Blog > Problems with Wood Siding

5 Problems with Wood Exterior Homes

Because of the classic and natural beauty of wood, it is a popular choice for many homeowners as their exterior home siding for many decades. Variations include shingles. clapboard, grooved plywood is known as T-111, solid planks and hardboard.

problems with wood siding

Some standard softwoods like cedar, pine, and redwood are used often because of their availability and low price in comparison to hardwoods. Hardwoods are usually applied as shingles cut from short sections of hickory or oak.


The single biggest issue with wood exteriors is maintenance. It has to be sealed or painted every four to nine years. The painting will require you to do spot scarping and sanding all the spots where paint lost its adhesion to the wood.

Apply a fresh coat of primer and finish coat of paint to these spots. While using sealants and stains are less labor intensive, it still requires that the wood be cleaned thoroughly before you apply primer and paint.

After all this, you need to repair damage to the wood from rock hits, woodpeckers and similar issues.

Moisture Damage

whenever bare wood is exposed to moist elements like ocean air, rain, and high humidity, the wood will most likely become damaged from swelling and rot. You will even need to protect the edges of the plywood and end grain from the elements as well.

You can use paint and sealants to keep out moisture from reaching the wood, if this procedure isn’t used then you risk having long term damage on your siding and then needing to replace it.

Insect Invasion

The most wood loving insect, termites will most definitely attempt to attack your home’s wood siding and infiltrate the interior. Exposed, rotted and even bare wood are perfect invitations for termites to come in. Some other insects such as carpenter bees and ants also like to use wood for nesting.

Environmental Issues

You may think that wood is environmentally friendly because it is a renewable resource but a lot of the paints, sealers, and stains are not environmentally friendly. Some of these may contain oil and are toxic in that case.


Installing wood exteriors can be very costly and labor-intensive. For example, a 1,250-square-foot-installation will cost about $7,000 as of 2013.