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Wood siding is a beautiful investment that can last a lifetime – if you treat it correctly. Repairs for neglected siding can run into the thousands when small wood siding maintenance projects turn into dry rot, water intrusion, or failed paint. If you want to keep your clapboard, shingle, or board-and-batten exterior system for decades, keep an eye on these common siding concerns:

Coatings, Coatings, Coatings.

It is absolutely critical that wood siding has a functional stain, clear sealant, or paint to protect wood structure from becoming waterlogged. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, wood with a fiber saturation above 27% is susceptible to dry rot and other decomposition concerns. Fading paint and sealer can lose their ability to repel water over time, so it’s best to repaint wood siding every 5-6 years, even if there are no signs of paint failure.
Bubbling, cracking, or chipping paint means it’s time to call in a professional or head to your local paint store to start your DIY project. Paint stains can be an early indicator of a water intrusion problem, so keep an eye out! Check out our article on paint stains and what they could mean for your house.
Remember that caulking plays a very critical role in repelling water from your wooden siding. Check around your windows and other structural details for hardened, missing, or cracked caulk. Modern caulk for residential houses should be ductile and elastic to keep a seal as your home expands and contracts with temperature changes. Caulk exposed to direct sunlight often is the first to fail!

Wooden Siding Repairs

Scratches, dents, and gouges that have exposed wood to the weather should be addressed quickly. Small repairs to siding like scratches or dents from baseballs or rocks from your mower are a great DIY project. Many wood fillers may not stand the test of time outdoors, so make sure to use a suitable product like epoxy wood filler. Be warned: Don’t just fill drill or screw holes left in your siding! If the hole penetrates the moisture barrier behind your siding, a small leak could incite fungal growth.
Broken and cracked siding boards can often be quickly and efficiently repaired. Wood siding generally needs special considerations and knowledge to safely remove affected siding without disturbing the surrounding boards. When it comes to maintaining wood siding for the long term, weatherization details are key to staving off water damage and dry rot!

Window Details

Windows are an essential part of your exterior weatherization system. Because your windows extend through your home’s exterior envelope and into the interior, special precautions need to be taken to protect the structures in your exterior walls. Dry rot on window sills can often precede dry rot on siding, so double check your window casings for rot!

We’re always interested in talking with homeowners about project ideas and questions. SFW Construction LLC is a full-service general contractor; if you need help addressing some overdue wood siding maintenance give us a call. Feel free to submit a contact form or send us a few photos to, even if we’re not the right choice for your project we’ll point you in the right direction.