How Many Problems Do You See With This Siding?
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE!
We found five problems that need to be addressed:
Possibility of Lead Paint (CAUTION… lead paint is hazardous!)
Bright colored thick paint applied before 1978 may contain lead and should be tested before any work is done.
The EPA has established guidelines on the proper removal and handling of lead contaminated paint. Any surface containing lead paint is not to be disturbed without the proper safety precautions, including collecting all chips and dust must be collected and disposed of properly. Be careful hiring a contractor that isn't certified for lead, your job can get shut down by the government and your neighbors could hold you liable for contaminating their property.
No Primer Coat (Without primer… the paint won’t stick)
Primer is needed to help the paint stick to the wood.
In this example you can clearly see the paint did not bind with wood and a new coat of paint will likely flake off too. When you can see bare wood, a primer coat is the best way to ensure your paint will provide lasting protection from the elements.
Pest Damage (Look closely!)
Did you notice the holes in the wood? These three holes were likely the work of termites, boring beetles, or carpenter ants.
When wood gets wet it grows mold, a fungus that is the primary food source for termites and carpenter ants. They will bore holes though good wood to find and eat the fungus, worse yet, if there is a lot of it, they will move in and make a comfy place to stay in your walls, floors, and attic close to the food source. If the paint was doings its job protecting the wood from the weather there would be no fungus, and the pests would look elsewhere for a place to live and eat.
Grooves Are Horizontal
Modern building techniques discourage horizontal tongue and grove stacking siding called “ship-lap”.
It was very common practice in the Pacific NW in the late 60’s and 70’s. When the paint fails to keep out the weather water will pool up into the grooves and cause swelling. Once the wood is engorged with water it begins to break down and rot.
If you have read this far you already know what happens when the fungus that causes dry rot shows up. Yup, a new corner diner catering to termites and carpenter ants is in business (with lodging soon to follow!) You may wonder, if it is so bad why you see so many homes with horizontal lines in the siding? In most cases what you are seeing is called “lap siding”. Lap siding comes in many styles and materials. The most common are Fiber Cement (Hardie), Vinyl, Cedar, there are even some aluminum options. No matter what it is made of, each piece is layered over the piece below it so water can cascade off without causing any damage. This is by far the most popular choice of homeowners and siding contractors today.
Bare or Exposed Wood
The best thing you can do to extend the life of your siding and lower your maintenance costs is keep a good coat of paint on it at all times.
Today’s paints are highly engineered products that are made to protect your siding. Paint is designed to reflect or repel most forces of nature that will cause damage. There are a lot of things trying to ruin your siding.
Here are a few items that a good coat of paint will protect you from:
- Ultraviolet radiation – UV exposure from the sun dries the oils out the siding making them brittle and causing premature cracking and aging the same way it affects your skin, the roads, and even plastics.
- Water – Water is drawn into dry wood and causes it to swell, the older the wood the more cell damage occurs as the cells expand to absorb the water
- Insects – Termites, ants, and other pests don’t chew through paint, they can, but they can’t digest it and don’t like it. Wood destroying insects will search for a crack or damaged spot to gain entry to your home.
- Sound – Believe it or not even sound can cause damage, vibrations from sound can cause fasteners to work loose allowing for more movement and breakage of siding. Paint is designed to bounce sound back rather then absorb it as wood will preventing excess movement.
So, how did you do? Did you find all five?
It’s important to inspect your siding annually. If you got all these right you are the right person to do the job. If you want a little help to be sure nothing is quietly eating away at your investment, then call 3Rs! 503-363-1059 We will be there quickly to ease your mind and schedule any necessary repairs.