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The Ultimate Siding Guide for Homeowners

Everything You Need to Know About Your Home’s Siding

Your home is more than just shelter. It’s where you make memories with your family and retreat at the end of a busy day. It’s also a major investment and you want to protect it! When your home exterior begins to deteriorate, it can be frustrating and feel daunting. You may not know where to start if it’s time to replace your home’s siding.

At American Way Exteriors, we have extensive experience with siding materials and Dayton area homes. Our guide will answer any questions you have about materials and styles and how to determine which is the right fit for your home and family.

A large brick house with a metal roof.

Top 6 Signs You Need a Siding Replacement

Ohio experiences a wide range of weather conditions, including high humidity, rain, snow, and extreme temperatures, which can take a toll on your home’s siding. Here are some top signs that your home needs a siding replacement:

Cracks or gaps

Ohio’s fluctuating temperatures can cause expansion and contraction in your siding, resulting in cracks or gaps. These openings allow moisture, pests, and other unwanted elements to get inside your walls and can cause significant damage over time.

Warping or buckling

Our area’s high humidity and frequent rain can lead to water damage in your siding, resulting in warping or buckling. This can result in a decrease in the overall insulation of your home and can lead to increased energy bills.

Fading or discoloration

Dayton’s intense sun can cause your siding to fade or discolor, making it look dingy and outdated. This can be a sign of UV damage, age, or mold/mildew growth.

High maintenance

If you find yourself having to repaint or repair your siding frequently, it may be time for a replacement. Newer siding materials are typically low maintenance and require less upkeep.

Rotting or mold growth

Dayton’s humid conditions can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can cause your siding to rot. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also lead to structural damage and health concerns.

Increased energy bills

Our fluctuating temperatures can lead to poor insulation caused by aging or damaged siding. This can result in increased energy bills as your HVAC system works harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s vital to contact a professional siding contractor to assess the situation and recommend the appropriate course of action. Replacing your siding will protect it from damage and increase its energy efficiency in Ohio’s variable climate.

Common Types of House Siding

The most common types of siding materials on the market today include fiber cement, vinyl, engineered wood, cedar, and metal. Each one has distinct advantages.

James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding, including the popular James Hardie brand, is made from a mixture of sand, wood fiber, and Portland cement. It is extremely durable and can last up to 50 years if you take care of it properly. Other advantages include:

  • Pest and mold resistant
  • Noncombustible
  • Able to withstand the Dayton area’s cold winters and hot, humid summers
  • Fade-resistant

Mastic Vinyl Siding

Made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, vinyl siding, including the Mastic brand, is a cost-effective option for homeowners. It is also:

  • Flexible
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to install
  • Doesn’t require painting

LP SmartSide Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood, including the popular LP SmartSide, has the look of wood siding but with less upkeep. It can also be repainted to update your home. Other advantages include:

  • Impact resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Stands up to Dayton’s freeze-and-thaw cycle

Cedar Shake

Made from high-quality wood, cedar shake comes in a variety of textures and colors. It also:

  • Has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties so you can leave it untreated and not worry about excessive warping and rotting
  • Provides excellent noise reduction and insulation
  • Has a timeless appearance
  • Is environmentally friendly

Metal Siding

Metal siding, which is usually made of steel or aluminum, provides a modern or industrial appearance. Some of its benefits include:

  • Low maintenance
  • Eco-friendly
  • Energy-efficient
  • Excellent soundproofing
  • Pest-resistant

How Does New Siding Affect My ROI?

New siding can increase the value of your Dayton home in several ways:


New siding can improve the overall durability of your home’s exterior, protecting it from the elements and reducing the need for costly repairs in the future. This is not only great for you, but is appealing to homebuyers who are looking for a low-maintenance home.


Replacement siding can also enhance your home’s security. High-quality siding materials can help prevent moisture and pests from entering your home, which can lead to structural damage and health concerns. This can provide peace of mind to you, as well as potential homebuyers, making them more likely to make an offer on your home.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient siding can help regulate the temperature inside your home, reducing your heating and cooling costs. This is perfect when you are looking to reduce your monthly expenses.

Curb Appeal

And last but not least, replacement siding enhances your home’s curb appeal, making it more attractive. Curb appeal plays a significant role in a home’s perceived value, and  well-maintained siding can increase your home’s resale value.

Energy-Efficient Siding Options for Your Ohio Home

With today’s rising utility costs, you should consider energy efficiency when choosing siding. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for 50% to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. Siding protects your home from the elements, keeping your family cool and comfortable in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter. In addition, energy-efficient siding helps reduce your carbon footprint.

Fiber cement siding is one of the most energy-efficient materials available. James Hardie, which manufactures one of the most popular fiber cement brands, created the HardieZone system. HardieZone is based on extensive research on the long-term impact of weather on siding material. The result is siding that withstands Dayton’s temperature extremes without rotting or cracking.

Vinyl and engineered wood are also exceptionally energy efficient.

Vinyl siding:

  • Has a high R-value, a measure of how effective an insulating material is at resisting heat flow
  • Helps reflect the sun’s rays

Engineered wood:

  • Naturally conducts heat  
  • Prevents moisture from cooling your home in the winter to help you save on heating costs

How to Choose the Best Siding Style for Your Home

There are almost as many siding styles as there are types of homes. This is why it can be incredibly confusing to choose! Some varieties enhance specific designs, while others are versatile enough to look good on any home. In addition to your home’s design, consider your neighborhood and current trends.  Here are tips to identify siding that complements your home.

Craftsman homes usually include low-pitch roofs with protruding single or double gables, overhanging eaves; exposed beams, brackets, and rafters; wide open porches; large bay or picture windows; and stucco accents. Horizontal lap siding, with overlapping planks, is an excellent choice for this style. Great color choices include:

  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Coppery red
  • Green
  • Cream
  • Blue

Colonial homes are simple and symmetrical, rectangular shaped, and have two or more stories and steeply pitched roofs. Traditional lap siding or Dutch lap panels, which have a notch at the bottom of each plank, are great choices for these homes. Complementary colors include:

  • White
  • Muted blue
  • Gray
  • Yellow

Cape Cod homes are symmetrical, have centered front doors, steep roofs, and gabled dormers, and are usually one story. Traditional clapboard or even vertical board and batten siding can enhance this style. Great color choices include:

  • Gray
  • White
  • Buff

How to Maintain Your Home’s Siding

Inspect Your Siding Regularly

Especially after a storm, check for any signs of damage, including cracks, dents, or discoloration, and address them promptly to prevent further damage.

Clean Your Siding

Depending on what type of siding it is, use a pressure washer or a soft-bristled brush and a cleaning solution to remove dirt, grime, and mildew from the siding.

Trim Nearby Bushes and Trees

Cut back any vegetation that may be touching or rubbing against the siding, as it can cause damage and increase the risk of moisture infiltration.

Check the Caulking and Sealants

Inspect the caulking and sealants around windows, doors, and other openings in the siding and repair or replace them as needed to prevent moisture infiltration.

Maintain the Gutters and Downspouts

Clean the gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent water from backing up and overflowing onto the siding, causing damage.

Keep Your Siding Dry

Avoid allowing water to pool on the siding or remain trapped behind it, as this can cause damage and encourage mold growth.

How to Hire the Best Siding Contractor

It’s incredibly important to the success of your siding project to hire a reputable and experienced contractor. The communication between the contractor and the homeowner throughout the project has to come first.

Here are our eleven most important tips for hiring the right siding contractor:

  1. Research potential contractors by looking for recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews.
  2. Check the contractor’s credentials, including their license, insurance, and certifications.
  3. Ask for a detailed written estimate that includes all the work to be done, the materials to be used, and the timeframe for completion.
  4. Look for a contractor that specializes in the type of siding you need.
  5. Ask for references and check them.
  6. Inquire about the contractor’s experience and expertise.
  7. Ask about the contractor’s warranty and after-sales service.
  8. Choose a contractor who is responsive and communicates well.
  9. Ask about the payment schedule and payment methods.
  10. Avoid contractors who pressure you to make a quick decision or pay in full upfront.
  11. Read the contract carefully before signing and ask questions if anything is unclear.

By following these tips, Dayton homeowners can hire a siding contractor who delivers quality workmanship!

Choose American Way Exteriors for Your Dayton Area Siding Replacement

At American Way Exteriors, we know that you want to be a confident homeowner with an exterior you can be proud of. That is why we stock only the highest-quality, industry-leading siding that will last for decades to come. When it comes to service, we provide ourselves on our no-pressure sales approach and reliable installation process. To learn more about what it’s like to work with the American Way Exteriors team, read reviews from our happy customers!

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