Wood siding can be a beautiful addition to any home. However, when you choose to have wood siding over other forms of siding, you should know that there are things that you must do in order to protect it. Wood is more susceptible to rot and decay than other forms of siding, such as vinyl siding. There are a number of easy things that you can do in order to protect your wood siding.
Prevent Exposure To Moisture
Wood, when exposed to trapped moisture, will begin to break down and rot. Due to this, it is imperative that you try to prevent your wood siding from being exposed to moisture as much as possible. As long as your wood can dry out, then you don't have to worry about it rotting.
Ensure that you have proper airflow around your home. This means removing any shrubs or bushes that are up against the side of your home. Shrubs and bushes will trap moisture against the wood siding, allowing it to start to rot. If you do want to keep shrubs and bushes in your yard, ensure that they are at least 3 feet away from the siding.
In addition, you should maintain your gutters. Ensure that the water is properly flowing away from your home and not hitting the wood siding in the same places. Clean your gutters to ensure that they do not back up and overflow onto the siding. In addition, do your best to not rest or store things against your wood siding. This also traps moisture against the wood siding.
Keep It Clean
Dirt can discolor your wood siding, and mildew can cause your wood to become fragile and damaged. It is important that you clean your wood regularly in order to keep it its natural color, as well as to prevent mildew damage from spreading or becoming so bad that it damages the wood.
Once a year you should clean your wood siding. Dirt can be cleaned off easily with warm, soapy water and a firm bristle brush. If you haven't cleaned your siding in some time, you might need to use a power washer to remove the stubborn dirt.
Mildew patches will look like small, black splotches across your wood. In order to properly remove mildew, you should use a concoction of bleach and water, one part bleach for four parts water. Use a firm bristle brush to gentle scrub the mildew away.
Rust can also be present on your wood siding, due to metal screws and fasteners rusting. Rust stains will usually look like dark, vertical streaks near metal fasteners and screws. These rust stains can be removed with a mixture of oxalic acid and water.
Replaced Damaged Areas Right Away
When your wood starts to rot, it can spread. Not only that, but moist, rotting wood is inviting to pests that can further destroy your wood siding, such as termites. Once a year inspect the exterior of your home looking for rotted wood. Rot will appear as crumbling, breaking down wood. Sometimes wood rot is not obvious. If you think that areas are rotting, use two fingers to press down on the wood. If it is soft to the touch or starts to crumble, the area is rotting. Inspect your exterior for rot once a year and replace any troubled spots immediately to prevent damage from spreading.
If you maintain your wood siding properly, it should last you a long time without having to call a siding contractor or repair person. Stay vigilant and follow the steps above to keep your wood siding in the best shape possible!
For more information on wood siding and tips to keep it in optimal condition, talk with a contractor or visit websites like http://www.bluespringssidingandwindows.com.