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Maintain the Natural Beauty of Wood Siding

We all know that wood doesn't last forever. All wood siding is subject to termites, wood rot, and moisture problems, which result in cracking, splitting, and expansion. But maintaining wood siding doesn't have to be a headache if you follow a few simple guidelines:

To prevent wood rot, be sure your wood is treated with oil or stain. Certain types of wood such as cedar, redwood, and cypress withstand the elements better than others and will last longer, but they will need to be painted or re-stained every few years to keep their longevity.

All types of wood siding need to be painted every five years and treated or stained every three years. Some may need extra care, especially in wet climates. If exposed to moisture for too long, boards can absorb water and expand, or bow out. Should boards become rotted or have holes in them from woodpeckers or other pests, they will need to be replaced.

Cleaning wood siding

Professional companies offer steam cleaning or pressure washing for wood siding or you can wash your siding yourself with a power washer, which can be rented at your local home improvement store or other equipment rental business. But be careful! Too much pressure from a washer can ruin your wood and it does remove paint, so be prepared to paint again. Most homes can be pressure washed with a 2200 psi or higher washer. You can also wash your wood with a soft-bristled brush and a solution of dish or laundry detergent and water. If mildew is present, use a solution of 1 quart of bleach, ¾ gallons of water and a small amount of detergent. Scrub the areas with a soft-bristled, long-handled brush. Paint dealers also sell mildewcide that can be used to clean wood siding.

To prepare for washing, follow these simple steps:

Turn off all power to the outside lights that may get wet.

Remove any items that may get in the way.

Ensure that all your windows are closed and spray away from doors and windows.

If you have shrubbery or flowers below, make sure you cover them with plastic so no cleaning solution drips on them.

Start at the top and work your way down. Be sure to rinse your cleaning solution off the siding before it dries.

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