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Home Improvement Tips – All About Siding

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by Harvey Bond
(Chicago, USA)

There can be no question about the importance of siding concerning the durability of a home, but also for its beauty and maintenance!.

Siding is the outer cover of a house that is made to shed water and provide protection from weathering. Siding can help in the prevention of the penetration of moisture and the growth and spreading of pests such as bacteria, mites and mold.

There are several factors to consider in choosing the right siding for the home. Weather conditions play a large part, for there are sidings that are appropriate for dry and wet climates.

Another is the ability to keep common pests from residing on the insides of a house.

House sidings that are carefully chosen will not only provide a house a new appearance, but also, it gives protection for the safety and health of the homeowners and enables them to have savings from cooling and heating bills.

Here are the types of sidings that homeowners can choose from:

1. Wood sidings
It is the usual type of siding used for houses, and it also called clapboards. It could be made up of Eastern white pine or redwood, a weather-resistant variety. Wood sidings can be used in different kinds of houses, from Victorian style to the contemporary ones.

2. Vinyl sidings
They look the same as horizontal wood sidings, but do not need as much maintenance. Vinyl sidings are usually installed on top of original sidings, but the advantage is, it is a lot hassle-free to have them put over sheathings that are solid.

3. Plywood sheet sidings
Occasionally utilized for inexpensive buildings.

4. Metal sidings
Sidings that are made of galvanized steel are often used for utilitarian buildings.

5. Composite sidings
There are various composite materials that are can also be used for sidings, such as fiber cement, asphalt, aluminum and asbestos.

Nowadays, it is the vinyl sidings that are fast gaining popularity among homeowners because of its fair price, hassle-free maintenance, and its availability. For those with more money to spare, vinyl sidings can be made thicker, to maximize its use.

To clean aluminum and vinyl sidings, all you have to do is use a hose or wet brush on the sides. For areas with hard to remove dirt, you need to brush them harder with detergent and water. To remove mildew, chlorine bleach can be added.

Since these materials have the tendency to look a bit old after a long period of time, homeowners may consider having their aluminum and vinyl sidings painted.

A top quality house paint made of all-acrylic latex can make aluminum sidings look brand new again, with minimal costs, and new color schemesthat can be chosen.

The advantage for using this kind of paint is that it is very durable, and is weather and fade resistant for a long period of time.

Before painting, the surface of the sidings should be cleaned by hand or power washed using warm water with soap, then rinsed afterwards.

Then check the aluminum siding for any sign of sulfur oxidation, an exposure of bare metal because of too much erosion of its original coating. If this happens, eliminate it by rubbing using steel wool. Rinse away any residue that is left then apply acrylic latex primer.

What are the qualities of a good quality exterior paint? It is resistant to fading and has excellent adhesion. It also improves the appearance of the siding because it gives a thick film of paint which, gives back its original look. The paint is easy to apply, all you have to do is use either a brush or a sprayer.

Sidings made of vinyl can also be applied with paint. Just like the aluminum kind, clean it by hand or machine to rid it of dirt and mildew.

The quality of the paint being used on vinyl is significant. It should have maximum adhesive power because vinyl sidings have slick surfaces. Do not use oil-based paints for this kind of siding.

Aside from that, there are other things that should not be done when painting vinyl sidings. Scraping is strictly prohibited, don’t use a wire brush or sand when preparing the surface.

It can cause permanent damage on the siding. The paint color to be applied should not be darker than the original shade.

Click here to read more DIY home tips about home improvement information

Updated: November 9, 2012 — 8:31 pm

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