Maintaining Wood Siding
Stain or paint your wood siding every 4 to 6 years
By Glyn Sheridan
If your house has wood siding or if you're installing new wood siding, you can maintain its good looks by making occasional repairs and scheduling larger maintenance projects every few years. Different types of wood siding require different maintenance procedures; cedar, cypress and redwood siding resist moisture and temperature changes and require minimal maintenance. If your siding is pine, oak, ash or another wood, it may require additional maintenance to keep it in top shape.
- What You Need to Know
- Well-maintained wood siding can last more than 30 years. It should be stained or painted every 4 to 6 years, depending on your climate.
- Occasional splits or cracks occur naturally in painted or sealed wood siding because the wood swells and contracts from moisture and temperature changes. The integrity of the siding decreases when the wood splits, because the split exposes bare wood to the elements.
Caulk cracks or splits in painted siding when the wood is completely dry, working the caulk into the crack and then smoothing the excess from the surface before it sets. Once the caulk hardens, paint it to match the rest of the siding.
Tighten individual pieces of wood siding that become loose as soon as you discover the problem. Use galvanized nails or screws that match the original fasteners to secure the siding. Dab matching paint over nail or screw heads.
Add a new coat of sealer to natural wood siding every few years or as needed in your climate to protect the wood from aging and warping. Cabins, log homes and other rustic-type houses with natural wood finishes may benefit from the application of wood-permeable sealer that imparts no shine or visible coating on the wood's surface.
Replace damaged or warped pieces of clapboard or shake siding as needed. This is a simple procedure for painted wood siding, since replacement strips are available in most lumberyards, but it is more difficult to replace a piece of naturally weathered siding because the new piece will not match the aged silver look of the old piece. Solve this problem by placing a few pieces of natural wood siding outdoors to weather for a few months; then stack them in a dry spot until needed.
Prime all bare wood before painting. Primer goes on just like paint, but it has additional bonding ingredients to help it adhere better to the bare wood and to provide an optimum surface for paint application.
Besides weather, termites are the next most significant threat to wood siding. Help prevent termite infestation by maintaining distance between your siding and the soil or mulch at ground level. Eliminating siding-to-soil contact might require regrading or shoveling soil back from the foundation.
About the Author
Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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