As a homeowner, it is extremely frustrating when your house’s siding fails. It might also cause you to worry that your exterior is no longer providing adequate protection to you and your family or the structure’s foundation.
The Portland area is a fantastic place to live, but the wet Pacific Northwest climate — which results in an average of 43 inches of rain per year — can be punishing on the façade of any building, private homes included. This extreme moisture can cause siding to deteriorate, necessitating a complete exterior renovation.
Seven Signs that Moisture is Compromising your Home’s Exterior
So how do you know if your siding is water-damaged? Here are some signs to look for:
1. Frequent painting – If the paint on your home is peeling, requiring repainting every six years or less, there is a strong likelihood that your siding is damaged. Mold could be eating away at the exterior, or you might see bubbling on the surface, indicating that water has seeped under the paint.
2. Cracked or loose boards – A couple of cracked or loose siding boards are usually not a big deal. But if you see damaged, broken siding all over your home, water has an avenue to infiltrate (if it hasn’t already).
3. Warping and buckling – Prolonged water exposure can cause your siding to warp or buckle. Warped siding can show bulges or certain boards might appear raised or pushed out.
4. Mold or mildew – Mold or mildew on your siding is a hint that water is trapped underneath. This can be a result of rain, humidity, or even from a broken drainpipe that is constantly dumping water on your home’s covering so it can’t dry. Mold and mildew can be black, green, yellow, or rust-colored, and appear flat, or powdery and fluffy.
5. Damaged interior – Once moisture has penetrated your siding, it can seep inside and damage interior walls. Unexplained water stains on exterior facing walls inside your home are a sign that this is occurring.
6. Wood rot – Wood rot, which includes both wet rot and dry rot, occurs when dampness penetrates wood siding. They are both types of decay caused by a combination of moisture and fungi. Dry rot is more serious because it can spread easily and cause more damage. Wet rot is usually confined to the damp area. Either one can put your home’s foundation at risk. Discoloration, cracks, and splintering can all be signs of moisture damage.
7. High energy bills – Have your heating or cooling bills suddenly skyrocketed? Exorbitant energy bills can be a symptom that moisture-caused leaks in your home’s exterior are allowing air to escape, necessitating more energy to keep your interior temperature comfortable.
If you’ve determined that it’s time to replace your moisture-damaged siding, how do you decide on a material? You shouldn’t have to worry about the condition of your home’s exterior! You want a product that will last for decades so you don’t have to go through an expensive renovation process again.
Vinyl siding itself is water-resistant, but if it has been installed without a foam backing, or it becomes damaged or deformed, moisture can become trapped underneath the surface, causing mold, rot, and even damage to the interior of your home. There are better siding materials when it comes to standing up to Portland’s climate.
James Hardie fiber cement siding is both durable and beautiful. It is flame-resistant and impervious to rot, moisture, pests, and requires minimal upkeep. Unlike vinyl siding, it won’t warp or crack. Hardie Board is made with a blend of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers for maximum strength and uses ColorPlus technology, a fade and chip-resistant finish which is baked on in the factory and lasts up to 15 years.
Lifetime Exteriors – a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor
Lifetime Exteriors is a James Hardie Elite Preferred Contractor, which guarantees that your siding will be installed properly and your 30-year warranty will be protected. The program places strict requirements on contractors for which they choose to bestow this label, including using a third-party surveying service to gather input from customers.
For over 10 years, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners in the Portland Metro area feel secure in the knowledge that their home is safe. Learn more about our James Hardie siding services today!