How to Maintain Your Wood Siding

By bsozak | April 3, 2015

Wood Siding is one the most beautiful types of siding available, but it is also something that needs regular maintenance and care. There is a variety of options that you can undertake in order to ensure that your wood siding will last for decades. Here are some ways in which you can take great care of your wood siding and protect it from damage. 

Finish & Protect

Woods must be finished with paint, stain, or clear sealer in order to protect if from natural elemental destruction, like moisture induced rot and decay. Wood, however, expands and contracts with normal changes in humidity and temperature, which may cause paint finishes to chip and crack. These fluctuations may also put stress on caulked seams of windows, doors, and at corners. If the caulk separates, moisture is able to develop which can lead to rot.

Paints come in unlimited colors and may be changed over time. Wood siding must be repainted at least every five years or as soon as deterioration is detected. Wood siding can be repainted by a professional crew or may be done DIY for a less expensive price.

Stain penetrates the wood fibers and helps seal them against moisture, and is also resistant to the cracking and chipping effects of paint. Stain is also aesthetically a good choice, as it allows for the beauty of the grain to show through. It is difficult to change the color of already stained wood, however, as it penetrates the wood instead of  covering it like paint.

Clear sealers prevent moisture damage and allow the wood to retain its natural color, but it must be reapplied every two years. Clear sealers also help to prevent the wood from turning a silvery gray as it prevents the ultraviolet light that causes this process to occur.

Clean Stains

Keeping your wood clean is an easy way to maintain it, as dirt is the most common cause of discoloration on wood siding. Make sure to clean annually using warm soapy water and a soft bristled brush. Clean each section from top to bottom and then rinse before moving on to the next section.

Mildew is another stain to watch out for on your wood siding. It appears as black spotty stains, but can be removed using a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove.

Rust stains are also a common stain found on wood siding, appearing as dark black splotches and vertical streaks caused by metal fasteners. To remove, dissolve 4 oz. oxalic acid in 1 cup warm water. Apply to the stain and gently scrub with a soft bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly with water. Replace rusty metal fasteners with gavlvanized or stainless steel fasteners.

Restore The Color

Wood siding often discolors with age but can be restored to natural color easily with wood cleaner or brightener. These products are usually used on wooden decks, but also work well on wood siding and can be found at your local hardware store.

About the Author: James is a guest contributor from Michigan Cedar Products, producing top quality cedar products for home building.

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