Since your siding is exposed to the elements 24/7, it gets its fair share of wear and tear. You would too, if you were constantly outside, so it’s important to take care of your home’s exterior beyond simply cleaning the surface. Taking proactive measures will help your siding get through the winter unscathed and keep your home looking healthy. (Trust me, the neighbors notice when your siding is grimy.)

Vinyl Siding Maintenance

vinyl siding before and after cleaningVinyl is one of the most popular forms of siding, probably in part because it requires a low amount of maintenance. Here’s how to make sure vinyl siding reaches its maximum lifespan:

  1. If possible, avoid having vinyl siding installed in below-freezing temperatures. Installation in more temperate weather will help avoid issues with siding expansion or contraction in very hot or very cold temperatures.
  2. Don’t paint vinyl siding—doing so may void some manufacturers’ warranties.
  3. Cover the siding if you’re going to be doing certain projects around the exterior of your home. Most modern vinyl siding is treated to resist fading, but some things can discolor it, such as overspray from wood and concrete stains and sealants as well as some chemicals often used in herbicides and pesticides.

Wood Siding Care

exposed rotting woodWood siding maintenance is more involved than vinyl. While wood is a beautiful option for your home’s exterior, at the end of the day, it’s still wood, which means it’s susceptible to rotting. Here are two tips for keeping wood siding in good shape through the chilly months:

  1. Water is the enemy of wood siding, so keep an eye out for signs of rotting, especially if you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, snow, or ice.
    Peeling paint is a good indication of rotting wood, so make sure you address those concerns as soon as possible to avoid extreme deterioration.
    To fix this, you may need to call a Best Pick siding professional  to replace the rotted areas, and you’ll want to consider repainting or restaining other areas to keep the areas that aren’t rotting from doing so.
  2. Wood siding is more flammable than other options, so when you build the annual bonfire or start to grill, make sure it is a safe distance from the house.

Fiber Cement Siding Upkeep

man caulking between window and sidingFiber cement siding is one of the most durable and weather-resistant types of siding on the market. It does not require as much maintenance as wood or vinyl, but that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. Make sure to follow these two maintenance tips:

  1. Fiber cement siding will need to be painted every now and again. Choose high-quality paint, and avoid painting when the temperature is below 50 degrees. In the meantime, just keep your siding clean.
  2. Double-check any caulking that might have deteriorated over time. Gaps in caulking can affect your home’s heat retention and increase utility bills, so refill any spots that look less than complete to retain as much energy in your home as possible.

In some cases, the best ways to maintain siding in winter are to stay on top of small repairs and hold off on any major renovations. Give your siding a thorough examination at least twice a year to make sure your home’s exterior is functional and looking its best.