Siding is one of the best ways to protect your home against the elements and keep it well-insulated. In addition, siding can enhance the beauty of your home’s exterior, while minimizing the amount of time and money that you will need to invest in property maintenance – if you choose the right material.
Unfortunately, many homeowners struggle to differentiate between the different options available to them. Which type of siding is actually “maintenance free”? How will the material hold up in the years to come? And what other considerations should be made? The answers to these, and many other common questions can be found in this simple guide to choosing attractive, maintenance free siding for your home.
What is “maintenance free siding”, anyway?When we talk about maintenance free siding, what do we really mean? There are many homeowners who are under the impression that siding is, in and of itself, a virtually maintenance free material. All siding requires a little bit of TLC, like a regular cleaning, in order to continue looking good. What we are referring to is the overall permanence of the siding and there are definitely some siding materials that are more durable and resistant than others. In terms of the overall sustainability of siding, it’s important to consider factors like:
- Weather resistance – In the St. Louis area, we experience it all – wind, rain, hail, snow, heat, humidity, freeze/thaw, and more. The best siding materials will experience minimal expansion and contraction during temperature fluctuations, can withstand very strong winds, and will have the ability to resist warming, rotting, and de-lamination, despite the degree of moisture outside.
- Thickness and strength – The thicker the material is, the more resistant it will be to damage, and the better insulated your home will be.
- Fire ratings – It’s important to choose a non-combustible material that will not warp or melt when exposed to high temperatures.
- Fade resistance – Taking the time to select a siding that is resistant to fading will save you the trouble of finding replacement panels, or re-painting.
Which siding materials require the least maintenance?Now that you know the definition of maintenance free siding, the next step is to find siding materials that will fit the bill. All siding solutions will vary in the amount of maintenance that is required, but here’s a look at how long you can generally expect some of the best materials to last:
- 30+ years – Stone veneer siding is highly durable and long-lasting, when installed correctly. Impervious to weathering and pests, and non-combustible. Although more expensive initially, this option requires very little maintenance, and can last the life of the home.
- 15-30 years – With proper care, fiber cement siding and premium grades of vinyl siding will resist fading, weathering, and damage for decades. Again, installation plays a role in necessary maintenance; caulking is probably the biggest maintenance issue. There are certain types of caulk and applications that can make caulking a non-issue.
- 15 years or less – Lower cost siding options, like cheap grades of vinyl or aluminum, will likely require repairs, maintenance, or replacement by the time you hit the 15 year benchmark. These may also sustain damage during times of inclement weather.
There are many advantages to fiberglass vs. vinyl windows. Not only are they durable and strong, but they also require a nominal amount of maintenance
James Hardie siding was created and proven effective in harsh climates for decades. It is an environmentally friendly cement fiberboard siding that has grown to