Inspecting Your Homes Exterior
The exterior cladding of your home is like a skin, it provides an aesthetic look for your home and also provides a protective layer between your home and the elements. Typically, the exterior cladding will be made up of several layers, including the outer surface of a wall, a plastic wrap to keep out moisture, insulation, and vapor barriers, among others. Plastic siding and brick are two of the most commonly used exterior cladding materials. Choices of material will vary depending on your climate.
Some other items inspected on the exterior inspection are Wall Surfaces, Soffits and Fascia, Windows and Doors and the Trim, Flashings and Caulking. Two important items that are not visible during an inspection are wall sheathing and building wrap. You sheathing may be an insulating material or just wood type product. You building wrap provides protecting from moisture that by passes exterior cladding and prevents the wind from blowing into insulated wall system.
Most damage to the exterior cladding is typically related to water. Landscaping for proper water drainage is often an overlooked item in many homes. Allowing water to gather against your homes foundation or collect in planters build against your exterior cladding can caused expensive damage in a very short time. The Ontario Building Code requires 8 inches for wood products and six inches of exposed foundation between cladding and ground level.
Many home owners replace their original entrance with concrete pavers which will often be expanded to contact wood or brick cladding. The constant contact with water or moisture will cause Brick Spalling or Wood Rot, using product such as Thompson’s Brick Seal can help prevent further damage.
The chart below indicates the Pro’s and Con’s of some common cladding products.