How to keep your home's exterior from rotting

Keep the exterior of your home happy and healthy, and it will positively impact the inside of your home. Even with proper care, siding, shingles and shakes can rot and grow moss and algae. Know how to protect your house exterior, and how to rectify these problems if they do arise.

How to keep your home's exterior from rotting

Make sure siding can dry after rain

  • No matter how well you take care of it, siding can rot if it stays constantly wet. Make sure your siding can dry out quickly when the sun comes out after a rain.
  • Don't let bushes and vines grow up against the side of your house. Shady spots will stay damp, ultimately promoting rot.

Remove moss or algae from shingles

  • Moss and algae can grab onto the textured surface of wood shingles or shakes.
  • The growth retains moisture, promoting rot.
  • This is true whether the shingles or shakes are used as siding or roofing.
  • To remove moss, algae and dirt, wait until the siding or roof has been dry for several days; then brush with a stiff push broom.
  • This is often enough to clean the siding.If brushing doesn't do the job, rent a power washer.
  • Be careful with this tool — shingles are soft, and if you use too much pressure, you can damage them.
  • Keep the spray nozzle about half a metre (18 inches) from the siding or roof as you work, and be careful not to aim at doors, window, vents or plants. Always wear safety goggles.

Cure the cause of moss and algae

  • The fact that these plants are thriving on your siding is probably evidence of a moisture problem that you need to solve.
  • If bushes or trees are growing against the house, keeping the siding wet, cut them back. If a gutter is leaking on the siding, fix it.
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