In the housing industry, myths can run amok. Homeowner “secrets, tips, and tricks” can be some of the most pervasive forms of gossip in society, and unfortunately, it can result in a lot of misinformed homeowners.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about roofing and siding that you may run into when discussing home improvement projects.
Vinyl Siding is Weaker, Cheaper, Less Durable
Like many myths, this one arose from the early days of the product and unfortunately has lasted long into modern times. Vinyl siding was once seen as the cheap, less durable option for home exteriors, but such a claim is flatly untrue in today’s housing market.
Even in the face of this myth, vinyl siding not sits as the most popular siding option for residential homes. This is in no small part because once homeowners understand the truth behind vinyl siding, the choice becomes fairly obvious to make.
Manufacturers have developed vinyl siding to be much, much more than what it was when it first hit the market. Its air sealing capabilities, weather resistance, and total lifespan are extremely impressive. When properly maintained, it can last anywhere between 20-40 years.
In terms of appearance, vinyl siding has become one of the most varying and diverse siding options for homeowners anywhere. Regardless of your property’s aesthetic, it is likely that there exists a vinyl siding color and style which fits your goals.
In regards to cost, vinyl siding is not as “cheap” as it is “affordable.” We don’t mean that as some sort of marketing tactic either. Cheap siding suggests the material is low cost, but also low quality. Vinyl siding is a very high-quality material that is less expensive to produce, making it cost less overall without losing value in performance.
Inspections Aren’t Necessary Unless Damage Is Obvious
Out of sight, out of mind is a frustrating idiom, especially when it comes to home repair.
Another common myth about roofing and siding is that they don’t need to be tended to unless there is something visibly wrong with them.
In reality, it is exactly that lack of maintenance which allows for something visibly wrong to occur. Mold growth on your siding or roofing is not just a sign that you need an inspection — it’s a sign you needed an inspection a month ago.
Fixing damage to your roofing or siding can be costly, and in many instances, the cost of a simple inspection is more valuable in the long run than trying to fix a problem and prevent the next problem all in one go. Think of your home the same way you think of your body. Ideally, you should not be going to the doctor, dentist, or any other healthcare professional only when something wrong has already happened. Going to the doctor for a general check-up is how you stay on top of your health, and the same can be said for your home. Catching symptoms of poor health early is how you stay healthy, and savvy homeowners retain that same mentality when it comes to their property.
Inspect Everything, Or Inspect Nothing
Routine home inspections are critical to good house health, but the “routine” behavior can be tricky to establish.
Often times, homeowners can find themselves getting really excited about home repairs one year and then drifting away from the concept the next year. Whether it be to recuperate from a costly renovation or to address more immediate life challenges, it’s not uncommon to find yourself falling into these cyclical inspection patterns.
So, when homeowners are in the right place to conduct a home inspection, they want to knock every item off the checklist as soon as possible. While it is very good to thoroughly inspect your home during an inspection, a problem arises when such inspections occur infrequently: not all home components age equally.
For example, say it has been a few years since you have had your roof inspected, and now you’re ready to call the contractor. Naturally, you want every little thing that pertains to your roof to be examined. However, all of those little things do not degrade, damage, or exhibit warning signs on the same schedule. Maybe your shingles are in fair condition, but your gutters have needed repair for over a month. Meanwhile, your flashing looks fine now, but will only really work at its current efficiency for the next six months. So what can be done?
There are two answers, and truly only one correct one. The correct answer is frequent, routine inspections for each individual aspect of your home. Whether it be roofing or siding, there is a myriad of inner mechanisms working to create a complete system, and they all have their own timelines and hazards that can arise. Some structures need more frequent inspections than others; your chimney may need inspection only once a year, but your vinyl siding should be inspected seasonally for weather damage.
Operating this way not only keeps your home structures functioning as much as possible, but it reduces the damage such repairs have on your budget. Intermittent smaller payments toward moderate repair projects is leaps and bounds easier to financially manage than fixing everything at once.
The incorrect answer — and the answer too many homeowners take — is to continue with the status quo of infrequent inspections that examine nearly the entire property. This makes it tough to have all your home structures working the right way at the right time. On top of that, when that inspection does come around, you may be looking at a drastically higher bill than you would have if the inspection schedule had been more frequent.
I Can Do It Myself
One of the consequences of homeowners not inspecting their home frequently is the desire to DIY repairs and installations to cut costs. There are a number of risks that arise from this behavior, so let’s take a look at the main problems you may face if you take your home repair into your own hands.
The first and biggest opportunity for error is the chance of a homeowner doing the job wrong. Following online guides and reading manuals can only take you so far, and it truly does not compare to the level of competency provided by certified, trusted contractors.
Regardless of the experience, a homeowner has with roofing or siding, there is a good chance that they will not have all the information or tools necessary to complete a project the right way. Even if the homeowner is a veteran of the construction industry, there still is a chance for oversight.
Depending on the make, model, and materials used in a home, what is considered “the right way” to repair shingles or install vinyl siding may have changed. Best practices can already vary by the contractor, but the even bigger danger is the variance of the law. You should only trust a certified contractor to be up-to-date and well-versed in the compliance practices which are mandatory for any home construction project.
In other words, trying to do it yourself could get you in trouble down the road with ordinances, statutes, or other legal parameters.
Trust The Professionals
Contact Longview Contracting today to have certified, trusted roofing and siding professionals handle your next home project.