Dealing With Water Damage to Siding Materials

water damage to siding

The main function of siding is to prevent water damage, yet the siding itself is often a victim of water-related issues. Whatever type of siding may be installed on a home—vinyl or wood are most common—the exterior wall structure underneath the siding is usually made of plywood or another wood product, oriented strand board (OSB). Over time, water damage may occur to the siding or the vital wood structure beneath, allowing moisture to penetrate into the wall, spawning mold growth, and rotting wooden wall components.

Signs of water damage affecting the siding or the exterior wall beneath include:

  • Peeling paint
  • Softened or decomposing wood
  • Mottled stains that may be mold or mildew
  • Gaps between loosening siding panels
  • Protruding siding nails

In addition to simply age-related wear and tear, three issues are common starting points for water damage occurring to siding and/or penetrating the wooden structure underneath:

Overflowing Gutters

Clogged gutters that overflow during rain send water cascading down the exterior wall surface. While siding is intended to resist rain, no type of siding material is totally waterproof when water is flowing down the wall from clogged gutters above. Have gutters and downspouts cleaned regularly to ensure the free flow of water. Trim back branches that deposit excess leaves on the roof.

Splashes Due To Pooling

When pools of water commonly form next to exterior walls during rain, “splashback” water damage to siding may occur over time as roof runoff or direct rainfall continuously splashes water up against the siding. This water source eventually penetrates the wooden or OSB exterior wall material, triggering wood deterioration. Grade the soil around the foundation to divert water away from the house and prevent pooling.

Misadjusted Sprinklers

Lawn sprinkler systems may also cause water damage to the siding. If sprinkler heads located adjacent to exterior walls are improperly aimed, water spraying upwards from sprinkler nozzles at ground level is likely to penetrate beneath the siding. Over time, deterioration, mold, and insect attacks may occur to the exterior wall material. Adjust sprinkler heads to spray away from exterior walls.

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