If we were to ask you what the most important component of your home is, you may say something like the roof or the walls and structure, right? While that is certainly true, there is an often forgotten component that is essential to every energy-efficient and structurally sound home.
We are talking about siding. You have likely heard of siding, but do you know why your home needs siding? And what its benefits are? Today, we are talking about the benefits of siding, and in particular the benefits of wood siding.
But First, What is Siding & What is it Made From?
Siding is any material that covers, protects or clads the exterior walls of a home or residential building. It can be made in a variety of materials, with some of the most common being vinyl siding, fiber cement siding, stucco siding, brick siding, and of course, wood siding.
What Does Siding Actually Do?
Great question. There are two main functions to siding. First and foremost, it plays an integral role in protecting your home from the elements, as well as the security of your home. It protects your home against rain, snow, and wind, and also keeps it insulated throughout the year.
The second important function is to give your home a unique personality and style - what is commonly known as curb appeal.
What Happens When You Have Poorly Installed Siding
Without properly installed siding, water may enter your home and cause major damage like mold or foundational issues. Not to mention that siding is often used to cover the joints of your house. If the joints are not fully covered or sealed, water and other forms of precipitation like snow may enter the home and cause extensive damage.
Importantly, siding plays a pivotal role in reducing utility bills. If your home has improperly installed siding, your heating and cooling unit will be working overtime throughout the year, which will lead to a spike in your energy bills.
The Benefits of Wood Siding
Easy to Paint
Wood siding is incredibly easy to paint or stain. Some siding materials cannot be painted over once installed, which is not the case with wood siding. being easy to paint or stain to suit your home’s character or your aesthetic preferences.
Good for the Environment
Wood siding is good for the environment as it is one of the most eco-friendly materials. It is a renewable resource (some types of trees grow especially quickly making them a sustainable resource), it is bio-degradable and wood siding takes less energy to manufacture than other siding materials. If you are intent on reducing your environmental footprint, wood siding is a sound choice.
Wood Siding is Easy to Repair
If you find any damage to your wood siding, the good news is it is relatively easy to repair. For example, wood putty will repair small holes. With warped siding, you can simply screw it tight (or shorten it with a saw). Boards are easy to replace too if the damage is too extensive to fix.
As with anything, if we are looking at benefits we need to look at disadvantages too for an even playing field.
Cons of Wood Siding
Considering all its benefits, wood siding is understandably one of the more expensive siding options on the market. However, it might be a good investment depending on where you live and how long you intend to live there.
Needs Plenty of Maintenance
To keep wood looking its best and protect your home from the elements, you need to maintain your wood siding often, including repainting or restaining every 3-7 years. You also need to protect your wood siding against pests, as well as any issues around animals gnawing on the wood and leaving holes that need to be filled as soon as possible.
Consider Composite Siding Instead
In researching wood siding, you might come across composite siding. Composite siding is typically made from wood fibers, and give you all the benefits of wood with hardly any cons. The benefits of composite siding include:
- Minimal maintenance
- Plenty of variety in style and color
Most Importantly, Choose the Right Siding Contractor
At the end of the day, the most important decision when replacing your siding is who you hire to install it. The right contractor will be able to walk you through your options and give you expert advice on the best options for you and your needs.