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Helpful tips for maintaining the beauty of your cedar siding

Cedar siding is a beautiful choice of home siding; however, regular care is essential to preserving its integrity. The most common problem homeowners with cedar siding face is moisture. Moisture can penetrate virtually every surface of your siding through even the tiniest crevices and cracks. Thankfully, with a few quick and easy steps you can keep your siding dry. Let's review:

  • Regularly examine the caulking and flashing all around your house.
  • Sustain an interior humidity of approximately 40%.
  • Take the time to install heating wires. If you put them at the eaves, they will work to melt any ice accumulation before water can back up under your shingles.
  • Ensure that your attic is insulated correctly and that the air is being circulated.

If any of these steps seem a bit beyond your home repair skill level, hire a professional who can help you out. It's a small investment that will make a big difference!

How to clean cedar siding

Keeping your cedar siding looking its best means combating bugs, dirt, mildew and mold spores. One of the easiest means of cleaning your cedar siding is with a pressure washer. You can either invest in one of your own or rent a unit from your local hardware store. Most experts recommend using the lowest setting to avoid damaging your wood. Start by washing an area at a time with water, then mix water, soap and a bit of bleach to make your own cleaning solution. This combination will turn your grimy siding to gorgeous!

If you are working with cedar shingles or shakes, you will deal with many of the same concerns. Moisture and severe weather can be damaging. In addition, they require regular maintenance and keep in mind that they will not last a lifetime. On the plus side, they are very efficient and biodegradable and can be replaced when damaged. Some key tips for maintenance include:

  • Ensure that your downspout runs completely to the ground, in order to avert moisture from your shakes.
  • Regularly check your downspouts, to make sure they are free of debris. Trimming any nearby branches that overhang will help with this.
  • Your shakes will need to be treated at least once with an anti fungal treatment.
  • Every few years, take the time to paint or stain your cedar, to showcase its beauty.

The Neighborhood Woodpecker and Cedar

A major complaint of homeowners with cedar siding is the damage caused by neighborhood woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are searching for insects that will provide their next meal and to define their territory. You can discourage their visits by hanging wind chimes, a wind sock or even aluminum pie tins hung with just a bit of fishing line. Another option is suet. Woodpeckers are attracted to suet, so hang a supply in a nearby wire basket and the woodpeckers will head straight for it, happily bypassing your lovely cedar siding!


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