When preparing for siding replacement, you control many factors, including preferred materials, contractor selection, budget, and project timeline. But siding damage and unexpected weather changes are out of your control.
For example, your siding may become severely damaged during the winter, or an unexpected rainstorm may occur while siding work is underway. Should you have your new siding installed, or should you wait for warm and dry conditions? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of siding installation in the rain and the winter.
Can Siding Be Installed in the Rain?
It’s recommended to schedule siding replacements during clear conditions, but rainy weather cannot always be avoided. While a forecast can project sunny skies, it may start raining in the middle of the siding process anyways. This doesn’t automatically mean your siding project should be halted until conditions are clear.
Your siding project can still be done in the rain, especially if the house wrap has already been installed. The house wrap is technically a water-resistant barrier, which prevents moisture from entering the wall.
Even if contractors take all precautions they’re supposed to take to protect your home from water damage, something can go wrong. For example, strong winds may tear sections of the house wrap off, exposing the boxing to direct rainwater. If the plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) becomes saturated, it will no longer be structurally sound and must be replaced.
Cons of Installing Siding in the Rain
Risk for Voided Warranty
Replacing your siding while it’s raining puts your warranty at risk of being voided. Siding manufacturers guarantee their products and provide guidelines for installation. This means the manufacturer will not be liable for any damage which can be attributed to inclement weather.
Potential Water Damage
The purpose of your siding is to protect your home from the elements, including moisture. When siding is installed in the rain, some water may get trapped under the siding. This can lead to rot over time and may cause bubbling or warping with vinyl siding.
With fiber cement, water can result in a splatter look on your siding. Fiber cement is made of cement and has to be cut to size during installation, creating a lot of cement dust, which will stick where it lands when mixed with rainwater.
Can Siding Be Installed in the Winter?
The challenges of doing home exterior improvement projects in the winter are probably why you don’t see it very often. Some manufacturers warn against installing siding at temperatures below 31 degrees.
Despite the challenges, it’s still possible to have your siding installed in the winter months, depending on the weather conditions and the materials used.
Pros of Installing Siding in the Winter
Convenient Scheduling and Lower Costs
Because winter is a slower time of the year for most contractors, the chances of having the project scheduled to your convenience are very high. Crews will have greater availability and more time to plan around your needs, making it easier to shorten the turnaround time.
Cracked or loose siding can lead to air leaks in the winter, causing heated air to escape. If you’re cranking the heat but find you’re still chilled, your siding or insulation beneath it might be the problem. When partnered with new or added insulation, your new siding will keep your living space comfortable and help lower your heating bills.
Prevent Small Problems from Getting Out of Hand
A small siding problem can quickly escalate into a major issue in the chillier months, which is why sometimes it’s best not to wait for warmer weather to get new siding. If your siding is damaged or some parts of it are missing, moisture can penetrate through the gaps, causing damage to your insulation and interior walls. By replacing your siding in the winter, you can reduce your chances of being stuck with a bigger problem come springtime.
Cons of Installing Siding in the Winter
Harsh winter weather can be challenging and dangerous for contractors. Temperatures below 31 degrees can cause frostbite and make it uncomfortable for the crews to work. Also, it’s often more challenging to work efficiently while wearing warm gear like jackets, gloves, boots, and thermal wear.
A professional siding contractor will plan your siding replacement project around what the weather will allow. Unexpected snow or wind storms, sudden temperature drops, and snow-rain mix might delay work by days or more.
Cold-Sensitive Equipment and Materials
Materials and equipment can be sensitive to winter chills. Vinyl siding, for instance, can become brittle and prone to cracking. Also, installing it during the winter could mean there won’t be enough room for the material to expand in the summer. If it’s too tight, it could crack or snap when the weather heats up, causing door and window frames to buckle under the pressure.
If your siding requires painting, the paint won’t dry properly when it’s too cold, which will cause peeling and chipping problems later on.
Have a Local, Reputable Control or Install Your Siding
While siding installation gets a little complicated in the rain and winter, siding experts will be able to replace your siding efficiently and effectively if you must get it done in such weather conditions. With a professional siding contractor and quality siding materials, it can be done.Our highly trained and experienced siding technicians at Couto Construction can handle your project in any season. With leading products and top-class equipment, we would be happy to help you get the siding you’ll love for many years to come. If you’re considering siding replacement for your home in Southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Cape Cod, contact us today to learn more and get a free estimate.