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March 2018>

Weather-Proofing Siding Considerations

Weatherproof home siding

It’s been a pretty mild winter this year, but all the same we’re seeing those telltale signs of winter’s damage all over our homes. Continuous frosts and thaws crack the sidewalk around our home, soggy winter snowmelt seeps into our foundations, and salty, dirty air and moisture leaves caked dirt on our exterior windows and walls.

 

Watching this winter fallout might have you wondering: what can I do to minimize winter damage to my home? What will be the most weather-resistant investment? Well, when it comes to siding, picking and installing weather-resistant materials and techniques is what we do best, especially for homes along Utah’s Wasatch Front.

 

Here are some of the primary considerations for siding if you’re worried about weather damage:

 

Fading

 

With the intense sunshine that we experience in both the winter and summer, it’s important to consider how quickly your siding’s color will fade. It might not seem like a problem at first, but when you start noticing that there’s a permanent shadow cast by shrubs around the perimeter of your home, you’ll care. Often, fade happens unevenly across the surface of your home, and contributes to an overall appearance of dinginess.

 

A factory coating on plastic, vinyl, and fiber cement siding will always last longer than standard paint. Wood siding, while it can look charming, will always fade the fastest and need to be repainted regularly. Vinyl siding’s colors last a long time without any sort of maintenance, but fiber cement siding needs to be refinished regularly to keep its color and integrity.

 

Impact

 

In cold weather, siding can become more brittle and prone to cracks in the case of stormy impacts. Cracks quickly lead to damage, and free entry for pests who can continue to damage the siding and the house beneath it. Vinyl holds up well to fading, but has a hard time with impact in cold weather. Depending on the quality of vinyl siding you get, you might find yourself needing frequent repairs and replacements.

 

Waterproofing

 

Surprise! Vinyl siding is not waterproof unless you give it additional treatment. The trouble isn’t in the vinyl material itself, but in the gaps between panels, which allow in moisture that can lead to rot and deterioration. Installed properly, vinyl siding will resist moisture. However, fiber cement siding like James Hardie, when properly installed, is usually the best open to resist rot and moisture. Note that in all of these options, professional and proper installation is key for best results.

 

Solid Construction

 

One aspect of windproofing that few people consider is how well it holds up to the wind. Shabbily-installed siding easily comes undone, leading to cracks and noisy rattles in violent winter storms. In order to prevent this, we recommend thoroughly-vetted, certified, and professional installation for whatever type of siding you choose.

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Common Rain Gutter Problems

Broken rain gutterRain gutters are essential in order to keep your home secure and undamaged. By channeling excess water away from the foundations, they prevent flooding, deter moisture buildup in the walls and lower levels of your home (which also discourages pests and mold growth), and even prevent major problems like a cracked foundation.

 

It’s important to be proactive in maintaining your rain gutters. Doing so will prevent more difficult and costly repairs in the future.

 

Common Problems with Rain Gutters

 

  • Leaks within gutter: This is probably the most common problem with a rain gutter, but few of us identify leaks until they become large. After all, in rainy weather it’s difficult to identify these leaks. There’s rain going everywhere, and the wind can lead to splashing and errant moisture that might look like a leak at first. You can identify gutter leaks by waiting for a clear day, and sticking your garden hose in the drain. Then you can look around and identify leaky spots. For small leaks, especially in areas where the gutter has joins or edging, you can stop the leak by caulking. However, you’ll need a pro if the damage is more extensive.

  • Disconnection from fascia: When the gutter pulls away from the home’s fascia, water will go between the roof and gutter, straight into the foundation of your home. Most of the time you can double-check the hangers attaching the gutter to the fascia of the home. Reinforce areas that don’t have enough hangers, re-fasten existing hangers, and tighten ones that look a little loose.

  • Sagging gutters: Sometimes, the weight from water in the gutters can cause them to sag down. Often, the outer side of your gutter can give out a little. You can prevent this by reinforcing the interior of the gutter with hangers. However, if you have sagging gutters, you might need to clean them out, or check the tilt to make sure that the water is draining properly.

  • Detached downspouts: Detached downspouts can be refastened much like disconnected rain gutters, with hangers. Sometimes, you can also have problems with downspouts causing too much erosion in one part of your yard. You can reduce the amount of erosion that one area it taking by installing downspout extenders.

  • Improper pitch: Improper pitch refers to the tilt of your rain gutters. Ideally, they’ll gradually slope to the downspout, allowing water to easily flow out. However, often rain gutters don’t drain properly because the pitch is off, and gravity can’t get it where it needs to go. In order to check this, look in your gutters after rain. Standing water in the gutter is a problem. It will lead to more clogs, more breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and more weight and strain on the gutters and fasteners.

 

Call Us for Repair and Installation

 

Many repairs are pretty simple to do yourself, but bigger issues will require a pro’s help. If that’s the case for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’ve had years of experience installing and repairing rain gutters in Salt Lake and Utah County, and we know how to get it done right the first time in order to protect your home for years to come.

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