Cedar shingle siding can give your home a natural beautiful look. Homeowners frequently chose cedar because of its long lasting nature and beauty. However in order to make this beauty last cedar shingle siding needs regular maintenance and care. If you make the commitment to regular upkeep of your siding it will have a long and wonderful life!
Another benefit of cedar to environmentally conscious homeowners, cedar is a renewable resource. What this means is cedar trees are planted in forests for the specific purpose of harvesting them and then are replanted every year. Also cedar is biodegradable. When your sidings does finally need to be replaced it can be broken down and, without harm, reabsorbed into the Earth. This can make for great compost since wood fibers can actually enrich the soils.
There are a number of different cedars in the U.S., each with their own benefits. Cedar is a member of the pine family. Northern white cedar comes in smaller diameters and therefore is thought of as one of the nicer grades of wood. It smells very pleasant and without a stain is blonde in color. This type of tree is found mostly in Michigan. Yellow cedar is strong and durable. It tends to hold nails better. It is also very resistant to bugs. On the other hand, red cedar is much more porous. Because it is so porous it is able to accept stains well. Red cedar may also warp less and you may find it not as costly as yellow cedar.
Annual maintenance will be needed once your cedar shingle siding is installed to keep up its appearance. Every year, at a minimum, you will need to make your siding is free of mildew, mold spores, and dirt. To make cleaning your home a quick chore rent a power washer. Cedar is a soft wood so use the power washer on its lowest setting, you do not want to damage it. Before you begin go through and check that all the windows and doors are closed. Flooding your home would make a huge mess! To further keep out unwanted water angle your spraying away from the windows and doors.
Another choice is using a mix of vinegar and water with a soft scrub brush to clean your siding. This will take much more labor on your part than a power washer, but it does have extra benefits. Specifically vinegar is mildew and mold’s natural enemy. This means using a cleaning mix with vinegar will help defend your home. If you’re choosing to use a cleanser on your home cover any plants or shrubs growing near the sides of your home to protect them from run off.
Dirt is not the only enemy of your siding. Woodpeckers can be a menace that causes a lot of damage. If possible discourage them BEFORE they start pecking holes in your house. Homemade or store bought wind chimes can be used to keep them away. Suet is a favorite among woodpeckers you can use it to lure them to another area away from your home. Given the choice between a tasty dinner and your siding, with any luck, they will choose the suet.
If cleaning your cedar shingle siding is no longer enough to get it looking in top condition, it may be time to re-stain or paint. Painted shingles can be stripped using a pressure washer. If this method doesn’t work there are chemical strippers available to remove old paint or stain. After you strip your siding there may be hair like fibers visible, use a stiff bristle brush or a light sanding to remove them.
Make certain any chemical stripper you use is an environmentally friendly product. You will need to clean and rinse your shingles after stripping them. This creates a clean shingle ready to accept stain or paint.
Use a water based semi-transparent stain. This is better for the environment than an oil based stain and also will give you good wear and durability. A siding professional can give you more information on joining the proud homeowners with cedar shingle siding in Rochester today!