rotted siding repair

Fix It Now, Not Later: How to Handle Rotted Siding Repairs

June 26, 2019

Did you know that in 2015, 5% of new single homes constructed in the U.S. used wood siding? In the Pacific region alone, 6% of the 76,661 homes built featured wood siding!

Granted, that’s not as many as those with vinyl siding, but wooden siding is still popular, with its timeless appeal and durability. It’s also a green choice, making it popular among eco-conscious homeowners.

With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that they can help boost curb appeal. For 99% of Realtors, curb appeal is essential to attract homebuyers.

However, nothing in life comes without its disadvantages. The need for dry rotted siding repair is a common issue among homeowners and property managers. Especially for those who live in areas with high levels of moisture and high temperatures, like Sacramento, California.

If your siding is showing signs of rotting, such as cracks and warping, get it repaired ASAP. This’ll prevent the rot from spreading and weakening the entire structure.

The big question now is, should you go DIY or go pro?

We’ll discuss both options, so be sure to keep reading!

The Culprits behind Rotted Siding

High heat, excess moisture, and pests can all contribute to the early demise of your siding. Left untreated, damaged siding can become unstable and pose a safety threat. It can also lead to moisture seeping into your home and causing internal water damage.

Dry Rot

On July 17, 1925, Sacramento had its highest temperature ever recorded – 114° Fahrenheit. Then, this was almost topped by the 110° F in July 2013 and June 2017.

It’s for this extreme heat that wooden siding exaggerates a type of damage called dry rot. In fact, dry rot is also a common reason Sacramento homeowners need to repair wooden decks and fences.

What exactly is dry rot though?

It’s a type of decay caused by fungi that eat parts of the wooden material that make the timber stiff and strong. This then weakens the wood, softening it and making it brittle. The rotten wood can even crumble under your fingertips if the dry rot is severe. It all initiates through moisture saturation and then dehydration from the hot summer heat.

This decay develops when wood gets constant exposure to moisture and then high heat. The high temperatures dry out the timber, making them lose their structure. This dried out structure starts cracking and splitting creating more points of entry for moisture and all sorts of pests.

Some of the most common signs of dry rot on siding are cracks and warping. You may also notice indentations (due to the softened parts of the wood) on the siding’s surface. The most obvious symptom, however, is the musty smell that the fungi give off.

Damage Caused by Pests

Did you know that every year, termites damage up to 600,000 homes in the U.S.?

That’s how big the termite problem is, and they can already be eating away at your siding. Once termites have hollowed out the siding, it can become unstable and even collapse. That’s a serious hazard, which is why you want to get professionals to repair termite damage ASAP.

Aside from termites, there are also the carpenter bees that can drill holes in your siding. These insects may not be as destructive as termites, but those holes they drill can be ugly. Plus, the more holes they drill, the “weaker” the siding can become.

Handling Siding Repairs on Your Own

The first step on how to repair wood siding on your own is to first determine how big the damage is. If the damage only affects a small part of the siding, you may be able to do a DIY repair. Keep in mind though that dry rot spreads fast, which means that it can already be affecting a different part of the siding and general house structure.

In case there’s only a tiny part of rooting wood, remove that section right away, completely removing the rotted portions. You’ll need a saw, hammer, and pry bar to do this part of the job.

Once you get rid of the damaged wood, cut out a piece of wood. Make sure that the replacement piece is the same exact size as the one you removed. Paint the replacement piece and let it dry completely before fitting it in place.

Sounds easy enough, right? But the entire process, even for small damage, can take a significant amount of time.

Just removing all the nails attaching the affected wood to the siding can already take a lot of time. Then, you’d have to cut it out (and the replacement piece) and wait for the paint to dry. You also have to ensure the newly cut wood fits exactly into that hole by nailing and gluing it to the siding.

So, imagine how much longer it’ll take if the rot has already affected a good portion of your siding. If you don’t have the tools and paint, you’d have to buy them too.

Consider all these before you try to give wood siding repair a go. If the job is too big to finish within a day, consider getting professional help. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a hole in your siding where moisture can seep in and cause more damage.

When to Get Professional Rotted Siding Repair

Many times, dry rot appears to be only present on the surface level. But if you touch it and it’s soft, then it means the rot has also affected the underlayer. In this case, you’d want to turn to professionals for dry rot siding repair.

Siding repair specialists can inspect and determine the extent of siding damage. They can do so without the risks of damaging the siding further. They also finish the job faster, since they have diagnostic and repair equipment.

Also, repair pros ensure that the replacement pieces match your existing siding materials. This way, you don’t have to worry about a part of your siding sticking out like a sore thumb. You can even have them check the rest of your home, such as your deck or patio, for rot damages.

Don’t Delay Repairing Your Rotting Siding

Keep in mind that in Sacramento, the average cost to repair siding is about $1,300. If you delay the repairs, the dry rot can spread in no time at all, causing much more serious damages. The sooner you call for professional rotted siding repair, the lower the costs will be.

So, as soon as you notice the signs of rot in siding, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’ll come and inspect the damage right away, so we can get started with a solution.