7 Signs Your Siding has Water Damage and What to Do About It

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Signs Your Siding has Water Damage and how to fix It

Water damage, a silent killer to your home’s protective layer, can compromise its structural integrity if left unattended, leaving you with significant repair costs and hassles. 

Rainfall, humidity, and even a sprinkler placed near your home can all challenge any gaps in your siding and cause damage. And since moisture accumulates each time a vulnerable area of your home exterior is exposed to it, over time a simple fix can become a costly repair or replacement project. 

Take time to inspect your home exterior each spring and fall, as well as after any major storms, to catch any water intrusion early. Let’s take a look at some common signs your siding has moisture intrusion, what causes this issue, and the siding that helps prevent water damage problems altogether

Signs Your Siding Has Moisture Damage

1. Your exterior paint is peeling

Paint helps seal your siding and prevent moisture penetration. When exterior paint peels, and your siding material is exposed, it acts as a sponge and soaks up water. 

2. Wood siding begins to rot

When your siding is compromised due to chipped or cracked paint, a gap between siding and windows, damaged flashing, or another issue, the wood beneath your home’s protective layer gathers moisture. Wood siding will begin to rot as a result, and if left unrepaired, the structure of your home may be negatively impacted. 

3. Mold growth appears

When wood siding begins rotting, over time, unhealthy mold forms. It’s easy to spot because it has a dark black, unsightly appearance. 

4. The position of your siding’s nails has changed

If you notice nails that are distinctly sunken, your siding may be swelling or warping due to moisture penetration. If nails are protruding, moisture may have reached the interior structure of your home, causing studs to swell and push the nails out. 

5. Cracks appear in your windowsills

When your windowsills crack, water can infiltrate the walls of your home. Mold and rot can follow, and your home may become at risk for electrical emergencies if water infiltrated windowsills are in proximity to electrical outlets. 

6. Window trim becomes soft

The trim that surrounds your windows should be firm, not soft. If you press on it and it isn’t solid, water has infiltrated your trim, and your home is at risk of additional damage as a result. 

7. Caulking becomes faulty

Your home’s siding is its primary protective layer, but it is only as reliable as its most vulnerable areas: the joints surrounding your windows and doors, and the joint between siding panels. Caulking can wear out regardless of what siding material is on your home. To keep your home well sealed, inspect its caulking twice a year, and replace it where it is disintegrating or declining. 

What Causes Water Damage to Siding?

Vinyl siding may be affordable and low maintenance, but it doesn’t stand up to the elements like other siding materials. And wood may be gorgeous, but it can wreak havoc on your home if not maintained properly. 

Weaknesses of vinyl siding that make it prone to moisture damage

Vinyl siding has drain openings along its bottom edge to let your walls breathe. The problem is, this allows rain to enter your siding and cause trouble. When your house wrap along with door and window flashing aren’t installed correctly, water can penetrate your siding and enter your walls, leading to costly pest infiltration, rot, and mold. 

Weaknesses of wood siding that makes it susceptible to water damage

Wood is prone to moisture intrusion when it’s not sealed with fresh paint regularly enough. Once water gets trapped between or within wooden boards and can’t escape, it leads to additional damage such as wood rot. 

Siding installation errors can lead to moisture penetration

When residing your home, for its protection, it’s just as important that you hire a reputable contractor with a track record of successful siding installation as it is that you choose durable siding. Contractors who cut corners cost you in the long run. They may leave gaps around windows and doors, or between siding panels that hinder your home from being properly sealed, leading to damaging water infiltration. 

Avoid the Costly Hassle of Water Damage

Water damage opens the door to pest intrusion 

Water damage compromises the integrity of your home’s protective layer, providing the perfect environment to host unwanted pests. Moisture intrusion attracts termites, carpenter ants, and other destructive pests into your home, causing the need for extensive repairs.

Ensure your home’s siding is water resistant 

When it comes time to replace your siding, choose a material that stands up to moisture—like fiber cement. 

Is James Hardie Siding right for your home? Our “Complete Hardie Siding Guide” can help you decide. Read the Guide

How James Hardie Siding Can Help Prevent Water Damage on Your Home.

Fix your water intrusion problems once and for all by replacing your home siding with Hardie Board. It resists moisture penetration, saving you the costly hassles involved in repairs due to wood rot, swelling, or warping. 

James Hardie siding’s durable makeup of cement, sand, and cellulose gives you long-lasting protection from rot, mold, mildew, and other moisture penetration problems. And at American Way Exteriors, we install Hardie siding according to industry standards so that it stands the test of time.

Learn more about how James Hardie siding can transform your property’s exterior into a fortified, water-resistant home you love.