Elite Home Exteriors NW

Siding Mold, Fungi, Ants and Termites

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In the Pacific Northwest, with its damp and mild climate, several types of mold can potentially grow on siding. Most homeowners have heard of “Black Mold” but there are more:

Common Molds:

    • Cladosporium: This dark green or black mold thrives in moist environments and is commonly found on siding, roofs, and decks.
    • Alternaria: This black or brown mold also enjoys moisture and can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
    • Penicillium: This blue-green mold is ubiquitous and often harmless, but some species can release allergens and irritants.
    • Aspergillus: This diverse group of molds includes black mold, which can pose health risks. It’s more commonly found indoors but can also occur outdoors on siding if conditions are favorable.

Less Common Molds:

    • Aureobasidium: This black or brown mold prefers cool, damp environments and can stain siding.
    • Mucor: This white or grayish mold thrives in organic matter and can grow on decaying wood siding.
    • Serpula lacrymans (Dry Rot): This aggressive fungus damages wood siding and is more common in Europe, but can occur in the Pacific Northwest under specific conditions.

Factors Affecting Mold Growth:

    • Moisture: Moisture is the crucial factor for mold growth, so areas with poor drainage, leaky roofs, or condensation around siding are more susceptible.
    • Siding Material: Wood siding is more prone to mold compared to vinyl or fiber cement due to its organic nature.
    • Sun Exposure: Shaded areas on your siding receive less sunlight and dry out slower, creating a more favorable environment for mold.
    • Ventilation: Lack of proper ventilation around siding can trap moisture and encourage mold growth.

While some molds are harmless, others can trigger allergies, respiratory problems, and even pose health risks to individuals with compromised immune systems.

Early detection and removal of mold are crucial to avoid potential health concerns and prevent further damage to your siding.

Wood-Desting Fungi can be on or under your siding

Wood-destroying fungi, also known as xylophagous fungi, are a diverse group of organisms that feed on and break down wood, causing it to rot and decay. While they play a vital role in nature’s recycling process by decomposing dead trees and other organic matter, they can become a major problem when they infest our homes, buildings, and other wooden structures.

Here's a deeper dive into wood-destroying fungi:

Types: There are hundreds of species of wood-destroying fungi, each with slightly different preferences and behaviors. Some examples include:

    • Brown rot fungi: These fungi primarily break down cellulose, leaving the wood brown, dry, and brittle.
    • White rot fungi: These fungi break down both cellulose and lignin, leaving the wood white, soft, and fibrous.
    • Soft rot fungi: These fungi target primarily lignin, leaving the wood spongy and weak.

Conditions they need: Wood-destroying fungi require three main things to thrive:

    • Moisture: This is the most crucial factor, as fungal growth is impossible without it. Moisture content in wood above 20% creates a prime environment for these fungi.
    • Warmth: Most wood-destroying fungi prefer moderate temperatures, typically between 60°F and 80°F.
    • Oxygen: Like all living organisms, fungi need oxygen to survive and decompose wood.

 The main problem with wood-destroying fungi is the rot and decay they cause in wood structures. This can lead to several issues, including:

    Problems they cause:

      • Structural damage: Rotted wood loses strength and can compromise the structural integrity of a building, potentially leading to collapse.
      • Property damage: Damaged wood can be expensive to repair or replace, significantly impacting the value of a property.
      • Health concerns: Some fungi release spores that can trigger allergies and respiratory problems in certain individuals.

    Prevention and treatment: Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and treat wood-destroying fungi:

      • Prevention: Maintaining low moisture levels through proper ventilation, addressing leaks, and ensuring proper drainage is crucial. Using treated wood in high-moisture areas and regular inspections for signs of rot are also preventive measures.
      • Treatment: If you suspect fungal infestation, seek professional help immediately. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the type of fungus involved. This might involve fungicides, removal of affected wood, and addressing underlying moisture issues.

    Is unsightly mold or fungus turning your beautiful siding into an eyesore (and potential health hazard)? Don’t despair – Elite Home Exteriors NW, your Certified Preferred James Hardie Contractor, is here to help you reclaim your home and peace of mind with superior siding solutions.

    Why is my siding susceptible to mold and fungus growth anyway?!

    Moisture is the culprit here in Washington and Oregon state – it creates the perfect breeding ground for these unwelcome guests to thrive on your siding and potentially infiltrate your home. This can lead to the following:

    Structural damage: Untreated mold and fungus can eat away at siding materials and lead to costly repairs later down the line Health concerns: Mold spores can trigger allergies and respiratory problems for vulnerable individuals 

    Carpenter Ants: The Hidden Enemy of Siding in Portland & Vancouver

    Both Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, boast beautiful homes, but they also share a common threat: carpenter ants. These industrious insects aren’t just a nuisance; they pose a significant danger to your siding, especially if it’s made of wood. Here’s why you should take their presence seriously:

    1. Master Excavators:

     Unlike termites, which target decaying wood, carpenter ants tunnel through healthy wood to create nests. This includes the wooden components of your siding, such as fascia, soffits, and trim. Their excavations weaken the structure, leaving it vulnerable to further damage from weather and other pests.

    2. Moisture Magnets:

     While carpenter ants don’t necessarily eat wood, they require moist environments for their nests. Leaks, poor drainage, or condensation around your siding can attract them, turning your home into their unwanted resort. Once established, they can further contribute to moisture problems by creating channels that allow water to seep in.

    3. Hidden Destruction:

    Unlike termites, which leave visible signs of damage, carpenter ants often work deep within the wood, making detection difficult. By the time you see them crawling around, significant damage might already be done, leading to costly repairs and replacements.

    4. Spreading the Threat:

     As a colony expands, they create satellite nests in different parts of your home, including other wooden structures like decks, fences, and even interior framing. This can amplify the damage and become a bigger problem to tackle.

    5. Beyond Siding:

     While siding is a major target, their presence can also indicate moisture issues affecting other areas of your home, potentially leading to hidden mold or structural problems.

    Protecting Your Home:

    Regular inspections: Look for signs of ant activity like sawdust piles, discarded wings, or actual sightings around your siding and other wooden structures.

    Address moisture issues: Eliminate leaks, ensure proper drainage, and improve ventilation around your home to create an unfavorable environment for ants.

    Seal entry points: Caulk gaps around windows, doors, and utility lines to prevent them from entering your home.

    Professional help: If you suspect an infestation, seek help from a licensed pest control professional for effective treatment and prevention strategies.

    Remember: Ignoring carpenter ants can lead to extensive damage and expensive repairs. By being proactive and taking necessary steps, you can shield your Portland or Vancouver home from these destructive insects and keep your siding secure.

    Termites and they are everywhere!

    Termites pose a significant threat to siding in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, due to their relentless appetite for wood, especially considering the common use of wood elements in siding in these areas. Here’s why they’re so dangerous:

    1. Wood Devourers: Unlike carpenter ants that excavate, termites consume wood, breaking down cellulose, a key component, as their primary food source. This includes various types of wood siding – cedar, pine, and even treated lumber – making them a silent enemy slowly weakening your home’s exterior.

    2. Hidden Menace: Termites operate out of sight, typically within the wood itself, making early detection challenging. By the time visible damage appears, like crumbling wood or sagging structures, the infestation might be extensive, requiring significant repairs and replacements.

    3. Subterranean Threat: In Pacific Northwest regions like Portland and Vancouver, subterranean termites are the primary concern. They build underground nests and create mud tubes that extend up foundations and into wooden structures like your siding, allowing them to access and consume the wood undetected.

    4. Moisture Magnets: While not directly attracted to moisture, moist wood is more susceptible to termite attacks. Poor drainage, leaking plumbing, or condensation around your siding can create an ideal environment for these destructive insects.

    5. Spreading Destruction: Termite colonies are large and constantly expanding. If left unchecked, they can move within walls, floors, and ceilings, causing widespread damage that goes beyond just your siding, impacting the structural integrity of your entire home.

      Protecting Your Home:

        • Regular inspections: Schedule annual inspections by a qualified pest control professional to identify early signs of termite activity.
        • Moisture control: Address any moisture issues around your foundation and siding to eliminate attractive conditions for termites.
        • Barrier installation: Consider installing a professional termite barrier around your home’s perimeter to create a physical barrier against subterranean invaders.
        • Wood treatments: Utilize treated lumber for vulnerable areas like crawl spaces and siding replacements, as these have built-in termite resistance.
        • Professional intervention: If you suspect termite activity, don’t wait. Contact a licensed pest control professional immediately for effective treatment and prevention strategies.

      Why Choose James Hardie Fiber Cement for Ultimate Protection:

      James Hardie siding is engineered for resilience against the elements and specifically resistant to mold and fungus growth. Its durable fiber cement composition ensures lasting beauty and performance – making it a smart investment for your home. Here are just a few reasons why:

      Engineered for the Pacific Northwest: James Hardie siding is rigorously tested and proven to withstand our region specific weather conditions, including moisture and humidity 

      Mold and fungus resistant: The unique composition of the siding creates a naturally inhospitable environment for these unwanted growths 

      Low maintenance: Enjoy a beautiful exterior with minimal upkeep – James Hardie requires minimal cleaning and retains its color vibrancy for decades 

      Durable and Impact Resistant: Protect your home from hailstorms and other weather events with this tough and long lasting siding material.

      Enhanced curb appeal: Choose from a wide range of styles and colors to create a stunning and modern exterior for your home

      Elite Home Exteriors NW is not just another siding contractor – we are James Hardie Certified Preferred Contractors, which means we have the expertise and experience to deliver exceptional results. 

      Expert Installation: Our skilled and certified technicians ensure your James Hardie siding is installed flawlessly for optimal performance and beauty 

      Comprehensive Service: From initial consultation to project completion, we handle everything – you just relax and enjoy your 

      Transformed Home Peace of mind: We provide industry leading warranties for both materials and labor – giving you complete confidence in your investment

      Ready to reclaim your home from mold and fungus and embrace the beauty and benefits of James Hardie siding with Elite Home Exteriors NW on your side?.

      Contact us today for a free consultation and quote – let us help you create a home that is beautiful, durable and healthy for you and your loved ones.

      See what homeowners are saying about our work!

      Colleen Hass
      Colleen Hass
      Choose this company for you siding, you won't be sorry! The owner Ian, is far and above best contractor I have ever worked with. Excels at communication, follow up and explains everything in a friendly non-pressure way. I interviewed three other contractors, before settling on Elite. I knew I would be in good hands for this huge investment with Ian as he was genuine and sincere about providing the best result. Both the siding and the paint crew are top notch professionals, with a great work ethic and attention to detail, they are Hardie trained so you can be sure the installation was done to the highest standard and it shows! We went from ugly worn out 20 year vinyl to James Hardie siding, and the difference astounding, very very happy with what feels like a new house now.
      Colton O’Neill
      Colton O’Neill
      Ian is extremely knowledgeable at his craft. He was so patient with all of our questions and concerns. We felt so comfortable from the moment we met him. We met with a few other companies to do our due diligence but Ian was the clear choice.
      Adam Tuck
      Adam Tuck
      My home has a fairly complex exterior, and we were looking to re-side the home as we were dealing with constant issues of water intrusion. I was searching the greater Portland/Vancouver area for Siding Contractors for Hardie Siding, as we really just wanted something that would hold up against the elements and protect us in the case of any nearby fires (we’re close to some woods). After meeting Ian from Elite Home Exteriors, we decided to go with him and we couldn’t have been happier that we decided to go with him as out Siding Contractor. We had additional problems from the water damage too, and the folks he recommended were also top notch. Ian and team are a James Hardie Elite Preferred Siding Contractor, which means basically that he’s passed the highest certification for installing James Hardie siding products. I would work with him again, but based on his fit and finish, I probably won’t need to! Thanks Ian!
      D Gray (DGray)
      D Gray (DGray)
      Working with Ian and his company was an absolute pleasure. I currently own 2 homes and have had 3 previous houses, so I’ve had experience with many contractors over the last 20 years and most are not good. My husband and I had a water intrusion issue (undisclosed to us during a house purchase) that we subsequently discovered for ourselves 6 months later in the rainy season. After meeting with many contactors to figure out how to execute the repair, we decided that their prices were outrageous even for just a patch job and we decided to do the right thing and replace all the wood siding with Hardie plank. My husband found Ian online, and we met with him. He is excellent at communication, through emails/text and/or phone calls. He was always pleasant to meet with and didn’t talk to me as if I was a dumb homeowner, which happens quite a bit in this industry. He was happy to answer all my questions and work with us on a documented design for adding architectural details so there was no questions on how the job would look. He and his crew were always punctual and professional. They finished the job ahead of schedule and did everything promised. Honestly, the water intrusion situation was very stressful, but Ian made it a pleasure to get resolved. I am so happy that we went with him and have had excellent results. My high-strung HOA was even happy about his work and gave us a compliment. I wholeheartedly recommend him, and I would be happy to talk to anyone wanting a reference about our pleasant experience. It isn’t every day that such a huge job is completed with such ease and professionalism. I 100% recommend working with Ian and Elite Home Exteriors NW – you won’t be disappointed!
      roxanne sutton
      roxanne sutton
      The South wall of the house had rot and cut siding from a previous connected wood deck. Ian was a pleasure to work with and a consummate professional from start to finish. He answered detailed questions, gave me several options to fit within my budget. Ian communicated with me throughout the process, and was accommodating when I requested more detail, or a change during planning phase. His crew shows up on schedule, were friendly and courteous of my property, and cleaned up thoroughly before leaving. The job was completed quickly and within budget. The new siding and paint is an asset to this house and exceeds my expectations. I enjoyed working with Ian, and would recommend Elite Home Exteriors NW to anyone considering a siding update for their home.
      Justin Acciavatti
      Justin Acciavatti
      Glad I hired Ian and his team to replace siding on the south-facing side of my house. Communication with Ian throughout project was as good as any contractor I've worked with. The work was done well, went smoothly, just what you want. Also glad to see them not show up in expensive vehicle wrapped graphics, etc that the customer pays for. I'll have more siding to do on my house and will hire them again.
      Lori Clark
      Lori Clark
      Great communication by the company. The workers are skilled, arrived on time, and they are very friendly. We love the work they did on our house. The new siding makes our older home look like a new house!
      Keith Belshaw
      Keith Belshaw
      I chose to contract the team at Elite Home Exteriors NW to replace my siding as they had a fair price and provided a detail guide of materials, process and standards. They exceeded my expectations by finishing work early, were quick to communicate, did a fantastic job of replacing the siding and the team that did the install were friendly and helpful. I would solidly recommend Elite Home Exteriors!
      Brendan Greenen
      Brendan Greenen
      Elite Home Exteriors NW did an outstanding job on re-siding our home. From the initial survey and quote, to scheduling and completing the work, they were extremely transparent, communicative and professional! Very happy with our new siding and paint for our home!
      Kosal Sam
      Kosal Sam
      Ian and his team done a fantastic job. We resided our home with new siding and exterior paint. We are very happy of the outcome of their work. They did a great job!

      Get a Free Estimate on Your Siding Replacement today!