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  • Siding Replacement Options for Your Sacramento Home

    different types of sidingWhat are My Siding Replacement Options?

    When it comes to replacing the siding on your Sacramento home, there are numerous options available. The following article lists popular materials for siding replacement, as well as some basic information about each:

    Vinyl

    Vinyl is one of the most popular siding materials on the market, especially for new construction homes. Its popularity is largely due to its combination of affordability, versatility, ease of installation and low maintenance. However, those looking for a more natural look may not appreciate vinyl’s synthetic appearance. Additionally, despite being corrosion-resistant, vinyl siding is susceptible to water intrusion and wear/damage from extreme temperatures.

    Wood

    Wood siding offers a genuine aesthetic for homeowners who value authenticity. Besides being a natural, eco-friendly product, wood siding is highly customizable and can be installed in a variety of styles and patterns, including board and batten, clapboards, shingles, drop siding, and more. The principal downsides of wood siding are the need for ongoing maintenance (including frequent restaining/repainting) and its vulnerability to damage from fires, termites, and rot. However, wood siding’s combustibility can be lowered with the application of flame retardant treatments, while diligent maintenance reduces the chances for termite and mold issues.

    Engineered wood

    Engineered wood siding is designed to provide the appearance of real wood while improving upon its practical disadvantages. That’s why engineered wood siding weighs less, holds up better against moisture and termites (thanks to factory-applied coatings and treatments), is easier to install, and requires less maintenance than real wood siding. The main drawback of engineered wood siding is that, unlike genuine wood siding, it can’t be repainted or restained.

    Fiber cement

    Fiber cement siding is an engineered product that’s typically composed of wood pulp and Portland cement, among other ingredients. Fiber cement siding can imitate the appearance of genuine wood siding, but unlike wood, it’s impervious to fire, termites and rot. Because of this, fiber cement siding products typically come with warranties of up to 30 years Furthermore, fiber cement siding’s high density makes it a good insulator. The only real drawback of fiber cement siding is its cost, as it’s one of the most expensive siding options available.

    Stucco

    Stucco is composed of a mixture of Portland cement, sand and lime that’s applied over a mesh lath attached to the home’s structural framing. Stucco’s attributes make it an ideal exterior choice for homes in warm, dry climates—it’s a very good insulator, long-lasting and naturally fire-resistant. It’s also ideal for achieving specific architectural styles, such as traditional Spanish or Mediterranean. As a porous substance, stucco is susceptible to stains and mold, which is why it’s not a good choice for areas that receive heavy amounts of rain and/or snow.

    Brick

    Like wood, brick provides a traditional aesthetic that’s perfect for the antique architecture of Colonial or Ranch homes. However, brick is very expensive, which is why budget-sensitive homeowners may want to consider a modern alternative like brick siding or faux brick paneling. Modern brick siding not only mimics the look of traditional brick, it’s also a great insulator.

    Metal

    Metal siding is one of the most durable siding materials available. Not only is it strong in composition, it’s impervious to moisture, termites and fire. Metal siding can also be made to imitate the aesthetic of wood and is available as a pre-painted product.

    Metal siding is available in steel or aluminum. Steel is the stronger of the two and resists dents better than aluminum; however, it’s also heavier and more difficult to install, which hikes up the cost. Additionally, steel is susceptible to rust, so homeowners need to be diligent about maintaining their steel siding’s paint. Aluminum is the more affordable metal siding option, and unlike steel, it won’t rust. However, it dents easily and is prone to oxidization.

    Stone veneer

    For the majority of homeowners, real stone is prohibitively expensive as a siding option. Fortunately, there are imitation stone products that mimic the look of genuine stone without breaking the bank. Stone veneer, typically fabricated from fiberglass or acrylic, is crafted to look like the real thing, especially when viewed from a distance. On the downside, it’s not nearly as durable as real stone. Additionally, factory-produced panels often have repeating patterns, which diminishes the authenticity of the siding’s appearance.

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  • Siding Replacement Considerations for Sacramento Homeowners

    new vinyl siding on Sacramento home5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Siding Product

    In addition to hiring the right contractor for your siding replacement project, you’ll need to choose the right product. This is more complicated than simply assessing a product’s quality—you also need to ensure the product makes sense for your home and location. Consider the following aspects before choosing a siding product for your Sacramento home.

    1. Architecture

    Your home’s architectural style should be your foremost guide for choosing a siding product. This is especially true if you own an antique home. Whether a Tudor-style home in Old Land Park, a Curtis Park bungalow or a Newton Booth Victorian, an antique home will benefit from a traditional siding material like wood, brick or stone. While these materials are more expensive than modern siding options like vinyl or aluminum, they’ll provide a great value by preserving the genuine period and style character of your home.

    Keep in mind that if your home is a designated historic landmark or located in a Historic District, your siding replacement options will likely be limited. Contact the City of Sacramento Community Development Department for more specific information on replacing the siding on your historic home.

    2. Aesthetics

    Even if you don’t need your siding to match a specific architectural style, you may still want to achieve a certain aesthetic. In this case, a faux or engineered product may be a good option. Today’s engineered siding products are designed to imitate the appearance of natural materials while offering improved performance, less maintenance and a lower cost. For example, engineered wood siding provides the aesthetic of natural wood but is less expensive, less susceptible to rot and termites, and easier to install. There are also aluminum and fiber cement siding products that imitate the look of natural wood. Likewise, if you want the look of stone or brick siding but can’t afford the exorbitant costs they entail, you can choose an imitation stone or brick product.

    3. Home Value

    Another important factor to consider when choosing a siding product is the value of your Sacramento home. For example, if you own a high-value home in Poverty Ridge or Southside Park, it makes sense to invest in a siding product that will increase its resale value. Conversely, if you live in an area like Lawrence Park or Richardson Village (where home prices are below the Sacramento median), it probably won’t make sense to invest in a high-end siding product, as the cost-versus-value ratio may not be in your favor. However, in any scenario, it’s wise to invest in a siding product that will provide lasting durability—otherwise, you may end up having to replace it prematurely.

    4. Weather

    During the summer, Sacramento averages 73 days where the temperature exceeds 90 F and 14 days where it surpasses 100 F. Additionally, Sacramento has been deemed among the sunniest places on Earth during the months of July, August and September. For this reason, when choosing a siding product, you’ll want to invest in a product that can withstand the heat, such as fiber cement siding, steel or wood (natural or engineered). Vinyl siding, on the other hand, may not perform as well—in some cases, homeowners have seen their vinyl siding warp and even melt when exposed to extreme heat.

    Besides choosing a product that can withstand the heat, it’s wise to choose one that will keep it out of your home. A siding product that’s a good insulator will help your home stay cooler and reduce your energy costs. In this regard, good siding choices include wood, stucco and fiber cement. However, even poor insulators like standard vinyl or aluminum can be supplemented by installing an additional layer of foam insulation or a whole house wrap beneath. Ask your siding contractor about ways to maximize your siding’s insulating properties.

    5. Fire-Resistance

    While Sacramento isn’t as susceptible to wildfires as nearby cities like Folsom, fire-resistance is still a good attribute to look for in a home siding product. After all, fires can originate from a variety of sources, including HVAC and electrical equipment, cooking (indoor or outdoor), and fireplaces. Fiber cement siding is an excellent choice in this regard, boasting a Class 1(A) fire/flame spread rating (the highest available). If you prefer or are limited to a wood siding product, you can make it ignition-resistant by treating it with a fire retardant and reapplying as needed.

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  • Siding Maintenance Tips for Sacramento Homeowners

    5 Siding Maintenance Tips

    While different siding products require different levels of maintenance, even low-maintenance products need attention from time to time. Additionally, it’s wise to keep an eye out for potential problems and take preventative steps to avoid them altogether. To maximize the lifespan of your Sacramento home’s siding, consider the following maintenance tips:

    1. Pressure wash annually. Pressure washing your siding once a year can extend its lifespan by clearing off dirt and contaminants that accumulate over time. However, when done improperly, pressure washing can potentially damage siding, so if you don’t feel confident performing this task yourself, hire an experienced professional to handle it for you. Keep in mind that certain types of siding (such as stucco) are particularly susceptible to damage from pressurized water.
    1. Keep gutters clean. Another important maintenance measure to protect your siding is routinely cleaning your home’s gutters and downspouts. When clogged gutters fill with water, the overflow runs down the home’s siding, causing undue wear. Worse still, in some scenarios, water can get beneath the siding, which can lead to significant problems.
    1. Perform regular inspections. At least once a year, go around and inspect your siding for potential issues. This includes loose or missing pieces, lifting or warping, and signs of mold or mildew. If you see anything that concerns you, have a siding contractor assess the situation.
    1. Address problem areas. If you have wood siding and find an area that’s damaged or infected with dry rot, you’ll need to take measures to remedy the situation. In some cases, you’ll be able to repair the affected area, but if the damage is beyond repair, you may need to replace the affected siding boards. If there are multiple instances of damage or dry rot, you may need to replace your siding in its entirety.
    1. Back-prime wood siding boards. When having wood siding installed, insist that siding boards be back-primed or otherwise sealed prior to installation. Back-priming provides siding boards with added protection against dry rot, warping and other problems caused by exposure to moisture.
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  • DIY Siding Repair Tips

    Do-it-Yourself Siding Repair

    Most siding repair projects are best left to professional siding contractors. However, there are some repair and maintenance steps handy homeowners can perform themselves. Here are some tips for performing DIY maintenance and repairs on your Sacramento home’s siding.

    Wood Siding

    Wood siding commonly sustains splits and cracks caused by expansion and contraction over time. While minor splits and cracks can simply be painted over, deeper ones require more intensive measures to protect against moisture intrusion. A good solution is applying an elastomeric polymer waterproof coating prior to painting, which fills in and seals deep cracks and splits. Since the coating is flexible, it won’t fail when the wood expands and contracts.

    Vinyl Siding

    Small holes and cracks in vinyl siding can be repaired quite easily. Thoroughly fill the hole/crack with an exterior acrylic caulk (or, if possible, a tinted caulk that matches your siding’s color). After letting it set for a few days, use a utility knife to shave down the excess caulk and get it flush with the siding. If you’re using an untinted caulk, apply a matching paint to the area with a small brush, followed by a large brush to blend it with the siding. To repair larger holes and cracks, you’ll need to cut out the affected piece of siding and patch it with a new piece.

    Aluminum Siding

    While aluminum siding is rust-resistant, when painted, oxidation can occur if moisture gets between the aluminum and the paint. The result: areas of siding where the paint appears dull and chalky. To treat an oxidized section of aluminum siding, you’ll first need to strip the paint using an appropriate chemical product. The strength of the product should correspond to the severity of the oxidation—ideally, you should always choose the lightest, least acidic product possible.

    After removing the paint, apply oven cleaner with a piece of steel wool to thoroughly clean the exposed aluminum. Rinse with water and dry. Next, use an orbital polisher to buff the area with a rough-grit polishing compound. After rinsing and drying again, repaint the area with a matching paint product.

    Steel Siding

    Unlike aluminum, steel siding can rust, so it’s important to keep an eye out for scratches and repaint them in a timely manner. Rusted areas of steel siding can usually be repaired if caught early—simply scrape off the rust and repaint the area to prevent further corrosion.

    Stucco Siding

    Due to its porous character, stucco siding can stain easily, resulting in discolored splotches. To clean a stucco stain, use a hand-pump garden sprayer to saturate the area with a solution of water and oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach, which is toxic to vegetation). After letting the solution soak in for 30 minutes (reapply if necessary to prevent drying), scrub the area with a stiff brush (you can add liquid dish soap to get more cleaning power). When finished, rinse the area thoroughly with water.

    Small cracks and holes in stucco can be filled with a tinted exterior acrylic caulk. If you can’t find a tinted product that matches your stucco, you can use paint. For large cracks and missing patches of stucco, hire a stucco professional to ensure a pleasing aesthetic result.

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