Most siding material require little to no upkeep. Brick, engineered wood, stone (both natural or manufactured), and fiber cement are thought to last for the life of a home, according to a report released by the National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America, “Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components.” But Frank Leash, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors, offers some pointers to be shared with home owners to help them protect their siding from damage including:
Keep foliage away: Make sure no plants are growing on the siding. “Plants can trap moisture and allow insects and animals to infiltrate,” Leash says. “You want the siding to be exposed to the elements.”
Watch where water may be getting in: Check areas around the windows and doors to see if water is getting in. Moisture can linger and eventually cause rotting or fungal growth. Make sure those areas have been properly caulked or tuckpointed to prevent seepage.
Keep the gutters cleaned: Many home owners think they only need to check for clogged gutters in autumn when leaves are falling. A neighbor’s stray tennis ball, a bird’s nest, or even squirrels stocking up for winter can quickly become a serious problem. If water backed up in your gutter, it could damage your siding too, Lesh notes. Have gutter checked at least twice a year. Or better yet, clean them four times a year to prevent back-ups.