Seasoned homeowners are often familiar with the disadvantages of wood siding because of their experience. Heavy upkeep, moisture damage, color fading — there are all sorts of everyday issues with wood. Spotting the damage early is key to avoiding larger problems down the line.
Use this guide to understand the most common problems with wood siding early and discover an alternative material that will help you avoid issues in the future.
Wood used to be the standard when it came to building homes and other structures. Even historic buildings with limestone foundations often featured wood siding on the exterior. Why? It was convenient! As towns began popping up, timber remained one of the most readily available resources to meet the increasing demand for building materials.
Most people found wood to be fairly easy to work with, and a variety of designs became popular. From dutch lap to board and batten to shake to shingles, cutting the wood siding in different shapes and styles allowed people to show off their creativity and create homes with unique character. Many historic neighborhoods still show signs of these early building trends with decorative trim and fascia, corbels and all sorts of exterior features crafted from wood.
There is still a lot of interest in these traditional trends in today’s market, and you can still take advantage of classic styles. The difference is that people aren’t willing to take the risks associated with natural wood siding. With modern exterior options available, it’s no surprise that homeowners prioritize durability and longevity, opting for modern wood-look materials whenever they can.
Wood siding can lead to annoyances and costly repairs, but is wood siding bad? It depends on what you value as a homeowner. If you don’t mind shelling out tons of money and time for wood siding maintenance, then you may not have a problem with wood. However, this isn’t the case for most homeowners. Take a look at some common issues:
If you notice your wood siding warping, there’s a good chance that bigger damage is up ahead. Wood siding bowing out or warping is often a result of moisture damage or shifting due to extreme temperature swings. Wood absorbs moisture naturally, which can cause it to sag, change shape and buckle. It also swells in high heat. All of this shifting can disfigure wood siding and leave gaps in the exterior — this ultimately exposes the home to leaks, pests, mold growth and more.
The sun can also do damage to wood siding, causing the paint to flake off and/or fade. The tricky part about sun exposure is that the exterior is rarely exposed to sunlight in a uniform manner. In other words, south-facing walls often get more sun than other sides of the home, which can cause color fading to take place at different rates. Add in the possibility of partial shade from trees, and you can end up with uneven patches of color.
For these reasons and more, wood siding maintenance becomes an unavoidable topic for any homeowner who has wood siding on their house. Though addressing damage as soon as possible can help, it’s better to be proactive and take care of wood siding before signs of deterioration begin to show up.
Proactive wood siding maintenance consists of sanding, painting or staining and caulking panels to ensure they’re secure and aesthetically pleasing. This is usually recommended every three to four years. While it is possible to do wood siding maintenance on your own, most homeowners end up hiring contractors because the work is so laborious. Plus, you may need to rent ladders, pressure washers and other equipment to complete the job, which adds additional expenses to the project. It goes without saying that wood siding maintenance can be time-consuming and costly.
Learning about wood and bark siding problems can often cause homeowners to look for an alternative material, and with good reason! Fiber cement is an excellent choice to take the place of traditional wood siding because it offers better durability, moisture management and extremely low maintenance — it even has a lifespan of up to 50 years.
Unlike real wood, fiber cement does not absorb moisture, making it effectively resistant to warping and rotting from water infiltration. In addition, certain fiber cement siding comes with a built-in rainscreen, which can further protect the home from rain and humidity that natural wood siding cannot.
The advanced performance engineering that goes into fiber cement fabrication means far less upkeep for homeowners. Its extreme durability allows it to stand against natural threats like pests, wildlife and extreme weather events. Plus, this modern siding choice is not susceptible to fading or cracking from sunlight, so constant repainting isn’t an issue.
Overall, fiber cement siding is a superior choice for siding because of its high-quality composition and performance capabilities. And when it comes to its aesthetics, certain fiber cement siding manufacturers ensure you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for function.
Here at Nichiha, our fiber cement products are inspired by the classic look of real wood — homeowners can find beautiful selections with detailed wood grain patterns, unique styles and authentic colors but don’t have to worry about the upkeep and downfalls that come with using real wood. When you choose our siding, you don’t have to trade aesthetics for performance — our architectural wall panels give you the best of both worlds.
With great design flexibility and durability that outperforms wood by miles, fiber cement is the smart choice for siding. Contact our team today to explore beautiful fiber cement styles that are built to last.