Wood siding sometimes gets a bit of a bad reputation as being less durable than other options and prone to deterioration. This is true to some extent; wood does break down a lot faster than vinyl, and it is food for termites. However, if you take the right precautions when having wood siding installed, it can be longer-lasting and less prone to these issues. Here are the precautions you should take.
1. Make sure the siding is protected by gutters.
Gutters are often seen as a protective mechanism for your roof, but they also protect siding. They collect the water and direct it away from your home so it does not just run down the siding. Before you have your siding installed, make sure your gutters are working well. If there are any holes in the gutters, have them repaired — or consider having the gutters replaced. Many siding companies also work on gutters, so you could have both replaced at the same time, ensuring adequate protection for your new wooden siding.
2. Leave space between the siding and the ground.
Wood siding deterioration often starts at the base of the home. Moisture travels up the siding, eventually affecting the higher-up spots. Termites and carpenter ants also tend to first bother the siding near the ground. You can protect against these issues by leaving ample space between the ground and the lowest piece of siding. Six inches is a good minimum; if you're able to do eight, that is even better.
3. Use the right wood.
The cheapest wood siding is cheap for a reason; it is often made with softer, lower-quality wood that is more prone to breaking down. It's worth paying more for better-quality wood siding. Look for siding made from cedar or cypress; these woods are naturally resistant to rot and insect infestation, and they age very well.
4. Move any landscaping that is too close to the siding.
Before your installers arrive, remove or relocate any plants that are growing too close to the side of the home. You do not want these sweeping against the wood siding; they could pass on moisture and also serve as a highway for insects to reach the siding.
If you follow the tips above, you can enjoy the beauty of wood siding not only now, but for years to come. Talk to your local siding contractor for more specific recommendations and advice.