Have you looked at the outside of your house lately–carefully, that is? Have you been wondering off and on how to know when to replace vinyl siding? Well, maybe that time is now.
Vinyl siding lasts a long time; in fact, many people will live in their homes for decades without even thinking about replacing the siding, even though they’ve probably done other “major” replacements, such as the furnace or the roof.
So, what are the signs you really should pay attention to? And what will this sort of project cost? Keep reading and we’ll answer these questions and more.
You might have guessed already that your siding needs to be replaced just based on hunches. You’ve tried washing it and it still looks drab… your house just doesn’t look that good anymore.
“Over the years, manufacturers have improved the quality of vinyl products to the extent that they are now hard to distinguish from their metal and wooden counterparts.”
So if it’s time for replacing vinyl siding on your home, you can feel confident that, when the job is complete, it will look much, much better.
Here are the major signs of vinyl siding degradation homeowners should pay attention to:
Most vinyl siding itself doesn’t get dry rot. However, the wood siding that lies beneath a lot of vinyl siding does. If water seeps in under the siding, fungus can develop and cause dry rot–to both the wood and the siding covering it.
The rot can then take up residence in the siding itself. Rotten siding can be pulled apart easily if it hasn’t already cracked. It isn’t hard to detect.
If the rot isn’t immediately apparent, you should poke at some areas likely to have water seepage, including any areas near gutters that tend to clog.
Moisture in the vinyl siding of any underlying wood siding can also be manifested inside the house–which is a sure sign of a problem.
Sometimes this is evidenced by peeling interior paint, meaning that moisture has gotten into the plaster or drywall. Worse yet, the moisture might have led to the formation of mold in the walls.
If any of this has happened, definitely check the siding for spots of mold or the rot discussed above. Replacing the siding might prevent further damage to the inside. Your contractor can advise you further once they’ve removed more of the siding.
This might be a sign of wear and tear. When siding is pounded by anything from hail to baseballs to rocks thrown by a lawnmower, it can dent and even crack. Over time, heat and just plain age also can weaken it.
House settling and temperature changes can cause vinyl siding to expand and contract. Generally, it is installed with this in mind by hanging it loosely to allow movement.
Therefore, warping and buckling might have been caused by siding that was nailed on too tightly, the heat of the sun (or a grill located too close to the house) or a combination of the two.
We hate to say it, but these are often caused by small animals or insects seeking food or shelter inside the walls of your home. House-eating insects include carpenter ants, carpenter bees, beetles, and various species of termites.
Another type of house-eater is rodents: mice, rats, and squirrels especially. They will gnaw through just about anything to get to food sources. Plus, birds and other animals can cause gutter damage that leads to siding problems.
This is disappointing! Especially if you’ve done everything you were supposed to in order to save energy, such as adding insulation, sealing cracks and adding weather-stripping to doors and windows, and adjusting the thermostat.
But if there’s the sort of siding damage we’ve been discussing here, it can easily offset all the good work you’ve done indoors. Replacing the siding is imperative if you don’t want your fuel bills to keep increasing.
Chances are the siding you would be getting rid of is several decades old by now. So the processes and materials used in replacing siding on houses has gotten a lot more sophisticated.
You’ll be pleased with the many varieties of vinyl and other siding types that have come along.
According to home expert Bob Vila’s website, “today’s vinyl siding is weather- and insect-proof, fade-resistant, and virtually indestructible under normal circumstances. It also remains one of the cheapest materials to install.”
Other modern siding options include:
You will need to discuss each type with a siding expert to determine what is best for your budget, the climate where you live, your personal tastes, and other factors.
If you’re wondering what it might cost to replace the siding on your house professionally, this depends on several factors, some of which can’t be estimated until the project is underway or even completed.
The average U.S. price for installing vinyl siding on a 1,500 sq.ft.home is $7,222. This is for standard grade vinyl siding at $2.78 per sq.ft. The cost upgrade for insulated siding is $1,139 or $0.76 per sq.ft.
The disposal cost for old siding is $25 per cubic yard or $500. So the total cost of materials is $5,814. With labor cost to remove old siding and install new siding (including insulation), the total project cost is estimated to come to $8,433.
Of course, this doesn’t include anything unexpected such as mold, rot, or animal damage–any of which could add considerably to the total project cost.
Take the time you need, but don’t take too long. If you’re wondering when to replace vinyl siding, and your siding meets the criteria described here for needing replacement, the time has come.
Replacing vinyl siding that has grown old and worn, though, should give you some relief. And you should be excited about choosing what you want to replace it with.
Whatever that turns out to be, give it the care it needs so that you won’t have to replace that siding anytime soon.
If you live in one of our service areas, get in touch with us soon about your vinyl or other house siding concerns. We’ll be very happy to help!