Home Siding: Decoration and Protection

There can be no question about the importance of siding concerning the durability of a home, but also for its beauty and maintenance. It is the outer cover of a house that is made to shed water and provide protection from weathering. Siding can help in the prevention of the penetration of moisture and the growth and spreading of pests such as bacteria, mites and mold.

wood shingle siding
Shaker Shingles, red and white cedar

There are several factors to consider in choosing the right siding for the home. Weather conditions play a large part, for there are sidings that are appropriate for dry and wet climates. Another is the ability to keep common pests from residing on the insides of a house. House sidings that are carefully chosen will not only provide a house a new appearance, but also, it gives protection for the safety and health of the homeowners and enables them to have savings from cooling and heating bills.





Here are the types of sidings that homeowners can choose from:

stained eastern white pine siding
Clapboard, stained.

1. Wood sidings

Wood siding used to be the most popular form of siding, either clapboards or shaker shingles. Clapboards are made of Eastern white Pine or redwood, which offers better weather resistance. Shaker shingles often come in cedar. Wood siding needs regular inspection for signs of rot, but when identified it can usually be cut out and replaced.

Clapboard can be stained or painted, whereas shaker shingles can be left natural, stained or painted.



painted vinyl siding
vinyl siding

2. Vinyl sidings

Vinyl siding is durable, and can be made to look like clapboard siding(but much more durable) or can be smoother. Vinyl siding can be installed directly over other siding, be aware of this when buying a home, as this can hide issues. Vinyl siding can provide you with years of hassle free exterior protection if it is installed over a solid sheathing. Regular pressure washing of your vinyl siding will help maintain your home’s beauty.

Vinyl siding is made in a wide variety of colors, and if properly prepped it can be painted to suit your style.


painted plywood siding
Plywood siding

3. Plywood sheet sidings
You hear plywood siding and think inexpensive building, like a shed. But plywood siding can also add a nice look to your home, some of the new plywood sidings give a beadboard look.

You need to annually inspect your plywood siding for signs of rot, and when found the entire panel needs to be replaced.

Plywood siding needs to be stained or painted and should be properly sealed against the elements.


If you’re renovating more than just your siding, check out the post 3 Budget friendly porch renovation tips for some cheap home renovation tips

painted aluminum siding
Dented aluminum siding

4. Metal sidings

Metal siding provides a strong defense against the elements. Galvanized steel siding was traditionally used in utilitarian buildings, but has been used lately in new builds. Aluminum siding is a traditional siding, that like vinyl can be textured like wood or smooth.

Galvanized siding will last for years without rusting through, but needs annual inspection to identify areas of concern. Aluminum siding will give your home 30yrs of low maintenance exterior beauty.

Galvanized siding is usually left bare, giving it that metal look, but it can be painted using specialty paints. Aluminum siding is always painted, and doesn’t require any special paint.

wood look composite siding
composite siding

5. Composite sidings
There are various composite materials that are can also be used for sidings, such as fiber cement and asphalt. Composite siding can be made to look like wood, brick, or give a smooth modern style.

Composite sidings require minimal maintenance, and will give your home 30+ years of protection from the outside world. Just an annual pressure washing will leave it looking like new for many years.

Composite siding can be made in various colors, and even can be painted when you want to update your style.


Nowadays, it is the vinyl sidings that are fast gaining popularity among homeowners because of its fair price, hassle-free maintenance, and its availability. For those with more money to spare, vinyl sidings can be made thicker, to maximize its use, and even comes with additional insulation build into it for improved R rating for your home.

natural galvanized metal siding
galvanized metal siding

To clean aluminum, composite, and vinyl sidings, all you have to do is use a hose or wet brush on the sides. For areas with hard to remove dirt, you need to brush them harder with detergent and water. To remove mildew, chlorine bleach can be added.

Since these materials have the tendency to look a bit old after a long period of time, homeowners may consider having their aluminum and vinyl sidings painted. A top quality house paint made of all-acrylic latex can make aluminum sidings look brand new again, with minimal costs, and new color schemes that can be chosen.

The advantage for using this kind of paint is that it is very durable, and is weather and fade resistant for a long period of time.

Before painting, the surface of the sidings should be cleaned by hand or power washed using warm water with soap, then rinsed afterwards.

Check Out: Choose the Right Pressure Washer for the Job for suggestions on pressure washers to buy for cleaning your siding

Then check the aluminum siding for any sign of sulfur oxidation, an exposure of bare metal because of too much erosion of its original coating. If this happens, eliminate it by rubbing using steel wool. Rinse away any residue that is left then apply acrylic latex primer.

What are the qualities of a good quality exterior paint? It is resistant to fading and has excellent adhesion. It also improves the appearance of the siding because it gives a thick film of paint which, gives back its original look. The paint is easy to apply, all you have to do is use either a brush or a sprayer.

Sidings made of vinyl can also be applied with paint. Just like the aluminum kind, clean it by hand or machine to rid it of dirt and mildew.

The quality of the paint being used on vinyl is significant. It should have maximum adhesive power because vinyl sidings have slick surfaces. Do not use oil-based paints for this kind of siding.

Aside from that, there are other things that should not be done when painting vinyl sidings. Scraping is strictly prohibited, don’t use a wire brush or sand when preparing the surface. It can cause permanent damage on the siding. The paint color to be applied should not be darker than the original shade.

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