2 Signs it's Time to Replace Your Home's Wood Siding

If your home has old wood siding that has started to look its age, you may wonder whether you should update the look of your house by replacing it with new wood or vinyl siding. If so, look for the following signs that may indicate that it is time to replace your home's wood siding.

Large Patches of Mold

One sign you should look for when trying to decide whether your siding should be replaced is mold on the shady sides of your house. If you find large patches of mold on your siding, the fungal growth could be an indicator of structural damage to the siding.

Because mold requires moisture to thrive, the spores may have settled within tiny cracks of the wooden siding. Once the spores grow into adult fungi, they trap more water and keep the wood wet. Also, the chemicals the mold excretes helps to further break down the wood, giving the mold more food and moisture with which to grow.

If you see large patches of mold, use a putty knife to gently scrape off the top layer so you can get a good view underneath. If the wood is soft and sloughing off along with the fungal growth, it has become irreparable and should be replaced.

Presence of Dry Rot

Another sign that your siding should be replaced can be found on the opposite sides of your home from those discussed above. On the sunny parts of your home's exterior, you should inspect the siding for dry rot.

As wood ages, it becomes dry and brittle. As the sun beats down on your siding for years, the constant heat and exposure to ultraviolet rays tend to dry out the wood faster. As a result, the wood starts to crack and deteriorate, creating dry rot.

Although dry rot is not always easy to see, you can test for it by performing a simple task. Using the handle end of a screwdriver or a small hammer, lightly tap along the siding. If wood dust or debris fly out from under the siding, this is often a sign of dry rot. Also, you may also leave a small impression in the wood, indicating it is no longer strong enough to withstand impact.

If you notice any of the signs above, it is probably time to have your home's siding replaced with either new wood or vinyl siding. Contact a siding contractor to have them inspect your home's exterior and discuss your options for replacing your dilapidated siding to restore your home's beauty and curb appeal.