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Do I Have Wood Rot on My Siding?

Wood looks gorgeous, but it requires a lot of maintenance and has the potential to rot or decay when moisture penetrates it. Once wood rot begins, it will continue as long as the favorable conditions are present: wood, oxygen, and moisture.

It’s vital that you identify wood rot and decay as early as possible to prevent the need for major repairs. Wood rot can be easily seen in some places, and harder to detect in others. If you have wood rot on your deck, on your wood siding, or on your window sills, you’ll spot it easily. The tough places to detect it are under your vinyl siding and inside your wood window frames.

Signs Your Siding Has Wood Rot

Take time twice a year to look carefully at any place moisture may enter your wood siding. If you find wood rot, repair or replace the siding promptly.

When your home siding is compromised due to pest infestation or water penetration, wood rot can begin. Look carefully at the edges of your wood siding, and realize if you have vinyl siding, wood rot may lurk below the siding itself. Vinyl siding has wood framing, and the wood may be hidden, but it can still rot.

Early signs of wood rot include:

Discolored Wood

Wood should be consistent in its color. If the wood on your home siding is discolored, take a thorough look at it for wood rot.

Soft Wood

Wood should always be hard when it is pressed on. If you touch your home’s wood siding and it feels soft, it indicates wood rot. Use a screwdriver to press on your home siding to verify it is still firm and in good condition.

Brittle, Disintegrating Wood

If wood becomes crumbly, or disintegrates when you touch it, you have wood rot. Repair it promptly to keep the problem from spreading.

Peeling Paint

Realize that wood rot can hide below things like paint. If your siding’s paint is peeling, and you investigate it and notice it feels damp, you have wood rot due to moisture penetration.

A Siding Solution that Resists Wood Rot

James Hardie® fiber cement siding is the most popular siding material in America, protecting over 8,000,000 homes. Known for its beauty, durability, 30-year warranty, and fire resistance, it lasts up to 50 years! It stands up to the elements including high winds, snow, rain, and even hail. One of Hardie siding’s best features is that it resists damaging moisture penetration.

Low Maintenance

Get the low-maintenance siding you desire with Hardie siding. The beauty of Hardie siding lies in its makeup. This durable combination of cement, sand, and cellulose stands up to moisture penetration. You can avoid the costly damages of water such as wood rot, mold and mildew. Keep your siding intact and your home well protected by choosing Hardie siding.

While this durable siding is low-maintenance, it’s not “no maintenance.” Here are the simple steps to Hardie siding upkeep:

  • Simple-to-clean—Hardie siding only needs to be washed off with a regular garden hose twice a year. A medium bristle nylon brush will help you remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated. That’s it! Skip the temptation to power wash your exterior as it could damage your siding and trim.
  • Routine visual inspections—Each spring and fall (as well as after severe storms) take a walk around your home and pay careful attention to your siding. Look for any areas that look damaged or in need of repair, and attend to them promptly so small problems don’t blossom into larger ones and cost you more time and money to fix.
  • Basic caulking—As you know, caulking can get old and deteriorate, so keep an eye on the caulking that seals your siding seams, and the caulking on your home’s doors and windows. If caulking looks faulty, simply replace it to keep your home well protected.
  • Painting every 15 years—Hardie siding comes pre-primed so you can paint it any color after installation. But if you only want to repaint your home every 15 years, opt for James Hardie’s ColorPlus® technology. This factory baked-on color gives your home UV protection and fade resistance. It gives you the lowest possible maintenance option when it comes to repainting your home, and it comes in gorgeous designer chosen color combinations that are sure to make your home stand out.


Hardie siding lasts up to 50 years when it is properly installed by the pros and maintained well over its lifespan.

Pest Resistant

Dayton, Ohio homes tend to attract stink bugs and woodpeckers, which can cause costly damage to home siding. Hardie siding gives you reliable pest resistance so you keep the bugs out—where they belong—and your siding intact.

When pests invade your home siding, they compromise siding integrity, which can lead to moisture penetration. Once water invades your home siding, wood rot, mold and mildew can result. Avoid the hassles of pest infestation by choosing durable Hardie siding.

Want to know more about your home’s siding?

Our “Ultimate Siding Guide for Homeowners” is a great place to start.

Expert Siding Installation for your Home

Don’t settle for sloppy siding installation or a subpar siding contractor. At American Way Exteriors, we are a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor, so you can rest assured your siding will be installed with excellence and according to the reliability standards of the Hardie company—and your 30-year warranty will be protected.

We understand how overwhelming it can feel to need siding replacement. We developed a simple process to educate you on siding materials, styles, and color options. We help guide you through the selection process, so you get the best long-term results for your home.

As a veteran-owned company, we believe in the American dream and are proud to deliver expert workmanship to exceed your expectations.

Learn more about the beauty, durability and high performance of Hardie siding.

Read Our Rave Reviews

American Way Exteriors has earned numerous positive reviews for our outstanding service. Read about our customers’ pleasant experiences working with us, then contact us today to learn how we can improve your home with new siding and roofing.

"Jake Preston is amazing! We had wind damage to our roof. Jake assisted us through every step. Making sure we had no unanswered questions. His professionalism and kindness is unmatched. The crew was respectful and detailed oriented. Thank you Jake and American Way!"

Michelle G.

"Replaced the existing siding on my home. Contact and price were discussed thoroughly during the initial discussions. Workers arrived at the scheduled time and were professional in the removal, new installation, cleanup, and onsite conduct. Communication between supervisors, installers and myself was on a daily basis and any issues were addressed immediately. Would not hesitate to use this company again or recommend them."

Beecher R.

"We chose American Way Exteriors to replace our old vinyl siding with Hardie board siding and trim. Throughout the entire process we found the team to be very professional and receptive to our questions about the project. They were constantly in touch with us about when work would start, what to expect each day of the project, and followed up to see if we had concerns. As the project began it was very apparent our house had suffered from poor installation by the builder years ago. The American Way team worked to fix the problems, keeping us well informed along the way. We could not be happier with the finished project both cosmetically and structurally. This is definitely a company we highly recommend exterior projects!"

Kathy G.

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