There is nothing quite as picturesque as a house set against a backdrop of a scenic blue lake. Typically lake houses are fairly expensive as you're not just buying a property but also a view and easy water access. That being said a lake house is a true investment and any homeowner would be wise to carefully maintain their house.
Houses close to any type of body of water require slightly more care, especially when it comes to siding. A lake isn't going to cause the possible salt water damage as a beachfront or coastal home, but properly caring for the siding is still very important to catch potentials issues before they become problems.
The maintenance needs of your home's exterior is going to be directly related to the siding material you're using. Here is a breakdown of how to properly care for 5 different popular lake house sidings.
- Wood Siding
Wood exterior siding is often considered the most visually appealing siding option for any home, but is particularly beautiful and warm for a lake house. Aesthetics aside, wood is sadly one of the least favorable siding types when it comes to homes in areas where there is a lot of moisture.
Typically your wood siding is going to need to be retreated (repainted, re-stained, etc) about every 5 years, possibly more often for a lake house due to winds, water, fog, etc. You will need to clean off the wood siding annually and naturally you will really need to keep an eye out for mold, rot and other signs of water damage.
Wood siding is stunning but requires the most care and is fairly expensive if you need to replace damaged boards.
- Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is often a popular choice since it requires less maintenance than wood, but may still replicate wood in the form of vinyl shake siding. For a lake house this makes for a tempting combination as you can still get the look of wood without the work.
Maintenance for vinyl is fairly simple. Use a pressure washer once a year to completely wash off the exterior of the house. You can use a broom to help scrub off dirt or mud that has dried on the walls. The combination of wind blowing over a lake towards the home means that you may prefer to wash your vinyl twice a year - right before the main swimming/entertainment season and again before winter.
Vinyl is fairly "hands-off" when it comes to care but it is very important to get any loose boards fixed as soon as you notice them. Again, winds can easily wreak havoc by catching on and bending a vinyl board, thereby causing a more expensive repair.
- Stucco Siding
Less popular than wood siding is stucco, especially for a lake house. Still there are some homeowners that find stucco to be beautiful, despite the potential frustrations that come with this material being close to a body of water.
Stucco is very porous and can easily develop staining or water spots. Stucco should be cleaned about twice a years and dirty spots should be washed off as soon as you notice them. Another thing to keep an eye out for is insect and/or wildlife damage. Stucco is easy for birds to peck or insects to tunnel into. If you live near a lake chances are high that you will also have very healthy wildlife and insect populations around your home as well.
- Fiber Cement Siding
Considered to be a premier siding material by exterior home design experts, fiber cement is one of the best sidings when it comes to looks and maintenance. Fiber cement is a particularly good choice for lake houses because it comes in a whole range of different colors and looks, including lap, shingles, architectural panels and faux yet looks like realistic wood and stone, plus upkeep is fairly easy.
It requires the typical once a year powerwash, plus normal spot cleaning if you happen to notice dirt or debris stuck on the walls. Repainting needs vary from manufacturer but are typically around the 15 year mark, possibly sooner for a lake house. This type of house siding is still very reasonable compared to wood. It is naturally more resistant to moisture and insect damage as well.
- Metal Siding
Metal siding, whether aluminum, steel or otherwise, can perform very well on a lake house as long as it is cared for properly. As materials, they’re even versatile enough to come in a variety textures and appearances - from simple flat sheet finishes to steel log sidings. Steel is the stronger of the two and fairly impervious, but rust can happen is the siding becomes scratched or damaged. Part of steel maintenance means you must treat these scratches as they will rust, and will rust faster on a lake house due to humidity.
Metal siding only needs to be powerwashed annually and essentially that is it. Of course if you decide to paint over your metal siding this paint will need to be reapplied.
A well-maintained lake house is going to maintain or even increase its value over time, not to mention be a source of pride and joy for you or future homeowners. Much of the siding maintenance needs will only take a few hours seasonally but will really help to prevent serious moisture damage or other problems from occurring. If you suspect your lake house has moisture damage from old siding don't hesitate to call out a professional for an inspection.