How to Keep Your Wood Siding in Tip-Top Shape

Wood siding being painted

There’s something about the beautiful texture, grain and color of wood siding that gives it undeniable appeal for homeowners. It’s an attractive choice for your exterior—as long as you’re prepared to care for it properly.

Both natural and engineered wood needs a certain amount of regular upkeep (although engineered wood is easier to manage). Here’s what to do to keep your wood siding in lasting shape.

5 Steps to Caring for Your Wood Siding

1. Inspect your siding regularly

Maintaining your siding in top shape begins with being aware of its condition. Twice a year (spring and fall are a good schedule), walk around your home looking for cracks, wear, rot, mold stains, etc.

If you spot any issues, don’t put off making repairs. Once wood starts to rot or break, problems just continue to grow worse unless you address them. Apply new boards, or call a siding contractor to do it for you. If you want to avoid frequent repairs, consider installing engineered wood, as its special makeup helps it last longer than organic wood.

2. Clean off dirt, mold and mildew

Debris and dust tend to accumulate on your siding over the normal course of time. So, once or twice a year, gently clean the boards with soapy water, a garden hose, and a soft-bristle brush, working in small sections from top to bottom to avoid streaking.

  • For mold and mildew — Apply a solution of 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar or bleach to the spots, or use a fungus-killing cleanser approved for natural or engineered wood.
  • For rust — A solution of oxalic acid dissolved in warm water can remove the stains.

Don’t use a high-pressure washer, because the force of the water striking your siding can do damage. And avoid harsh cleansers, like acid washes, which can eat away at your wood.

3. Replace caulking where needed

Over time, the caulk between siding boards and around spots like your window frame can loosen, get brittle or fall off—opening up areas where moisture can get in and do damage.

Inspect your siding for missing or faulty caulk. If needed, remove old caulk and replace it with fresh caulking to seal up visible gaps.

4. Apply fresh sealer, stain and/or paint

Both natural and engineered wood siding can lose their protective coats of stain, paint and sealant as they age. Wood tends to fade, get discolored, or bleached if exposed to the weather without being sealed. Plus, the exposed surface is susceptible to rotting.

  • Clear sealer protects without changing the wood color, but it also wears away faster. Reapply it every few years.
  • Wood stain adds attractive color to your siding and lasts a little longer than sealants. Plan to re-stain every four years.
  • Paint helps protect your siding and also gives you a great range of color options. Natural wood must be repainted every 3-5 years, while engineered wood needs repainting every 5-10 years—a definite plus!

Tip: If constant staining and painting is something you want to decrease, consider replacing natural wood siding with LP SmartSide. This engineered wood siding looks lovely and lasts longer than organic wood, so it’s much easier to care for.

5. Tend to landscaping and gutters

Natural and engineered wood siding boards can be susceptible to rot, mold, mildew and marring. To limit these issues, it’s important to keep trees and shrubs trimmed so they don’t touch your home.

Keep gutters clear of leaves and gunk, so rain and melting snow run through the system and safely away from your home instead of running down your siding. This also helps prevent icicles, which can fall and strike the siding.

Enjoy Beautiful, Low-Maintenance Siding from Smart Exteriors

Does maintaining your wood siding seem a bit overwhelming? Many homeowners have actually ditched wood siding for a better alternative.

Give your home the attractive style of wood without constant upkeep by choosing elegant pre-finished LP SmartSide for your siding replacement. We specialize in LP SmartSide because it delivers the beauty of natural wood without all the hassles. You’ll love how this eye-catching wood-like siding boosts your curb appeal and provides long-lasting protection against hail, snow, and anything else Kansas City’s weather can throw your way.

Discover more advantages of choosing LP SmartSide—the easier maintenance wood siding option!—installed by the pros at Smart Exteriors.