even if everything looks okay initially. Savvy Indiana homeowners will want to carefully inspect their homes throughout the year for subtle signs of damage from hail and strong winds.
Hail and wind can cause small holes, chips, or cracks in your siding. If you see this kind of damage, do your best to leave it alone, and ask your family members to do the same. By tampering with the holes, you may widen them, allowing in drafts, insects, and moisture.
Small dents, holes, and chips can be repaired by your contractor, but larger, more conspicuous holes may require a siding replacement job.
Though vinyl siding may have a water barrier, it isn’t waterproof. Rainwater and humidity are the root causes of moisture that lead to all kinds of siding damage. The two greatest culprits of moisture-derived siding damage? Mold and dry rot.
How does siding get moldy? Most mold grows on siding that’s covered by the shade or where the home sees limited sunlight. You can clean small amounts of mold from your siding with a solution of combined vinegar and water applied with a soft-bristle brush. However, if you see large sections of siding corrupted by mold, it’s time to call in a pro to replace it.
When wooden siding gets wet from leaking gutters, penetrating dampness, or poor ventilation, fungus can grow and eat away at the wood. Dry rot is no joke- left unchecked, it can affect your foundation and damage the structural integrity of your home. Carefully check your siding for mycelium, a substance that resembles cotton wool, or an orange or rust-colored mass. This is one of the most urgent types of damage to treat. When your home’s foundation is at stake, a contractor will need to remove your siding, cut away any affected wood, and replace it with new, safe material.
Pests such as insects and woodpeckers are the bane of every homeowner’s life, and they leave behind more than just droppings or nests: an infestation can cause severe damage to your siding. By keeping a watchful eye on your siding for moisture or rotting sections- look for rusty nails, bleed marks, or visibly cracked clapboard- you may be able to see an infestation before it gets serious. Read on to find out which pests may be responsible for your siding damage and how you can stop them in their tracks.
There’s no doubt that woodpeckers are a noisy nuisance, but a headache isn’t the only risk you run when a woodpecker takes a liking to your property. The holes woodpeckers leave behind can ruin your siding and invite unwanted return visits from these pests.
Before you address the damage to your siding, take steps to remove what was tempting the woodpeckers in the first place. To eradicate woodpeckers for good, you have to eliminate any insects from your outdoor structures. Deprive woodpeckers of food, and they’ll be less likely to return for seconds!
Carefully inspect your property for moist or rotting sections of siding. Carpenter ants often create nests inside of damp exterior siding. If you see a small hole or several holes in your siding next to ant trails or sawdust piles, congratulations- you’ve found the nest.
Fill the nest entrance with an insecticide that has carbaryl or pyrethroids to kill the nest, and the carpenter ant queen, who lays eggs that prolong the infestation. You can also set bait beside visible ant trails, which the ants will carry back to their nest.
Carpenter bees are also notorious for burrowing into moist or rotting siding to lay eggs. Keep your eyes peeled two-inch-deep holes on the underside of soffits, siding, or the eaves of your wooden house. Next, hang a carpenter bee trap over the hole, or try filling visible holes with residual dust insecticide to terminate the infestation.
Termites are nasty pests that can wreak havoc on your siding, foundation, and cause long-term damage to your entire home. Carefully check your woodwork and foundation for leftover wings, hollow spots, or termite droppings, which tend to be piles of pellets which are individually one millimeter long, and may resemble a pile of ground black pepper. If you suspect you have a termite infestation, call a professional exterminator immediately. They’ll be best equipped to tackle your infestation with professional-grade bait, insecticide, and traps.
How to Address Siding Damage from Wildlife
Once you’ve noticed or took action on insect infestations, and unwanted predators like woodpeckers that can damage your siding, you can fill the holes yourself or call in a professional to treat the siding damage. If you only have a few holes or a small section of siding damage, putty is best for holes in siding, and shingles should be filled specifically with wood putty. If wildlife has extensively damaged your siding or you suspect your foundation has been compromised by moisture or rot, it’s best to call in a professional to see if a replacement job is in order.
Call Unrushed Honest Quality, Your Siding Damage Professionals
If you suspect your home has sustained siding damage, don’t delay. Give us a call and we’ll help you determine the extent of the damage and the best course of action for repair or replacement. You can learn more about the siding services and products we offer here and get in touch with us below or give us a call at (317) 943-8406. We’d love to help you protect your home for the long haul!