Getting Your Cedar Siding Ready for Winter
As the last of the leaves make their way to the ground, there’s one message every Vancouver Island homeowner should hear – winter is coming. With the days getting shorter and shorter as we head deeper into November, the rain and wind can seemingly last for weeks on end here on the West Coast.
Preparing for winter usually conjures up images of bundling up in warm clothes to keep the cold away. However, making sure your home is ready for the worst of the winter weather is every bit as important. Homes with cedar siding are no exception.
Although cedar siding is known for its resilience to rot and weather-induced damage, it’s important that homeowners maintain and protect their exterior siding regularly. Regular maintenance increases the lifespan of all siding materials, and helps save money spent on repairs and replacements. Though cedar siding is very hardy and strong, persistent neglect diminishes its lifespan and invites early decay and cracking. In order to keep your cedar siding looking and working at its best, we strongly recommend performing proper maintenance before the worst of the winter weather arrives.
Cedar siding generally has a life expectancy of 20 to 40 years, but can last an amazing 60 to 70 years in the right conditions. The longevity of cedar siding also depends on whether or not it has been stained or left in its natural state. Some manufacturers offer warranties of more than 25 years for cedar siding.
Applying finish certainly extends the life of cedar siding. In contrast, cedar siding that touches the ground, making it vulnerable to moisture and pests, greatly shortens its life. For instance, cedar shakes will soften and rot in about five years if left untreated under rainy conditions.
PROTECTING CEDAR SIDING
Homeowners should inspect cedar siding regularly for three things: insects, moisture, and cracks.
For instance, termites cause severe damage to cedar siding so it’s important to find problems early before it’s too late. Moisture should be limited as much as possible on the cedar siding keeping it off the ground and by ensuring gutters are cleared to keep water away from the siding. Filling in cracks as soon as you notice them with sealants or paint will also keep moisture from entering the wood.
CLEANING CEDAR SIDING
Cleaning cedar siding is fairly inexpensive and is the capabilities of most homeowners. Untreated cedar siding will gradually weather over time without excessive warping and cracking, but it still requires maintenance. Stained cedar siding requires more maintenance to keep it looking its best, but it also lasts than untreated alternatives.
A thorough cleaning once or twice a year will greatly extend the life of cedar. Prone to dust and dirt accumulation, cedar exterior siding receives a good pressure wash (on the lowest setting) well.
In addition, an annual pressure wash on the lowest setting helps keeps it looking great too. We recommend performing this during the summer so the siding is able to dry more effectively following the pressure washing.
STAINING CEDAR SIDING
Cedar siding requires repainting or resealing at least once/year to help it last. A protective coating also helps prevent deterioration and discolourations. Reconsider leaving cedar siding in its natural state—rustic cedar has character, but is also more vulnerable to wear and damage.
Professionals suggest re-staining or re-painting cedar exterior siding on a semi-annual basis, but it depends on the quality of the stain used and weather conditions.
Cedar may be left untreated in its natural state, or it can be covered with a clear coat by Longhouse Specialty Forest Products. It can also be painted in red or white.
With our decades of experience in the forestry product industry and numerous accolades, Longhouse can provide the products and the know-how to turn your dream project into a reality. Call us toll-free at 1-800-811-2010 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the products and services we can provide for you.