We want to answer your questions on vinyl siding, insulated siding, fiber cement siding, and cedar siding. Read on to learn all you ever wanted to know about siding!
Vinyl siding was introduced in the 1950's as an alternative to aluminum siding. It is the most frequently used siding option in the United States today. Vinyl siding consists of two layers, the top layer or capstock and a second layer known as the substrate. These layers primarily consist of polyvinyl chloride and resin. The top layer uses a titanium dioxide for both coloration and protection against UV light damage. The second layer contains limestone to facilitate the manufacturing process and decrease costs. Vinyl siding available in a variety of colors and can mimic architectural details that were once made of other siding materials.
Vinyl siding requires little if any maintenance, never needs to be painted, and if damaged can be easily replaced. To maintain a fresh appearance vinyl siding should be washed at least once a year.
Vinyl siding is manufactured to last a very long time. Warranties for vinyl siding can range from 20-40 years depending on the thickness with many manufacturers now offering lifetime warranties that can be transferred to the next owner. Vinyl siding is resistant to heat, cold, and moisture and is certified to withstand winds up to 110 miles per hour.
Vinyl siding is the most affordable siding option on the market. The value added advantages of vinyl include its low total installed cost - lower than all other materials because vinyl siding goes up faster and doesn't need painting. Also, on average, homeowners who remodel with vinyl will recoup nearly 80% on the cost of the installation thus increasing the value of the home.
Insulated siding is essentially vinyl siding with rigid foam insulation that is laminated or permanently attached to the panel. Insulated siding is installed on the exterior of a structure and helps reduce energy loss through framing or other building materials.
Described by developers as "green building", insulated siding may be used to make homes more environmentally friendly. By reducing energy consumption, insulated siding can reduce air pollution. According to manufacturers, insulated siding is manufactured to last more than 50 years potentially reducing landfill contributions. Some products also include an organic, non-toxic termite and insect repellent. In addition to reducing energy consumption insulated siding is breathable, allowing water vapor to escape, which can provide protection against mold, rot and mildew and help maintain healthy indoor air quality.
Not all insulated vinyl siding is created equal. The higher the insulated vinyl siding grade, the more colors, styles and options are available. However, the key driver in determining the price of the siding is still the size of the home. On average, insulated vinyl siding will cost 20-30% more per square foot than traditional vinyl siding.
Insulated vinyl siding is manufactured to withstand harsh weather conditions and will not buckle under impact of any sort very easily. The rigid foam laminated on the back of the panels allow insulated siding to be set symmetrically which helps the panels not cave in at the joints. Much the same as traditional vinyl siding, insulated siding requires little if any maintenance and never needs painting.
Fiber cement siding is made from cement, wood fiber (cellulose), sand and other components. Fiber cement siding can be manufactured to have the realistic appearance of wood, stucco or masonry. In appearance, fiber cement siding most often consists of overlapping horizontal boards imitating wooden siding, clapboard and shingles.
Fiber cement siding is said to be more durable than wood, but does require some maintenance. It is termite resistant, water resistant, non-combustible and can be warranted for as long as 50 years. Some fiber cement siding may be required to be painted every 4-5 years depending on the top coat applied.
Fiber cement is known as a sustainable or green alternative to traditional vinyl or aluminum siding. With its overall durability and low maintenance requirements fiber cement siding offers little if any waste. Also some manufacturers are now using fiber cement siding made from recycled materials. Is fiber cement siding appropriate for all climates? Manufacturers emphasize that fiber cement is appropriate for all climates. Fiber cement siding is water and rot resistant making it ideal for hot and humid climates. It also has excellent weathering characteristics, strength and impact resistance making it a great choice for more harsh climates.
Cedar siding is simply siding cut from (most commonly) the Western Red Cedar. Cedar siding features great dimensional stability, which allows it retain its shape while also taking to nailing and staining well. Western Cedar will help keep warmth during the winter months and keep interiors cool during the summer.
Cedar siding is considered as having a mid to high range cost. Since there is maintenance required with cedar siding that should also be taken in to account when determining the overall cost.
Cedar siding endures the elements well and if maintained properly can last many years. Some manufacturers offer warranties of 25 years or more. Cedar is classified as a durable species. The proper application of a finish coat will allow cedar siding to last for decades. As with all wood, avoid having the cedar siding touch the ground as this can shorten the life span of cedar.
Cedar siding definitely requires maintenance. It is recommended that cedar siding be washed with a low pressure washer to remove cob webs, dust and other dirt particles. Cedar siding also requires staining every few years. There will be no difficulty in determining when its to re-stain. How well the siding has weathered the elements determines how often to re-stain. The most damaging element to cedar siding is moisture. It is recommended that you inspect the siding regularly and make any minor repairs to help prevent moisture damage.