Homes with wood exteriors are a favorite among homeowners. Wood, a timeless material, is one of the most structurally sound and environmentally-friendly ways to build a house. From strong cedar, to redwood, to cypress, wood siding is a beautiful feature on any home. Yet, as with any exterior, wood must still be cared for to keep it looking fresh. Exterior wood that is routinely exposed to the elements including direct sunlight, rain, snow, and even growing vegetation will start to show its true age as time goes on. To avoid costly fixes, here are some of the top ways in which to care for a wood exterior. To learn even more about wood siding, a house painter in NJ can provide expert advice on the exact ways in which a wood exterior can be cared for.
Evaluating Wood for Damage
Wood, even though it is a naturally occurring material itself, is still susceptible to the outside elements. And it will quickly show signs of aging if it is not cared for properly. For instance, wood is often prone to rot, decay, insect infestations, and warping with time. These signs of wear and tear are especially true when the wood has not been properly finished with either an exterior paint or other sealer. Direct exposure to untreated wood will result in corrosion and high out-of-pocket expenses for the homeowner. Here are two of the most common types of exterior wood damage:
- Damage from the Sun. Direct exposure to the sun’s UV rays will eventually fade the home’s paint. Over time, the home will develop a dull appearance as the color gradually disappears. While homes surrounded by shade will fade at a much slower pace than those that are directly facing the sun, this is one of the inevitable truths of owning a home with wood siding. Some homeowners may find this irksome as some walls may experience more exposure to the sun, resulting in a two-toned house as the sides with the most direct sunlight fade faster than the sides that are much shadier.
- Moisture Damage. Precipitation like rain, snow, sleet and high humidity will accelerate damage to exterior wood. This is because wood and moisture are not a good combination. Wood absorbs moisture very quickly and will react to it once it evaporates. Moisture absorption leads to wood that expands and then contracts as the temperature rises and the water dries. In turn, the paint on the wood will begin to separate from the wood. The wood will then begin to warp and take on a new shape. This will also be true for wood that surrounds window encasements and entrances around the home. The wood will begin to separate from the seams. This is why it is so important to seal wood with either an exterior paint or other sealer. Moisture and humidity are destructive and they will certainly lead to chipped, peeling paint if the home’s exterior is not properly protected.
Caring for a Wood Exterior
The most important part of maintaining a wood exterior for a youthful appearance is to properly protect it. Wood can be primarily protected by finishing it with either an exterior paint or a sealer. Unsealed wood is vulnerable. Damage to the wood could cost the homeowner thousands of dollars so it is very important to take action on wood that is showing signs of damage. One of the best things a homeowner can do is to visually inspect the home at least twice per year to pinpoint any concerns they may see. Be on the lookout for areas that are faded, warped or separating from the house. The good news is that with the proper care, wood siding can last for many years to come. Remember that exterior paint can always be used as a solution. A fresh coat of exterior paint or sealer can add years to the life of the wood. However, keep in mind that wood that has been severely damaged should be replaced before it is treated.
Homeowners can bring new life into their home’s wood exterior by caring for it and keeping an eye out for signs of wear and tear. A typical exterior paint job will last anywhere from 7-10 years with the proper care and just a little TLC will be sure to go a long way. Choose an exterior painter near you who is familiar with the high-quality products that are required to maintain a wood exterior. Exterior paints can be chosen in a number of color assortments and sealer will also do an excellent job of retaining the youthful appearance of wood. To learn more about caring for wood siding, contact a knowledgeable house painter in NJ who can provide additional information on maintaining the home’s appearance.