The exterior of your house takes a lot of beating from various outdoor elements, such as heavy sunlight, rain, snow, as well as fallen tree branches and other debris. It therefore serves an important role in preserving your house’s overall structural integrity. You need to be careful when choosing your siding, particularly the material it is made of.To help you get familiar with the many different kinds of siding material, here are some examples as well as the main features of each so you can get to the best purchase decision.
Types of Siding
Fiber Cement. Next in the running is fiber-cement, which makes very good use of a variety of materials such as wood, clay, sand, and good ol’ Portland cement. All together, this material makes for a ruggedly durable siding that is also weather-resistant and low maintenance, and can even last a solid 30 years. It’s actually versatile in appearance too because it can be painted to mimic the appearance of wood, another popular siding choice.
Because of its resistance to thermal expansion and contraction, you don’t have to worry about it suffering from wear and tear easily. This also means it is much more effective in adhering paint and caulk onto its surface. You’ll need to account for the labor cost too, though, since fiber cement is a heavy material and would need proper installation. This is also not the kind of siding material that you can retrofit. You’ll need a complete removal of the older one before you can put this on.
Metal. Steel and aluminum are also great choices for siding material. Among their biggest features is versatility in appearance. They can be ordered in various prefinished colors as well as styles and can even be made to mimic other materials. In addition, metal sheets are lightweight materials, which make it very easy to install.
Despite metal’s heaviness, however, you can rest assured that it is strong and resilient enough to provide protection and stability to your house structure. They also come with baked-on paint enamel finishes, thereby removing the need for regular repainting. The downside to a metal siding, however, is that it could be dented and scratched up. It’s also not advisable to go for metal siding if you reside in an area that is particularly windy. If you should insist, at least make sure that it’s going to be installed securely so as to not risk it getting blown off by strong winds.
For its upkeep, just keep a keen eye out for rust and corrosion as these can creep up on it. Early signs should be easy enough to deal with; just scrape off the rust and then use a sealant to coat that area for prevention of any further damage. Painting over the metal sheet also provides additional protection, and should it chip or peel, simply re-paint over it.
Stucco. Stucco siding is much like Fiber-Cement in that it is composed of a mix of various elements. In this case, it includes Portland cement, water, sand, and lime. A major feature of stucco siding is that it is highly resistant to fire, and is also solid and durable, not to mention requires little maintenance.
There are two different kinds of stucco siding: traditional and modern. The traditional stucco type involves the application of the concrete mix over wood. The good thing about this is that it expands and contracts along with the weather, and so is not as easily prone to cracks and the general wear and tear. Because of its flexibility, the siding can last for up to an impressive 50 years.
Meanwhile, the modern type of stucco, more commonly known as Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) is Styrofoam-based. To apply, it is sprayed on the foam board insulation and fibreglass mesh base. While it meets the expected durability of a stucco material, this variety is a little less resilient than the traditional one, specifically when it comes to high impact damage, like a woodpecker or hail. It’s recommended that make preventions against a woodpecker coming into your property. Also, take note that stucco is highly porous, which means that there’s a high possibility that mold or tree leak sap will fester in them. Remove the stains, bleach the surface, and do some power wash to get the surface all clean.
Vinyl. It’s long been settled that vinyl is the best choice for siding material out there, and for a number of good reasons. For one, it is very resilient—it can withstand even high winds or extreme temperatures without losing its color or shape. This means that for its cost, it is a worthy investment, especially when you consider how simple it is to install and how easy it is to maintain.
One of vinyl’s foremost benefits is that it can be retrofitted over already existing siding, which means less hassle of having to strip the structure off the original. It’s also a huge benefit that the lifespan of a vinyl siding can reach anywhere from 30 to 50 years. Granted, of course, that it is given the right care and maintenance it deserves.
Vinyl siding upkeep is relatively simple; after all, this material is meant to be installed and then left alone. However, it also wouldn’t hurt to power wash it clean once a year, especially in between seasons. For drier seasons, you can simply use a broom or a blower to get rid of the debris.
Wood. There is a quietly sophisticated finish to wood siding, which is why it’s such a popular choice for homeowners across the country. Depending on your style and budget, you can choose wood from among a wide variety of grades and species. Of course, wood is very sturdy and reliable as a construction material, lasting up to an impressive several decades—even entire centuries–especially with proper care. It’s also a great benefit for contractors that wood is so versatile, easy to cut and shape, and needs only basic techniques for installation.
Speaking of care, this is the one thing you’ll need to seriously think about when using wood as siding, because it will need to be regularly maintained. This means re-painting or re-staining every 2 to 3 years. You can choose from various kinds of stains, such as opaque or actual paint. This will have a huge impact on the final appearance of the siding so do take care in making your choice. You wouldn’t want to throw off the whole aesthetic of your house just because you didn’t pick out the right siding color for the wood material.
Apart from keeping it clean for appearances, you should also keep a lookout for cracks and holes in the wood. This can lead to further damage, especially with moisture and insects coming in through it. Loose nails or sheathing, rotting elements, and growing mold or mildew are all possible issues with wood material too. These should be easily prevented however, with regular inspection and cleaning.
Speaking of colors, there are some techniques that could prove helpful in your decision-making process. Crucial to this part is asking the right questions about the kind of aesthetic you’d like to promote with your house. Especially because it can possibly affect the value of your property, don’t hesitate to give this matter serious thought.
One of the things you need to take into consideration is the kind of architecture of your home. This should not only dictate the color of material you’ll use, but the material itself. For example, if your house is cottage-style, then wood siding is the most fitting material for it. French chateau-styles can have a bit more liberty in mix and matching light colors. Colonial-type homes, meanwhile, are distinguished by their pristine white facade.
You can’t just randomly choose a siding color or base it on your preferences. You also should look at the climate of your area so that you can match or complement your siding to it. Professionals would tell you that the best way to choose the color is by seeing how it looks against the sunlight. Your goal should be to go for color that will make your house look brighter in the summer. This makes it seem a lot more inviting and pleasing to look at.
Roofing and Landscaping
The other elements that could affect the color of your siding are the roofing and landscaping style. Ideally, its color should complement that of the siding’s so as to deliver a cohesive look for the house. Dark-colored roofs usually work well with lighter siding color. If it’s neutral-colored, then that leaves you room for a lot more variety of options.
Regarding your landscaping, it could help in reaching a decision for the color by determining beforehand which complement each other. It would make for a much more appealing visual on the exterior of your house if the plants and flowers add to the welcoming mood to your property instead of giving it a feeling of being burdensome or cluttered. This should also be a great guide for you to plot and organize the kinds of plants and flowers you would put in your front yard for maximum aesthetic effect.
For your siding needs, it’s best that you consult with actual professionals and experts. You can rely on trusted and reputable shops like Muller Exteriors, Inc. Consult with them immediately so you can determine which one will fit your home best.
Siding: A Guide to the Options.HouseLogic.com.
How to Choose Siding Colors.BHG.com.