When does siding need to be replaced?

home with pale yellow siding

The Importance of Siding Replacement

Homes in Virginia Beach, Virginia are nestled in what may look like a movie set. And while they are in a beautiful part of the country, they are also exposed to daily elements and a seaside climate that can age things such as exterior siding quickly.

Siding replacement for that exterior look is needed more frequently here than in other areas. Unless the homeowner chooses a siding material that offers durability and a longer lifespan. Exactly, what is siding for a house? Siding for a house is like the skin on our bodies. 

It provides a curbside appeal, a layer of protection against the climate, elements, and more. That is why when it becomes old and not able to provide the level of protection or offer that curb appeal, exterior siding replacement is needed.

What is the most common siding? 

There is a variety of materials to choose from for exterior siding replacement.  You can choose a siding material that stays in line with the current architectural style of your home or change to a different type that gives your home a completely new look. Here are 5 choices of exterior siding replacement materials available today include: 

  • Wood Siding: Sold as clapboards, beveled siding, shakes, shingles, paneling, board, and batten, or tongue-and-grooved board, this exterior siding replacement offers a long-lasting life that should be painted or otherwise treated. Pricing can start as low as $1/per square foot and go as high as $10/per square foot depending on which one you choose. 
  • Brick or Stone Siding: These exterior siding replacement materials are installed over a wood frame and can be used over the entire house or only as an accent and decorative. These materials are fire-proof, insect-proof, and rot-resistant, providing decades, even centuries of beauty and protection. These materials require cleaning every 60 years or so, with the possible need for re-pointing (repairing) the mortar. They are on the higher end costing up to $12/per square foot for brick and up to $20/per square foot for stone. There are faux versions that will give the same curb appeal for less expense. 
  • Vinyl Siding: A popular choice that resembles clapboard exterior siding. Replacement materials are available to mimic brick, shakes, or even stone. These are almost maintenance-free materials that are durable, sturdy, fire-proof, easily repaired, and can be power-washed to renew the colors. Vinyl siding is the more economical of exterior siding replacement materials starting at $1/per square foot and as high as $10/per square foot for the clapboard panel style. 
  • Aluminum Siding: During the 1940s and 50s, this became the exterior siding replacement material for most homes. Vinyl siding has all but eliminated it, but many homeowners of mid-century housing prefer to stay with the ‘original’ look and style. It is fire-proof, insect-proof, rot-resistant, and can be painted and cleaned easily. If you can find it, pricing starts at around $2/per square foot and can be as high as $3/per square foot in some areas. 
  • Fiber Cement: Manufactured from a mixture of fly ash, wood pulp, and Portland cement, this is your answer to a long-lasting, tough exterior siding replacement.  Doesn’t burn but will hold paint for the long-term, insect resistant. Manufactured into clapboard style, shingle-style, or vertical panels, can cost up to $3/per square foot. 

What is the most common siding?

Here in Virginia and around the country, vinyl siding is the more popular choice for an exterior siding replacement. Along with the curb appeal it offers, the durability, ease to replace if needed, the long lifespan, and the price points all tend to be the attraction for homeowners. 

Will siding deteriorate from moisture damage?

While the exterior siding replacement itself may not deteriorate from moisture, when moisture gets behind it, the wood frame of the house will experience wood rot, insect infestation, and more. Therefore, having gutters installed and keeping them clean is so important – it is a level of protection to help the exterior siding replacement look good and last longer. The thicker the siding with insulation behind it and beyond the gutter cap is recommended. 

What siding lasts the longest?

How long an exterior siding replacement will last can vary based on the quality of the material, the quality of how siding is installed, how well any required maintenance and upkeep are done, as well as the climate and elements it is exposed to.  Here are the estimated lifespans: 

  • Vinyl Siding: 60+ years, typical warranty offered by the manufacturer is 20 to 40 years
  • Fiber Cement Siding: 50+ years
  • Stucco Siding: Between 50 and 80 years
  • Metal Siding: 40 years.

Which siding is most affordable?

Again, vinyl siding for the win!  For an exterior siding replacement, this is the cheapest option, which lends to its popularity. Besides being inexpensive, it is quickly installed, saving on labor, and can be installed over the existing material. However, some contractors prefer not to remove the existing if it is vinyl siding. 

Can siding go over brick?

It is not recommended because the uneven surface of brick could result in the siding bowing or rippling. It is recommended that if you choose to cover up the brick with an exterior siding replacement, have watertight sheathing material installed first. 

Can siding be painted?

Vinyl siding is ideal for painting and will be less expensive than purchasing it in another color for a new exterior siding replacement. With the array of colors available in paints today, the world of painting vinyl siding is endless! 

Can siding be repaired?

Absolutely!  While you can do the repairs yourself, it may be a better choice to hire a contractor experienced in the process so that the repaired area blends with the existing one.  Dents, holes, dents, and other types of damage can be fixed fast and inexpensively. There is a host of epoxy fillers, hardeners, and wood fillers on the market today that will add firmness to soft spots, extending the lifespan of the existing siding. 

house with beige siding

In Closing 

With this information, go forth and choose your next exterior siding replacement with confidence. The educated customer makes for a happy homeowner! Because your home is your most valuable possession, make it the home you’re proud to own.