One of the most improvements or repairs which can improve the image, the appearance and in the same time to increase the value of our home is the house siding. Siding or cladding is the outer covering of a house.
Siding protects the house against the effects of weather and in the same time is a key element in the aesthetic aspect of the house.
House siding materials have varied over the years, and in our days we could find: wood siding, aluminum siding, asbestos, vinyl siding, hardboard composite, fiberglass, cement fiber siding.
Asbestos siding proved to be unhealthy and is not used anymore.
Hardboard composite and fiberglass siding have been replaced, in the last years with vinyl and cement fiber siding.
We can find siding in four main categories: Horizontal Boards or Vertical Boards (weatherboarding), Shingles and Sheet Materials.
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1. Wood Siding: Wood siding with horizontal rows is called clapboard, and is the oldest type of house siding. It’s beautiful, traditional and we can see its beauty on historic houses.
Homeowners which owned a home with wooden siding for long period of time, have probably had the experience of regular maintenance and painting and sometime of replacing. Unfortunately when we replace the clapboard we replace with vinyl or aluminum siding, loosing the charm of the house.
Long time ago, eastern white pine was the most common material, but we can find clapboard from weather resistant woods such as redwood or cedar.
The horizontal boards can be ship lapped jointed. The vertical boards can have a cover over the joint (board and batten) or behind the joint (batten and board).
Sometime is used plywood sheet siding not a very good solution but one cheaper.
The big advantage of a wood siding is aesthetic effect. There are so many styles, textures and finishes of wood siding with a stunning aesthetic effect.
Although is easy to repair a wood siding, installation is pretty difficult. We don’t have to forget wood siding can be damaged by insects or rot. They require more maintenance than other popular solutions. We can paint or stain (which require a lower maintenance) the wood siding.
2. Aluminum Siding: An ideal alternative to wood siding. We can find the aluminum siding in strips with holes at the top for fastening in the walls. There are two kinds of aluminum siding: horizontal and vertical panels, but many prefinished colors. There are not expensive, maybe only coated aluminum siding could be more expensive. Of course, this kind of siding doesn’t require a high maintenance, they can last more than 35 years.
3. Metal Siding: Metal siding comes in a large variety of metals and colors. In fact they are used more for industrial or commercial buildings. We can find corrugated galvanized steel siding, copper cladding. In contrast to aluminum steel isn’t corrosion resistant and it forms rust but its great advantage is its resistance to dent which makes it very fit for windy regions.
But there are a lot of disadvantages: Plastic (vinyl) is very sensitive to heat (barbecues), it doesn’t provide thermo-insulation (we need foam material), it is also sensitive to cold weather or to impact (cracks) and it isn’t an eco-friendly material like wood.
Although is coming in a large variety of colors vinyl siding is not such attractive like wood or aluminum siding. However vinyl siding, like aluminum siding comes in stripes and has holes at the top fastening into walls. Specific it is the joint (zip tool).
Very low in maintenance, only the cracked section needs to be repaired or replaced.
5. Cement Fiber Siding: Cement fiber siding is the last development in home siding. Its great qualities are: durability, very low maintenance, aesthetic and one of the most important things, it is eco friendly material.
Even from a close distance we can make a difference between wood siding and cement fiber siding. The maintenance is practically zero and its life is over 50 years. The only thing in minus is the price.