Your siding is a major protective feature safeguarding your home from moisture and weather exposure. When it’s not performing as it should, your home can be at risk of leaks, rot, structural issues, and more. To maintain your house in good shape, it’s vital to keep an eye on your siding’s condition.
A regular checkup of your exterior can help you stay on top of siding issues as soon as they arise so you can have your siding replaced or repaired if necessary to avoid further damage to your home. Here are 9 key symptoms to watch for.
How to Spot Siding Issues and Safeguard Your Home
Once or twice a year, in spring and fall, take a walk around your home to check its condition. If there has been a strong, damaging storm, do a checkup too. Look carefully for these signs of possible siding problems.
1. Cracked or Warped Boards
One of the clearest signals that your siding is in need of immediate care is visible damage. Cracks, warping, and broken spots all indicate your siding boards have been weakened. Whether this problem is due to age, storm debris, poor installation, or other problems, you should consider visual issues like this to be serious. Pro siding experts (like our team) can come in and assess whether repairs are possible, or if replacement is necessary.
2. Wood Rot, Mold and Mildew
Another sign that your siding isn’t appropriately resisting moisture is wood rot. Wood boards will rot, of course, if they’re not properly sealed against water. Cracks and breaks can allow water to seep in too.
Even if you don’t see rotting, remember that mold, mildew and fungus can grow in areas that are overly damp. This can show up on your siding as brown, black, red or green spots, fuzzy areas, and even moldy, unpleasant odors.
3. Faded Colors and Unsightly Appearance
Your siding’s ability to hold its color—or not—reveals its condition. When your siding begins to fade, get discolored or lose its vibrancy, you can expect that it’s also weakening in its ability to continue to protect your home.
You might also see stains or streaks from excess moisture. Water stains are marks that don’t go away, even if the rest of your landscaping is dry. They are often unattractive and may affect your curb appeal, but they’re also a sign that your siding is losing its protective nature.
4. Blistering or Bubbling
If you see bubbles, blistering or peeling paint on your siding, that’s a problem in need of addressing. These issues are not just unsightly—they’re also a symptom of moisture intrusion. Siding that has a marred surface like this is likely allowing dampness and rain to reach the structure of your home, and it’s important to repair or replace siding boards to prevent wood rot, mold, mildew and leaks.
5. Rust, Missing Nails, and Loose Boards
When siding expands and contracts too much, it can make the nails that should hold it in place fall out. The siding boards can then pull away from your house’s walls so that moisture and pests can sneak in.
You may notice holes in your siding where nails used to be, streaks of rust from weakened nails, as well as curled or loose siding boards.
6. Shrinking, Cracked or Missing Caulk
Along the seams of your siding, there should be ample, seamless caulking to connect the boards and protect against moisture intrusion. Study your exterior and pay attention to how the caulk looks. Is it shrinking and pulling away from the siding? Is it broken or cracked? Are there gaps where caulking should be—but isn’t? If so, your siding needs maintenance at the very least, and possibly replacement.
7. Pest Infestations
Termites, carpenter ants and bees, and other pests are more than just an annoyance. If these creepy critters are making their home in your siding, you’ve got a problem. Insects, woodpeckers and other pests can weaken or break down your siding so that it can no longer do its job of keeping out damaging moisture. Often you can spot infestations by visible bug activity and holes in siding boards.
At the least, you’ll need to invest in pest control—but you should also have your siding inspected to see if the effects have weakened it beyond repair.
8. High Utility Bills
Your siding is one of the features that insulate your home from the weather’s temperature shifts. So, if you are suddenly seeing higher than expected energy bills, and you can eliminate other possible causes such as roof damage or broken windows, check your siding.
Look first for gaps in siding and caulking around key spots such as windows. Then, look for loose siding elsewhere along the exterior.
9. Moisture Damage on Interior Walls
When siding allows dampness and leaks behind it, eventually you’ll start to see the results on your home’s interior too. Mold and mildew spots on internal walls, peeling paint, and loose wallpaper can all signal your house has too much moisture in it. Worn-down siding can be one cause of this problem.
Enjoy Beautiful New Siding Installed by the Pros at Beissel Window & Siding
Siding problems can be frustrating, but they don’t have to remain that way. At Beissel Window & Siding, we have over 70 years of experience delighting homeowners in the St. Paul & Minneapolis, MN area with their siding installations—and we stand proudly behind our name and our work.
There’s a lot to know about siding installation, maintenance, and replacement. That’s why we built this guide to walk you through everything you need to know when thinking about replacing your siding.
Learn more about our siding installations and start picturing your home’s transformation.