Maintaining Exterior Wood Siding
Wood siding is a common exterior wall covering in Wisconsin. As a home inspector, I often see wood siding during home inspections. It is an excellent exterior material for homes. Unlike vinyl or metal siding, it is a natural material and requires regular maintenance and needs to be installed correctly to prevent deterioration.
One of the most common errors made when installing wood siding is installing it too close or at ground level. This can cause moisture damage to the area of the siding in contact with or near the ground. Water can migrate up the wood causing it to deteriorate at a rapid rate. This can result in wood rot and the need to replace the wood siding at or near ground level.
Another common error is installation of wood siding less than 1 1/2 inches from the roof shingles. This is particularly important when wood siding is a a sidewall and an area where water will run at the sidewall. The water should be running against metal flashing material rather than wood siding, which can quickly deteriorate.
Wood siding needs regular maintenance to prevent deterioration. Paint or stain must be regularly used on wood siding to ensure that it is protected from moisture. Moisture destroys wood that is left unprotected. It does not take long for unpainted or unstained wood to deteriorate.
Nail holes need to be kept sealed to prevent moisture from getting into the wood siding. Nails often migrate out of the wood and need to be tapped back in and sealed.
One of the benefits of wood siding is that if boards need to be replaced they are much easier to replace than vinyl or metal siding. Single boards or sections can be replaced relatively easily.
Dairyland Home Inspection provides home inspection services in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Bob Carter is a home inspector in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. He is the owner of Dairyland Home Inspection.