Your home's siding is an important part of the exterior of your house: it protects against moisture and environmental damage, and is also a massive part of the exterior appearance of the building. However, over time constant exposure to the elements and general age can cause your siding to degrade in quality. Understanding the warning signs with failing siding can help you determine when the best time to replace it is.
Cracks and Physical Damage
The best sign that your siding is overdue for a replacement is if you notice that the siding itself is physically cracking or otherwise damaged in any capacity. This can happen normally with age, but it is also common in the aftermath of a storm or natural disaster in which physical debris is flung against your house. Any opening in your siding can open up the interior of your home to water damage and mold growth, and should be replaced or repaired immediately.
While it may seem like nothing more than a superficial concern, if the color of your siding has become extremely faded and almost looks like it has been bleached, your siding is likely nearing the end of its lifespan. This fading happens over time normally, but points to structural degradation and brittleness of your siding that can make physical damage much more likely. Repainting may hide the signs of damage and wear, but it won't change the structure. You'll have to replace your siding as soon as possible.
Interior Peeling Paint
If you notice that the wallpaper or paint on an exterior wall of your home has either begun to peel or bubble away from the wall, or has otherwise become discolored, you may want to inspect your siding (or have it professionally examined for best results). This damage to interior wallpaper and paint points to water damage, which, as mentioned in the first point, can occur when there is structural damage to your siding. Such damage can be hard to determine on your own sometimes, so a professional inspection is the best way to find the leak.
Increased Energy Bills
Finally, one of the less clear indications that you need to replace your siding is if you notice that your energy bills have been steadily climbing despite no change in your heating or cooling habits. This is because aged siding may have trouble preventing heat exchange between the outdoors and the interior of your home. However, this can also be an issue with your central heating and cooling unit, or your roof, so be sure to check for any of the above three signs before you assign blame to your siding.
If you need to have your siding replaced, contact a professional for help with the siding installation.