Wood siding is lush and timeless and requires regular upkeep to retain the beauty.

Wood siding maintenance keeps your home healthy and looking beautiful. It does require a level of upkeep to keep your home healthy and prolong its life. The experts at Shanco have put together a handy guide on top tips for your wood siding upkeep. 

Maintaining Wood Siding

Annually cleaning your wood siding is recommended. The change in seasons can be rough on your home. Your siding protects you from rain, sleet, snow, hail, heat, bitter cold, insects, and critters. A little bit of TLC goes a long way in regard to your siding.

How to Clean Your Siding

You can clean your siding at any point throughout the year, but we recommend late spring or early summer cleaning. Wood siding will expand and contract with the weather. Winters can be rough on homes, which makes spring a great time to get in front of any issues.

Cleaning your siding will require 

  • 5- gallon bucket
  • Soapy water made of dish soap and warm water
    • -or- a store-bought solution
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Garden hose with sprayer nozzle

Now that you have all your supplies, let’s tackle cleaning the siding.

1. Chunk off portions of the house to work on. Looking at the whole project might feel daunting but section it off into chunks.

2. Go through and remove any large dirt or debris. This can include spiderwebs, wasp nests, mud, bird nests, and more.

3. Wet the area of the siding where you are working.

4. Brush the solution horizontally from side to side. Continue until you reach the top.

5. Rinse from the top to the bottom.

6. Scrub your siding again and rinse.

7. Repeat until you have cleaned all of your siding and let it dry for 24-48 hours.

Mildew on Wood Siding

Finding mildew growing on wood siding is relatively common. It can be unsightly and should be cleaned off shortly after it appears. Simply use a specific fungus-killing cleaner. Cover nearby plants, wear protective gloves, and scrub away.

Rust Stains

Rust stains may occur if non-galvanized nails have been used. To remove rust stains from wood siding, clean the area with a mix of oxalic acid and warm water. Use four ounces of acid in one cup of water.

Be certain to wear eye protection and protect your hands with acid-proof gloves. Scrub the rust stain with a soft-bristled brush and rinse. Be cautious not to splash the acid mixture on other surfaces. It may be beneficial to cover nearby plants. 

Power Wash Wood Siding

Power washing wood siding left to inexperienced homeowners can lead to problems. Wood can gouge easily with a power washer. If there are gaps in caulking, water can be forced behind the siding and lead to mold and mildew problems in the future. If you must power wash, leave it to a professional.

Sealing Wood Siding 

Sealing wood siding will help with the expansion and contraction of the wood during thaw and freezing cycles. The benefit of sealing your wood siding is that will help prevent chips in the paint, cracks, and caulking issues. Wood sealing is required every couple of years as a part of regular siding maintenance. 


You should re-paint wood siding every 5-10 years. If you are wanting to paint over your existing stain, consult this article for information on how to paint over stained siding. 

Follow these easy steps when ready to paint over your wood siding. 

  1. Clean the siding
  2. Re-caulk any joints- Caulking prevents moisture from entering your home. Be sure to use high-quality exterior caulking and fill all gaps before painting.
  3. Primer matters- When choosing a primer, get one that is tinted a few shades lighter than your main color. 
  4. Paint- Roll on, spray on, or hire a professional! If spraying DIY, be sure to tape off any areas that you do not want to get paint on them.  


Re-staining your siding every 3-5 years helps keep your siding in top shape. Stain penetrates the wood fibers and acts as a barrier against harmful UV rays and seals your home from moisture penetration. Stain also prevents chipping and cracking, unlike paint.

Staining your home requires

  • Cleaning your siding thoroughly
  • Allowing the wood to dry out
  • Seal all gaps with a high-quality exterior caulking
  • Stain with an exterior stain

Wood Siding Maintenace

Wood siding much like any other siding requires a certain level of annual maintenance and inspection. Homeowners can discover potential issues that needs to be addressed by conducting yearly inspections.


Caulking around your windows prevents moisture from entering your home. Annual window washing and siding washing will uncover any caulking issues. If it is worn or missing take a moment to seal it again. 

Roof Venting 

Inadequate ventilation in your roof can impact more than your shingles. Trapped hot and humid air can cause issues with your siding. Be aware of any ice dam issues that occur during the winter months. Ice dams can be a sign that there is an issue with your ventilation. 


Siding repair comes in different shapes and sizes. Reach out to a local contractor if there is severe siding damage. DIY repair would be patching small holes with exterior wood putty. 

Lawnmower Damage

Lawnmowers can throw rocks, sticks, chunks of tree roots, and more. Their target (your siding or windows) may dent, bend, or break. Siding can take a beating from a lawnmower throughout the summer. Look for dents and dings, patch them with exterior wood putty, sand, and paint over them. Large cracks or holes may require a section of siding to be replaced. 

Insect, Critter, or Woodpecker Damage

Carpenter bees bore holes in the wood siding or squirrels chew on wood to prevent their teeth from growing. Woodpeckers tap away at the wood. If you encounter any of this animal damage, you should first consider contacting an expert in animal and insect removal or deterrent. 

Carpenter bees and ants will require hiring an exterminator to remove the insects. 

Woodpeckers are protected in certain municipalities. Take efforts to keep them away from your home such as suet cakes placed away from the house or old CDs on a string to reflect light.

Squirrels may need to be trapped and removed. However, they do not like strong scents. Owl decoys have acted as great deterrents as well. You will want to move the owl periodically so the squirrels do not grow comfortable with its presence. 

Wood Siding Maintenance Keeps Your Home Fresh and Beautiful

Wood siding is an incredible, versatile material that requires regular maintenance to keep it performing optimally. If you are experiencing siding problems and would like a consultation for siding replacement, call the experts at Shanco today. We serve the Washington DC metro areaNOVA, and Richmond for 20 years.

If you have other siding material, check our other upkeep guides for vinyl siding and James Hardie cleaning tips.