Sometimes I wonder if it would be cheaper to install a giant retractable umbrella over the entire house rather than deal with the incessant threat of water damage. If your home is partially or fully covered in wood, aluminum or vinyl siding, water can sneak past damaged sections, leading to rot, insect invasions and interior damage. Spot repairs to individual panels of siding usually won't cost more than a couple of hundred dollars, but a full-on replacement of your entire square footage can run on average $10,000 [source: HomeAdvisor].
To protect yourself, do a thorough walk-around of your house every six months, looking for cracks or holes in the siding, plus missing or damaged caulking around windows and doors. Also ensure that all tree branches are a few feet away from the side of the home [source: Kirchheimer]. Nothing can rip off a piece of siding like a storm-tossed branch. Wood siding is much more susceptible to rot and insect damage than aluminum or vinyl, so look closely for pealed paint and pockmarked sections. When you replace a section of siding, first lay down some waterproof polyethylene paper like Tyvek to prevent future leaks.