Exterior Siding Has a Tough Job to do in Minnesota’s Tough Climate

Considering how much surface area of your home it covers, exterior siding can be considered just as important, if not more important, than roofing for keeping water out. Especially in the harsh range of weather conditions we see here in Minnesota. There‚Äôs quite a bit of overlap between roofing and exterior siding’s purposes and in terms of function and in terms of maintenance. Luckily, just like with a roof, it is generally pretty clear when siding needs to be addressed.

Most signs of degraded siding can be noticed at a glance. Fading, rotting boards, and frequently chipping, cracking, or bubbling paint are two such examples. However, other indicators are not quite as obvious and require closer forms of examination. For instance, the paint job might be staying intact, but a quick poke around with a screwdriver or a finger might reveal that the material underneath is going soft and that rot or mold is present.

diagram of how much moisture it takes to rot or mold housing substrate
Diagram of how much moisture it takes to rot or mold housing substrate.

It is also important to understand that siding, just like roofing, helps insulate your house, and regulate its temperature. If you notice that heating or cooling the house is becoming more difficult, or that your energy bills are increasing for no apparent reason, you may want to have an exterior siding contractor checked out your home.

exterior siding ventilation diagram
Exterior siding ventilation diagram.

When getting your siding replaced, there will be a range of materials available with which to do so. Wood, which may be what you have already depending on the age of the structure, will give a good look to your house. However, just like your roofing, your siding is intended to take a beating from the elements. As such, wood siding requires considerable maintenance, so you may want to opt for a more durable material. Two popular materials that fit the bill are vinyl and aluminum. Each is much more durable than wood, and vinyl in particular is on the more affordable end, but each has its own caveats. Aluminum can experience oxidation, resulting in fading and colored runoff, while vinyl is vulnerable to cracking in the bitter conditions of winter. However, treatments and textures are available for both that can help to mitigate these issues to help keep the water barrier intact.

diagram of exterior siding repelling rain
Diagram of exterior siding repelling rain.

If none of those seem appealing, there is another popular option available: cement siding. While on the more expensive side of siding, it earns its price point. As the name would suggest, it is highly durable, but it imitates the appearance of wood siding, and is produced from recycled materials. To top that all off, it is also low maintenance, so if it fits your budget, it should certainly be considered. The material you choose to run with will ultimately come down to your preferences, but a good contractor will be able to help you consider your options thoroughly.