Wood siding looks lovely when it is new. However, wood is not the most durable of siding materials, and it does break down over time. It is important that you recognize when wood siding is near the end of its lifespan so you can replace it before things get too bad. You don't need wood falling off the side of your home or water penetrating through your walls — both of which are things that can happen if you leave deteriorating wood siding in place for too long. So, what are the signs you'll need your wood siding replaced sooner rather than later? Take a look.
The wood feels soft where the paint or finish has flecked off.
It's normal for paint to flake off of wood siding over time. This does not necessarily mean that the siding needs to be replaced — just that it needs to be painted. However, before you paint the siding, you should look closely at the wood where the paint has flaked away. Does it look rotten, and if you push on it, does it feel soft? This is a sign that your siding, overall, is deteriorating and in need of replacement. If the wood is still firm, you can just paint the siding for now and re-evaluate the next time it needs a paint job.
The ends of the boards are jagged and deteriorated.
Another place where deterioration becomes obvious is on the ends of the boards. If they are still relatively smooth and hard, then the rest of your siding is likely in good shape, too. On the other hand, if the ends of the boards are deteriorated and jagged with chunks missing, then the rest of the siding is probably in similar shape and the damage is just well hidden by paint — and that means you need new siding.
You're seeing wood-eating insects.
Have you been seeing a lot of large ants on and around your home? Maybe instead, you're seeing clear-bodied insects that look like flying ants. This might be termites or carpenter ants. Both insects really only eat wood that is beginning to break down, so if they are feeding on your siding, it's time for new siding.
Don't drag out replacing your wood siding until the very end; it will just deteriorate all the more and lead to more damage. Talk to your siding replacement contractor to learn about your various replacement options.