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Maintenance3 min

When to Replace Old, Decaying Siding

Fungal decaying siding can cause a multitude of problems such as improperly heating and cooling your home and even compromising its structure. Many times, fungal decay is hidden and homeowners may not know how to spot the warning signs. And if they do, it can be difficult to gauge whether it’s time for a siding replacement or repair. But have no fear. We’re offering an in-depth guide on the signs to spot fungal decay and, more importantly, what to do next.

How to Identify Decaying Siding 

Richard and Doini Jones, owners of Everest Siding and Windows in Cypress, Texas, have plenty of experience spotting fungal decay. The couple says it’s a good rule of thumb for homeowners to do semi-annual exterior inspections to check for signs of damage, including trim and siding. “When wood is decaying due to water, it becomes dark and sometime dusty—like the wood simply disappeared,” Doini explains. 

Particularly with siding, look for areas that have warped, cracked or are beginning to pull away from the home. Poke under the siding to check how solid it is and inspect seams for cracked caulking. “In the Houston area, we have hot summers and cool winters. Cheap caulk doesn’t feature the chemicals to properly deal with expansion and contraction. It dries out and water can penetrate the siding. We use high-quality latex caulk to seal LP® SmartSide® products. The latex caulk has a great warranty and adjusts to the weather beautifully.”

Additionally, look for insects swarming near a particular area of your siding or holes that could be home to nesting creatures. If you’ve noticed that your exterior needs to be painted more frequently, that could also be a sign of fungal decay as the siding may be too damp to hold paint. 

Warning signs aren’t limited to the exterior, though. If paint inside your home starts to blister or wallpaper is coming loose, that could point to exterior damage. If you notice your heating and cooling bills have begun to soar for no apparent reason, that’s another indicator. 

Next Steps After Identifying Decaying Siding

After spotting one of these warning signs, it’s best to call a professional immediately. “So many people say, ‘we’ll take care of it next year,’ but the more you postpone it, the greater chance the siding can move away from the frame, allow water to penetrate behind it and decay underneath,” Doini says.

If it’s time for a siding replacement after receiving an opinion from a professional that you trust (you may want to receive several for comparison), begin researching your options. LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding, for example, is a popular choice. Not only are products designed for advanced durability, but they feature engineered wood technology for superior protection against factors like fungal decay and termites.

Have you spotted one of the warning signs you need a siding replacement in your own home? If you’re not quite sure of the process, read how two homeowners, James and Stella, navigated the renovation planning process.

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