If your Portland siding shows signs of damage, such as cracking or warping, it is imperative to replace it as soon as possible. However, as siding contractors in Portland, we know that many homeowners are hesitant about scheduling exterior projects for the winter.

The answer is complex and depends largely on where you live. For the benefit of our customers in the Pacific Northwest, our Portland siding contractors have especially considered factors that might alter the general determining factors.

Benefits of Winter Installation

Your plants aren't actively growing during winter, so flowers won't be trampled, or leaves knocked off bushes. You also don't miss spending time on the deck, in the hot tub, or firing up the barbecue like you would in summer.

Siding contractors in Portland are less busy this season, which means you are likely to get more convenient scheduling, shorter turnaround times, and, quite possibly, a discount.

Downsides of Winter Installation

Severe cold and snow in some places result in problems such as debris being buried under snowfall crews slipping on ice.

However, Portland siding contractors rarely encounter such conditions, even in midwinter.

A downside of installing vinyl in summer or winter (as opposed to spring and fall) is that it expands in hot conditions and contracts when cold.

An inexperienced Portland siding contractor might install it too tightly in summer, leaving no ability to contract as ambient temperatures decrease. Conversely, vinyl siding installed in cold weather might not have room to expand and end up buckling.

Cold conditions also make vinyl prone to cracking. However, most of these issues are not a problem in the Portland area, and James Hardie fiber-cement siding is not prone to them. 

If fiber cement is installed by an experienced siding contractor in Portland who knows how to handle and cut it correctly, it will not experience any temperature-related problems.

The Effect of Local Conditions on Installation

Local conditions are the definitive factor in deciding whether it is a good time of year to install siding or not. Colorado winters, being cool and sunny, with most precipitation falling as snow, are often great for exterior projects.

A California or Florida winter is probably the busiest time of year for contractors in those states. But here in the Pacific Northwest, we have a particular phenomenon that can be the kiss of death for winter installation, at least if you want fiber cement: rain.

As any good siding contractor in Portland can tell you, cutting fiber cement to size generates dust.

If that dust mixes with water, you get what is essentially liquid cement. Should this harden on your panels, it will permanently disfigure them. Winter is the local peak time for rain, so we do not recommend homeowners replace Portland siding in the winter.

A mild winter could be a great time to install vinyl here, but moisture trapped beneath it will still result in rot.

Having said this, during El Niño years, local conditions are warmer and drier, so if December and January have been relatively dry, a February replacement may be safe.

Wrapping Up: Installing Siding in Winter

In many places, winter is an excellent time for exterior projects. However, the high rainfall during Portland area winters means it is not generally advisable locally.

As always – if in doubt, contact your local Portland siding contractor for advice!