This month we continue our look at some home maintenance issues that are common for houses in the Orlando area. As we’ve shown in our spotlights on roofs and windows, casting an inspector’s eye on a home’s features can help you improve your home’s value if you’re an owner and can alert you to potential problems if you’re a buyer. This time we’re examining vinyl siding.
Florida is called the Sunshine State for a reason. Orlando averages 233 sunny days a year. Over time, all that beautiful sunshine can damage vinyl siding. The first problem you might notice is fading, especially on areas of your house that receive the most sun. While fading itself is merely a cosmetic issue, the same forces that cause the fading can eventually lead to cracking, a much more serious problem.
If your vinyl siding looks particularly faded, it might be time to consider replacing it.
Buckling and Warping
If vinyl siding is not properly installed or if temperatures become too intense (perhaps from reflected light or from heat traps caused by structural layouts), it can buckle or warp. Vinyl siding is designed to expand and contract. If it’s too tight to allow for that expansion, it will warp, potentially allowing for further damage or leading to moisture intrusion.
Holes and Cracks
Either of the previous issues can lead to cracks or holes in your vinyl siding. Even a small crack can allow moisture to seep behind the siding. If you notice any crack or hole in your siding, you should deal with the issue as soon as possible, either with a repair piece or by replacing large damaged areas.
Even though Orlando loves the sun (remember those 233 sunny days?), the rain still comes. This is particularly true during storm season or when hurricanes blow through. Intact and undamaged vinyl siding offers good protection against moisture, but remember that it’s never completely sealed because it must be allowed to expand and contract. Damage or improper installation will allow water to collect between the siding and the wall, ultimately leading to rot.
Dents, Dings, and Other Damage
In the natural life of a home, the exterior is going to take some damage. A small rock flung out from a mower can punch a hole in the siding. A football thrown a bit too hard can ding a panel. of course these occurrences are to be expected. When your home’s vinyl siding has experienced a little too much everyday life, though, it can start to show its age and can become unsightly. At that point, it might be time to consider replacing your vinyl siding.