Tag: telford siding

  • Wood Siding Options

    wood-siding-options

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    There are a variety of siding options, let alone a variety of wood siding options.  If you are leaning toward choosing wood siding for your home or commercial building,  here is an overview of the options you have, courtesy of BobVila.com

    Pine
    Pine has long been a standard for exterior siding. Pine and its related softwoods—spruce and fir—can be less expensive than other species. Knot-free pine can be difficult to get in longer lengths, though, which can make a project more labor-intensive and costly. Pine holds a finish well, and is preferable when painting or staining horizontal siding. It is typically used for clapboards, but some contractors are wary of fast-growth pine for siding because it can be prone to cupping, splitting, and checking. Pine is not a rot-resistant wood, so it is important to keep it sealed and well maintained.

    Spruce
    A member of the pine family, this softwood is readily available in East Coast markets as a substitute for pine. It comes in longer lengths than pine, and has many of the same characteristics. It is typically used for board siding, especially clapboards. Again, since it is not a naturally rot-resistant wood, it is important to regularly maintain and seal the wood.

    Fir
    Like pine and spruce, fir is used as an economical siding option. It comes in long lengths, is easy to cut and install, takes a finish well, and is readily available regionally in the West. Like the other softwoods, fir is easily milled to a pattern, be it shiplap, tongue-and-groove, or board-and-batten.

    Cedar
    Cedar siding is known for its grain and its rot resistance. It is straight and resists splitting. Cedar takes a stain well and reveals a rich character. It is commonly used in shakes and shingles because it is dimensionally stable, resists swelling, and has less cupping and splitting. Cedar clapboards are popular, too, but clear grade A cedar can be costly. Still, for its grain and texture, cedar is preferred for stain applications. Cedar siding is naturally more moisture and insect-resistant than pine, but must be treated and maintained to retain these qualities. All woods must be sealed and stained or painted to resist moisture, damage, and decay.

    Redwood
    Perhaps the hallmark of rich texture and tone, redwood is a good choice for siding in all climates. Redwood resists shrinking, so it holds its profile and keeps its joints with little warping or cupping. Redwood has little pitch or resin, so it absorbs and retains its finish very well and requires less maintenance than some other species. Redwood is also naturally insect resistant, not just on the face but throughout the wood. Grown in the West, redwood can be difficult to obtain in other regions.

    Price and Options
    Wood pricing varies depending on the market. It may be difficult to get some native western woods on the East Coast, for example, because consumers buy it up in the local markets. And because some woods cannot be harvested as quickly as others, the supply is naturally lower. Check with your builder or local lumberyard before making a final decision.

    Some companies offer pre-primed planks, shakes, and shingles. These boards come primed on one or both faces, and are sealed and protected from the minute they arrive on site. These boards and shingles may be dipped or factory coated. Before installing, make sure that edges and ends are properly sealed. Freshly cut ends must always be primed and sealed before nailing.

    A good wood siding should last for many, many years, but it must be properly maintained. Proper maintenance includes power washing, staining and sealing whenever the heat of the sun fades the finish, or moisture starts to turn to mold or mildew. Always allow wood to dry well before applying a new stain or finish.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your wood siding options, exterior siding, siding installation, siding repair and siding maintenance needs. Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

  • How to Care For Pennsylvania Brick Siding

    bricks-0144

    Brick has been, and still is a popular building material.  The fact that it's energy efficient and it looks nice doesn't hurt either.

    It is important to know how to care for your pennsylvania brick siding because how you maintain it will greatly affect its longevity.  Here are some tips from Bob Vila on how to keep your brick looking nice:

    The least aggressive approach should be your first plan of action when it comes to cleaning brick. Just like soiled clothing, different types of dirt on your home's exterior will require a different cleaning agent. Once a year use a garden hose, with a spray nozzle, or a spray bottle to remove any loose dirt.

    If a particular side of your home receives little to no sunlight and the nearby vegetation is damp, be on the lookout for moss, mold, or mildew growth. A solution of one cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water can be applied with a scrub brush can be used to clean most problem areas. Use a natural or synthetic bristle brush — wire brushes leave traces of steel behind that will rust and discolor the bricks. Before applying a bleach solution to brick, give the area a thorough soaking. This will help prevent the brick from absorbing the bleach.

    Avoiding Water Damage 
    Water damage is caused by one of two conditions: splash back or rising damp. In splash back, the continually of rain beating against the brick soaks into the mortar, causing the mortar joints or the bricks to crack. Rising damp results when ground water seeps up from below, leaving behind what is called a tide line. The moisture above the tide line will eventually evaporate, but the salt crystals that remain will, over time, cause the bricks and mortar to break down. Freezing and thawing cycles can accelerate damage to water-soaked brick, so repairing problems early will prevent more extensive repairs in the future. Look for water damage on an annual basis, and budget for some possible repointing every five to ten years.

    Repointing 
    Repointing is necessary in places where the mortar joints have become soft or the mortar itself is cracked or damaged. The damaged mortar is removed carefully so as not to disturb the surrounding brickwork. Fresh mortar is applied in layers. When repointing, the depth of the new mortar should be twice the width of the mortar joint. Mortar applied directly to the damaged surface will not hold up.

    Owners of historic or older homes will want to make sure that the fresh mortar matches the original. Acontractor will take a sample of the mortar, crush it, and dissolve it in acid. This process removes the binder and leaves behind the sand aggregate, making it easier to identify the proper shade.

    Paint Removal
    Painting a brick facade was first in vogue in the early 1800's. Removing that paint can be a painstaking process. Chemical treatments work best for paint removal, and are best left to professionals. Sandblasting should never be the remedy for paint removal, as it causes lasting damage to the beauty and integrity of brick. The remaining brick will be rough in texture, and since sandblasting removes the kiln-hardened outer fire-skin of the brick, it will become more susceptible to dirt build-up and moisture penetration. This is especially true of bricks made before the turn of the century.

    Aggressive treatments, like chemical applications used to remove chalk, calcium carbonate, and rust, are best left to a professional. Chemicals must be spot tested in various concentrations. Too high of a concentration can etch the surface of the brick, damage window glass, or cause discoloration.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your Pennsylvania Brick Siding, exterior siding, and siding repair needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate!