What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right? Wrong! The fact is that what you don’t know about your home could be causing you a great deal of damage, specifically when it relates to water damage and your siding.
Moisture can be one of your siding’s worst enemies, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for or how to prevent it, it could be lurking in places without you even realizing it. Thankfully, water damage can be remediated and even prevented. And one of the best prevention measures is a water-resistant siding like Jame Hardie.
So, let’s figure out how to identify and fix water damage in your home.
How Can I Tell if My Siding Is Water Damaged?
The faster you can identify water intrusion or the potential for issues, the less damage moisture can cause. Water damage can quickly spread and lead to deteriorating siding, interiors, and even structural damage.
Here are some signs that your siding may have moisture damage.
- Interior Wall Water Stains—The random appearance of browning or water staining on your walls may indicate a leak in your siding. As water intrudes past your siding, it will affect the interior of your home as well.
- Apparent Wood Rot—If you notice siding that is falling apart with obvious rot, you clearly have water damage.
- Lifted Nails—When nails pop out of your siding, it means that the boards are expanding and contracting. Often, this is due to water absorption, meaning damage.
- Soft Siding—Depending on the material of your siding, water damage tends to soften the boards. If you can push into your siding and feel it mush, it has likely experienced some water damage.
- Peeling Wallpaper and Interior Paint—Moisture that has penetrated your drywall can also cause wallpaper and paint to begin cracking and peeling.
- Mold and Mildew Growth—Seeing mold and mildew growing out of or on your siding can be a good indication that water is being retained in your siding somehow. Unfortunately, simply removing and cleaning the growth won’t fix the overall problem.
How to Fix Siding Water Damage
Once you’ve discovered water damage in your siding, you need to move quickly to have it fixed.
Locate the Source of the Problem
The first step in resolving water-damaged siding is to find out what is actually causing the issue. Many different sources could be damaging siding, from interior pipe leaks to damaged siding itself. One of the most common causes of water-damaged siding is improper installations. Once you actually locate the source, you can stop the issue.
Having a professional contractor assess your property is the best way to locate the true source of the issue. And they will be able to give a thorough assessment of how much siding has been damaged.
Reseal Around Your Doors and Windows
Grab a caulking gun and check the seams around your doors and windows. These areas have a high potential for water intrusion (both by nature and by improper installation). If you see old, cracked caulking, remove it and replace it to create a water-tight seal. Be careful not to fill any weep holes in the process.
Caulk Needed Areas
You can help lessen the chance of water damage by caulking your siding when needed. Use paintable caulking to fill in cracks, sunken nail holes, or other areas water might intrude. Then paint it the same color as your siding. However, you won’t be able to simply caulk siding that has already been damaged.
Repair or Replace Siding as Needed
Get an evaluation from a siding contractor on the extent of the damage and to see if it is time to have new siding installed. If you’ve caught the problem fast enough, often, the damage will be condensed to a small radius and can easily be repaired. A well-trained professional can seamlessly blend your new siding with your existing siding.
On the other hand, if it’s taken too long to identify the issue or the area of damage is too large, a full-scale siding replacement will be needed. You should never install new siding over water-damaged boards. All moisture damage will need to be removed and remediated before new siding goes up.
Choose a Quality, Water-Resistant Siding Like Hardie Fiber Cement
When it comes down to it, the best fix for water-damaged siding is prevention. And the best way to accomplish this is by choosing the right siding material for your home. There are many great products on the market, but as a siding professional who has resided many California homes, our pick is James Hardie fiber cement.
This product is completely water-resistant when properly installed and is one of the longest-lasting siding products out there. Moisture will not warp, crack, or rot the boards.
Perform Proper Semiannual Inspections
As we said, prevention is the best “fix” for water damage. Thoroughly inspecting your siding at least twice a year can help find water damage as it arises or locate potential issues that could lead to water damage. If you notice areas of concern, contact a professional immediately.
Protect Your Home with Water-Resistant Siding
Help yourself by taking the proper precautions to combat water damage. If your current siding just isn’t cutting it, or you simply want a siding that will protect your home without requiring a ton of maintenance, our team at Approved Contractor is ready to install James Hardie siding on your home.
Get more information about our immaculate James Hardie siding replacements.