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Top quality vinyl siding has been used for decades to protect houses from wind, rain, snow and heat. It also insulates your home, lowers your bill, and discourages insects. Plus, a stylish color with coordinating trim can really up your curb appeal. The key to getting maximum benefit from your siding is creating a water-resistant exterior with proper layering: sheeting, flashing, house wrap, caulking, siding, trim.
While vinyl siding directs water away from the exterior, even a small gap can allow water through. Moisture seeps in every chance it can: roof, foundation, doors, windows. And even a small amount, over time, can cause a lot of damage. Get familiar with the siding on your home; learn how to identify water damage.
Often old, worn or damaged siding goes unnoticed until it shows up as cracks in the drywall or waves across the hardwood floors. Or worse, the damage is hidden. The team might have to remove the siding or drywall to discover (and repair) the damage. Repairing water damage early will cost less money and reduce the potential for mold in your home. So keep your eyes open for signs of trouble.
Flashing closes gaps between siding panels and other materials. Thin strips of metal are installed at borders between exterior surfaces to control water flow: at windows, doors, roofs, chimneys, thresholds. Flashing is needed any place where the direction of a drainage plane changes, like when the patio connects to the house.
In order to be effective, flashing must be sized and placed appropriately when originally installed. But wind and storms can damage or dislodge it. If you see any suspicious areas, ask the water damage experts at Daystar to take a look.
A layer of house wrap is placed beneath siding, which is another major line of defense against water damage. It keeps water away from sheeting and minimizes air infiltration. This high quality, vapor-permeable material is made of spun, high-density polyethylene fibers designed to block the passage of liquid. Properly installed with special tape, it resists moisture while allowing humidity to escape from exterior wall cavities. However, tape adhesion can be an issue, particularly if it is applied over a soiled or damp surface. Successful adhesion to a wrap is dependent on both humidity and temperature; tape applied to house wrap that is too cold may not adhere properly.
Check for water ponding and hydrostatic pressure to see if the wrap has failed. If the product was exposed to sunlight and the elements for more than about a month, UV ray exposure might compromise the material’s condition and limit its effectiveness.
Caulking seals small areas where water would otherwise enter. Made from waterproof flexible polymers like latex or rubber, this material expands with temperature changes without cracking.
Effective caulking seals gaps where water would enter, but gaps that allow moisture to escape should be left open. In other words, you aren’t trying to make a perfect seal around your home; it needs to breathe. For example, you don’t want to cover window weep holes, or the bottom of siding. These are necessary exit points for water; they allow ventilation for house wrap and sheeting.
When you find water damage around your West Bay home that has let water in, look for a team with the most advanced, specialized equipment to detect hidden moisture sources. For 24/7 emergency water damage service in West Bay, contact us.
Daystar Cleaning, Inc. is a certified firm of the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and Florida State Certified Mold Mitigator. As a free resource, check out this Free Special Report on Storm Damage.