Your siding plays an important role in protecting your home from the elements, but also in the overall appearance of your property. This means that you have to balance your practical and aesthetic needs when selecting a siding material. This can be hard, simply because there are so many types of siding on the market.

Fortunately, we have you covered. Read on for an overview of some of the best house siding options available to you!

Vinyl Siding

Perhaps the most common type of siding used for residential buildings now, vinyl siding is made out of PVC. This means that it comes in a wide range of colors and textures, and can mimic the appearance of other materials, like wood and metal.

Vinyl’s popularity is at least partially due to its low price point. Though different thicknesses and insulation levels will come at different prices, in general, you will always be able to find vinyl siding that can fit into your budget.

Another key benefit of vinyl over other types of siding is that it is largely immune to weather damage. Moisture will not cause warping or rotting, and pests have no interest in plastic.

Vinyl’s drawbacks have to do with physical durability. It is a brittle material, which means falling branches, hail, and other similar hazards can cause cracking which can lead to leaks. Vinyl becomes even more brittle in cold weather, and freezing temperatures can sometimes lead to cracking.

Wood Siding

Wood siding provides an extremely rustic and classical experience to your home’s exterior. Wood siding can come in clapboard panels, or in smaller shingles or shakes (which are rougher hewn shingles). Wood is an excellent insulator, which can help keep your energy bills low and your interior temperature comfortable throughout the year.

You can stain wood yourself to change the color whenever you want, which isn’t possible with other siding materials. However, you’ll find yourself applying stain even if you want to keep the color the same, as doing so is necessary to protect the siding from moisture damage. Wood is susceptible to rotting, warping, and splitting if not properly maintained.

Wood siding can also suffer from pest infestations, as it provides the perfect target for carpenter ants and termites. It also offers no protection against fires, which can be a concern if you suffer from wildfires in your area.

Wood can also differ vastly in price, and trends on the expensive side. More durable woods, like cedar and redwood, come at a premium.

Pricing out wood siding is further complicated by the different forms of siding available. Shingles, shakes, and clapboards are all vastly different sizes and thicknesses, with some clapboards being cut to look like logs to create a distinctive cabin aesthetic.

Fiber-Cement Siding

As its name suggests, fiber-cement siding is made out of cement that is reinforced with wood fibers, creating a more durable and long-lasting surface than cement or wood on their own. Fiber-cement siding can recreate the appearance of either masonry or wood siding and comes in a wider range of colors and materials than either material on their own. You can also paint it at a later date if you want to change how it looks.

Like vinyl, fiber-cement siding is resistant to pests, rotting, warping, and fire damage. Further, it stands up to cold weather better than vinyl siding does. Fiber-cement siding, in general, will rarely crack, no matter the temperature or what debris hits it.

However, fiber-cement siding is quite heavy, which can make it difficult and expensive to install on older homes. Older homes may not have the necessary supports to hold up the added weight, which means that additional construction on your home will have to be done before the siding can even be installed.

Aluminum Siding

Aluminum siding is one of the most popular types of metal siding, which you can attribute to its light-weight and low-cost. The low material cost of aluminum is because it is one of the most easily recycled materials in the world and can be recycled forever. This means that your siding will also be environmentally friendly since you’ll be able to recycle it if you ever replace it in the future.

Aluminum is also low-maintenance, requiring nothing more than general cleaning to remain in top shape. Aluminum will not rust, which means it can survive in coastal areas and in harsh winters.

You should keep in mind that metal siding, in general, can be noisy. This can be prevented through proper insulation behind your siding. If you don’t already have insulation installed, this can greatly increase the costs associated with aluminum siding.

Further, aluminum is a malleable metal. This means that falling debris, including hail, can dent your siding. While this won’t ruin your siding overnight, it can degrade the seal that your siding makes with the side of your home, letting heat escape and water leak inside.

There is a Right House Siding Option for You

While the selection may seem overwhelming, it’s important to keep in mind that each house siding option mentioned above is well-suited for a specific situation. Deciding which type of siding to put on your home depends on your budget, the climate you live in, and what you want your home’s aesthetic to be. Knowing these three things will narrow down the selection quite a bit, making the choice much easier.

Are you in the Grand Rapids area? Get in touch with our team to schedule a free estimate for your home’s siding today!

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Often times, as a home ages or when doing a remodel, there are multiple home improvement services that people are interested in.  Make sure to check out our gutter and roofing services too.

The average cost to repair water damage to your home ranges from $2,700 to $7,500, and could be more depending on how much damage is done. Your roof is one of your home’s first defenses to protect against this water damage.

Worried your roof is leaking? If so, here are some telltale signs you have a leaky roof so you can get it fixed immediately to limit any water damage.

1. Water Stains on Your Ceiling

Water stains on your ceilings are one of the first signs that you have a leaky roof. A water stain may look like a large puddle with a brown ring around it. 

Some stains are harder to spot if they’re in dark corners. The size of the stain doesn’t matter either, because even the smallest stains can be a sign of a large leak. If you see any discoloration on your walls or ceiling, you need to take a closer look for any other moisture or mold.

Leaks can travel from their source, so your leak may not be directly above this water stain. This is another reason you need someone to check out this leak.

2. Missing Shingles

If you have missing shingles, you could have some trouble with your roof. A patchy roof is prone to leaks over time. You may not see the leaks inside your home but could still have a leak in your crawl space or attic. 

This is why you should check for any missing shingles. When you see any damage like missing shingles, you should contact a professional for an inspection.

3.  Debris in Your Downspouts

Some granules on your roof will get loose over time. However, if you begin to notice more granules and roof debris in your downspouts, you may have a problem with your roof that can compromise its effectiveness.

4. You Have Drips

If you hear or see drips, you may have a leak. Even if the drips stop, you should still get it checked because you could have an ice dam, which happens from the thawing and freezing of melting ice and snow.

The thawed water moves beneath the shingles and will freeze again when temperatures drop. Any moisture issues can cause damage to your home even if the drips stop.

5. Growth on Your Walls

If you have any mold or moss on an exterior wall, this could be a problem with gutters on your roofing system. Your gutters move water away from your roof and into the ground. If your gutter system isn’t working properly, this could easily damage your roof and cause leaks.

If you see any growth on your exterior walls, this means the water isn’t running properly and you have a leak somewhere in the roofing system.

6. Mold on Your Roof

In addition to mold on the walls in your home, mold on your roof is also a sign of a leak. This may not impact the shingles but could be a potential problem, as fungi or algae could be growing on the roof from moist conditions or water leaks.

7. Buckling Shingles

Water absorption can cause your shingles to curl or buckle. If this happens, the roof could leak further. This could also happen if you have hot air trapped in the attic.

Either way, the shingles can allow water to build up underneath, causing your roof to leak.

8. Different Texture

Another sign your roof is leaking is if your shingles feel spongy if you walk on them. This texture means water is weakening your underlying deck. 

If you shingles feel different, go into your attic. Look for any daylight peeking through the boards. If you see light, you have a leak.

9. Missing or Damaged Flashing

If you have any missing flashing, this could be a sign your roof is leaking. Flashing seals vulnerable spots on the roof, so if some are missing or damaged, water can leak through these areas.

10. Bubbling on Your Interior Walls

Interior walls can start to bubble from seeping water. Typically, you’ll see bubbling along with water spots on the ceiling.

These spots can actually take years to show up. This is why it’s important to regularly check your attic or crawl spot.

Dangers of a Leaky Roof

Along with damage to the structure of your home, a leaky roof can cause other problems. Your utility bills could increase with wasted energy because the water can compromise your insulation, forcing your air conditioner and furnace to work harder. 

Mold and mildew pose serious health threats to you and your family, including nasal congestion, asthma, rhinitis, and other respiratory inflammations. Mold spores continue to produce until it’s killed, so this is a growing problem. Mold can begin growing once an area is wet in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

As soon as the roof leaks, it’ll damage the attic area and then the ceiling. This could compromise the structure of your home if it leaks long enough. If it moves to your ceiling, you could face electrical issues with the wires connecting ceiling fans and ceiling lights.

The ceiling joists and wall framing can also deteriorate. This requires additional repairs that are rather expensive.

With moisture in your attic, your electrical wiring could be a fire hazard by causing electrical shorts. Once you discover a leak, you’ll want to turn off electricity to surrounding areas and let an electrician inspect it.

See Any of These Signs? Contact a Roofing Contractor

If you see any of these signs of a leaky roof, it’s important to contact a roofing contractor immediately. Some of these signs may appear after your roof has been leaking for a long time. You’ll also need a professional to examine the cause of the leak to prevent future ones.

Need a professional opinion on your roof repair? If you’re worried about your roof, contact us today for a quote and inspection. We’re a family-owned business serving the Grand Rapids area.