Wood Siding Cosmetic Problems and How to Fix Them
Most homes necessitate a complete repainting every 10-15 years, not only for aesthetic reasons, but because weather-resistant paint (or sealer) is the best way to weatherproof your siding and, likewise, your home. If your home isnít in need of a complete paint job, it will still have areas that will need regular attention in between, particularly these 7 key spots:
1. Where siding meets a chimney
2. Where siding supports downspouts
3. Under the eaves
4. Around doors and windows
5. Where holes are created to install vents or pipes
6. At or near ground level
7. Where siding has contact with bushes and treetops
Look at the following articles to fix your siding's cosmetic problems:
Weather can warp wood siding and cause nails to pop out, making siding look unsightly. Just like losing a hubcap on your car, there is no quicker way to lose elegance than to have a board warp away from your house and leave a budding forest of nail heads.
If you’ve sprung only a couple nails, anchor them back in place by driving them back in with a hammer, fill the holes with exterior wood putty, prime and paint and everything should be restored as good as new. If the nails don’t anchor firmly, however, you’ll need to yank them out and replace them with screws that are slightly wider and longer than the original nail. Once you have them in place, putty, prime and paint.
If your wood boards are stained instead of painted, follow the same instructions but putty with one matching your wood’s color, stain and coat with water sealant.
To repair a clean split that is minor enough that it won’t demand that the board be replaced, carefully insert a chisel into the split and pry the boards far enough apart that you can coat both edges with waterproof glue. Push glued edges tightly together and drill pilot holes in both sides of the split. Drive nails into drilled holes, then putty, prime and pain
Using wood putty that matches the color of your siding, fill the hole using a putty knife or smooth trowel. If the hole is deep, you may need to apply another layer or two once the previous one has dried and fully contracted. When the last layer of putty is completely dry, sand the area flush with the siding. Now prime and paint, or treat with a wood stain and/or water seal.
Repairing paint problems
Got Paint Problems?
Look for blistering, peeling, cracking or buckling paint. You may be inclined to blame these problems on the weather, but guess what: most of these paint maladies are caused by a poor paint job. Paint that is applied over wet or dirty wood, is put on too thick or layered over previous coats that weren’t first allowed to dry, and/or paint that is just plain inferior, will not wear well and will require repairs.
Pick The Right Day For Painting
To repaint a section that has peeled, buckled or is otherwise damaged, it’s best to pick a nice sunny day, between 50 to 90ºF (10 to 32ºC), without wind. Wait until late morning so that dew has had time to evaporate. If the area is very dirty or greasy and needs washing with detergent, rinse it off very thoroughly and wait a day for the area to dry completely. If there’s mildew present, you’ll need to treat the area first. There is no point in painting even slightly damp wood—it may be what caused the paint to fail in the first place and you’ll find yourself doing it again unless you wait for dry conditions.
Repair First, Then Paint
If any areas need to be repaired (such as re-anchored), do the work before you paint. Clean the affected area with a stiff brush, paint scraper or sandpaper until you establish a smooth surface. If damage is bad, go down to bare wood and use fine-grain sandpaper to blend the edges between bare wood and the existing paint.
Use Water Repellant
If moisture has hastened the paint to deteriorate, treat the section with a coat of water repellent, prime with an oil-based primer (a brand such as "Kilz" exterior primer purports that it performs these steps in one) and, once dry, apply two coats of good weatherproof paint.
Siding and board edges are more porous than surface areas and require the application of a clear waterproof sealant once the paint is dry to help resist water penetration.
The combination of a heat and moisture can cause wood to mildew, which can permanently stain wood surfaces as well as soften them as the mildew will keep the surface damp longer.
Remove Mildew Stains and Slow Mildew Growth
To help remove stains and slow mildew growth, wash your siding with this mixture:
- 3 gallons water
- 1/3 cup mild liquid detergent (such as dishwashing soap)
- 1 quart liquid bleach
Combine mixture in a bucket and wash siding with a stiff push broom or other brush. Make sure to wear protective gear to protect skin, eyes and clothes. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with a hose.
As houses settle over time, the foundation shifts and can lead to cracks in immobile materials such as brick, stucco and stone. Minor shifts are normal and will produce hairline cracks. Deeper cracks that leave big gaps may indicate a structural problem with your home. To repair minor cracks in your masonry, use the following guidelines.
How To Repair Cracks In Stucco
Clean off loose stucco and dirt with a stiff brush. Use a putty knife, smooth trowel or caulking gun to fill in the crack with latex caulk or, if it is a wider crack, use a concrete bonding material. To create a harmonious look with the rest of your siding, you will need to apply stucco, applied with a putty knife or trowel. Try to apply it so the texture matches the pattern.
How To Prevent Cracking
Keep the stucco moist for 4-5 days by watering it as often as the weather demands. Once the stucco has cured and allowed to dry, paint with matching house paint.
How To Repair Cracks in Brick or Stone
Use a brush to clean off dirt around the crack. Use a putty knife or smooth trowel to apply concrete bonding material that has been stained to match your brick or stone (available at home improvement stores). Once dry, sand with sandpaper until area is level.
How To Repair Crumbling Mortar Around Brick or Stone
1. Use a chisel and small hammer to chip out deteriorating mortar as deep as you can, preferably a ½ inch or deeper. Clean the crevice with a stiff brush. Hose out area and then dry with a towel until it is moist, not wet.
2. Mix weather-resistant "N" type mortar to the consistency of peanut butter. Load mortar onto a "hawk," or another wood or plastic surface — an old cutting board will suffice.
3. Force fresh mortar into damp crevices with a putty knife or smooth trowel. Pack tightly.
4. Allow mortar to dry enough to be stable, but still soft enough to show your thumbprint when touched. Now you will do some cosmetic edging of your new mortar. Starting with the vertical mortar joints, force the mortar in deeper and smooth its surface by running a tool called a "jointer" from top to bottom. You can also use other makeshift tool replacements, like a tongue depressor, a piece of flat plastic, or even your lightly moistened finger.
5. Now do the same of the horizontal joints, running your tool side to side across the fresh mortar.
6. The mortar "overflow" that edges onto your bricks or stones can be trimmed off by sliding a trowel over the affected masonry.
7. Repeat the process again: first on the vertical joints, then the horizontal. Trim overflow again if needed.
8. Once the mortar is set, clean area with a stiff brush.
9. Keep new mortar moist for 3-4 days to prevent cracking.
Common Paint Problems
|Blistering and Peeling
||Blistering and peeling can occur when moisture
gets trapped between the layer of paint and the material the paint is applied
to. Wood can hold incredible amounts of moisture and should be allowed
to cure before painting. Blistering also occurs when paint is applied
in direct sunlight.
||Scrap and/or sand down to bare wood. Wood
should be allowed to cure before using an alkyd primer or sealer. Surfaces
should be dry and clean. Prime prior to painting. Apply paint in shaded
areas - follow the shade around the house.
||Latex paints allow wood moisture to escape. Alkyd
(oil) paints seals wood completely
||Peeling is generally a result of a poor
bond between an old coat of paint and a new coat of paint.
||Clean surface thoroughly with TSP (Trisodium
Phosphate) or with bleach and soapy water. Apply fresh paint to thoroughly
cleaned weathered paint surface. Avoid priming and painting cold surfaces
||Test for good bond by applying tape to painted
surface and jerk off tape. If paint sticks to tape paint bond is poor
||Cross-grain cracking occurs when paint coatings
become too thick. This problem often occurs on older homes that have been
painted several times. Paint usually cracks in the direction it was brushed
onto the wood.
||Strip old paint down to bare wood and apply fresh
primer and paint.
||Chemicals, a heat gun and/or scraper should be
used to remove paint.
||Mildew is a fungus that causes discoloration.
Ripe conditions for mildew growth includes, low light, moisture and poor
||Clean surface thoroughly with TSP (Trisodium
Phosphate) or with bleach and soapy water. Improve ventilation and, if possible
improve lighting conditions. Use a paint formulated with a fungicide additive.
||Trisodium Phosphate is available in most paint
||Rust colored stains on surfaces caused by rusting
||Replace rusted nail heads with rust resistant
nails or sand existing nail heads and cover with a rust inhibited primer
||Latex paints are formulated with water. The water
can promote rust. Surfaces with exposed nail heads should be primed with
a rust inhibitor prior to using latex paints.
Does your siding have some serious cosmetic problems? Get the help you need by calling 941-342-1341
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