According to the National Park Service, “A historic building is a product of the cultural heritage of its region, the technology of its period, the skill of its builders, and the materials used for its construction.”
1. How do I know if my siding needs to be repaired or replaced?
Historic siding was designed to last so generally you will be able to replace or repair a single board or section as opposed to the whole system. The National Parks Service has four steps to go though that apply to siding materials. First, you should identify and preserve those materials and features that are important in defining a building’s historic character. Second, undertake routine maintenance on historic materials and features. Third, repair historic materials and features. And finally, replace severely damaged or deteriorated historic materials and features in kind. As with all preservation of materials, repair before you replace!
2. What materials are appropriate?
Using the original materials should always be the first choice so as to not compromise the integrity of the building character. The main concern is that by using a different material the effect with be different, the texture of the building changed, and the small important details lost. The supplemental article for this section discusses in further detail the implications of using subsitute materials.