Winter is not often a time homeowners associate with exterior house repairs. Between the craze of the holiday season and desire to be indoors to avoid the frigid temperatures, it's easy to understand why. However, due to severe weather conditions and the extreme pressure that can be caused by freeze/thaw patterns, it's also the time of year your home's siding can be tested the most.
But, have no fear. With this handy guide, we break down five of the most common winter siding problems you should be on the lookout for this season. With this, you'll be able to spot the signs to help ensure your siding is properly protecting your home.
Holes and Denting
Depending on where you live in the country, winter can mean wicked ice storms and powerful winds causing whipped debris. Holes and dents are some of the most obvious forms of damage to identify. Holes can allow cold air and moisture to enter your home while denting can provide an eyesore on your home’s exterior. Research your siding options and how each is known to withstand impact. For example, engineered wood product LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding has been tested to withstand wind gusts up to 200 mph.
Because water expands by nearly 10 % as it freezes, melted ice and snow makes winter a particularly trying time for your home’s siding. If water seeps into the cracks of your home’s siding and temperatures drop below 32° F, extreme pressure may lead to long-term structural issues (known as the freeze/thaw cycle). Look for large amounts of snow and ice build-up in your gutter and eavestrough that could potentially melt and seep into siding. Also, check for potential water damage caused by consistent exposure.
Another byproduct of the freeze/thaw cycle is cracking—an easy to spot issue. It’s important to know your home’s siding material and if it’s standing up to freeze/thaw. Due to its largely cement composition, fiber cement can be more brittle compared to options like engineered wood. Additionally, vinyl siding and natural wood have tendencies to crack and split. Consider a product built specifically to combat cracks. LP SmartSide Trim & Siding is treated with a proprietary SmartGuard® process that makes it less prone to freeze-thaw cycle damage.
Missing Siding Pieces
Missing siding pieces may be the easiest form of damage to identify—and it’s an important one. Forceful winter winds can cause siding panels to become loose or even dislodged. As your homes first defense against the elements, missing siding pieces can leave your house vulnerable to permanent issues along with rotting and termite/insect infestations. In addition to spotting missing pieces visually, hearing flapping noises during heavy winds could be an issue indicator.
Consistent moisture exposure caused by heavy snow and ice can lead to rotting. To catch rotting before it’s too late, look for brittle siding pieces with deep cracks. Moisture damage can also lead to fungal decay and compromise the durability and aesthetics of your home’s siding—particularly with traditional wood. However, an option like LP SmartSide Trim & Siding is engineered to perform in wet conditions and remain structurally sound.
You now have a helpful guide to identify five of the most common winter siding problems. By spotting the signs early, you can get on remodelers' spring calendars before they're booked during peak season-ensuring your siding is offering the protection your home needs.