What Factors Determine the Age and Wear of Home Siding?

Home siding is affected by many different factors such as the weather, climate and more. Here’s what matters when it comes to your siding and how it ages.

Temperature

As with many factors, temperature affects some types of siding much more than others. If your siding is fiber cement, for example, it can deal with pretty much any temperature from freezing nights to boiling summer days without much change. However, if your siding is made from vinyl, it easily becomes damaged by rapid changes in temperature – this occurs because the vinyl resin will expand, contract and sometimes warp or crack in response to temperature. Cold winters can make the vinyl brittle and subject to cracking, while heat can sometimes melt and warp vinyl boards.

Remember, the temperature often works in tandem with other elements of the weather. Wood boards may be able to shrug off rain, but if the water seeps in and then freezes overnight, it can cause widespread damage.

Sunlight

Sunlight affects home siding in two major ways. First, as we’ve already touched on, lots of heat can permanently damage vinyl siding, so concentrated sunlight or very hot days make for poor vinyl conditions.

Second, sunlight will eventually bleach out even the most stubborn siding colors. If your siding has lost a lot of color over time, this is a sign that you need to consider repainting or replacing your siding entirely. Sun damage can also cause peeling, flaking, cracking and other problems over the years. If you find that your siding has to face a lot of sunlight, you may want to pick a lighter color to help minimize the effects.

Precipitation

Moisture is always bad news for siding, and siding in wetter, more humid areas will usually have a shorter lifespan (here is where the moisture impervious vinyl shines). Moisture invites problems with rot, mildew and pests that are attracted to the water or softened siding materials.

However, the type of precipitation is also important. Severe storms with high winds and lots of hail are more likely to damage siding and require professional repairs. This is especially noticeable with siding that can be easily dented, like aluminum.

Landscaping

Having shrubs or trees that grow close to your home siding is often bad news. While branches and leaves can provide some shade, they also shed debris on your siding (especially with deciduous species) and can exacerbate moisture problems. They also pose a greater fire hazard.

Activities

Certain activities will also affect your siding. It may not seem important, but over the years a lot of backyard work and play will make their marks – often literally. Frequent games with kids and families can lead to a lot of extra dents and cracks in your siding. Even mowing or weeding can sometimes damage siding if your equipment spits up rocks and debris.

Fortunately, other activities can help increase your siding’s longevity, such as cleaning or repainting. Regular maintenance can help your siding survive much longer!

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