Siding typically gives a home its unique personality while protecting it from the elements. To select the right siding, homeowners should consider four things: appearance, durability, maintenance and cost. Wood siding appeals to the senses, but should you go with a more modern siding material like fiber cement siding that might require less upkeep? The truth is any type of siding, including wood or fiber cement, has its advantages and disadvantages.
Wood Siding Advantages
For some homeowners, wood siding is still the first choice for a home designed to blend into a natural habit. Even in urban centres, wood siding is used as a connection with nature and admired for its inherent organic properties. Especially today when more of us are trying to find ways to decrease our carbon footprint, wood siding is a sustainable option. Even when primed and sealed to protect it from the elements, it can be recycled.
Wood siding is esthetically pleasing for several reasons. The grain pattern of each piece of wood is unique, so no two are the same. It is very versatile because it can be shaped in many different styles and shapes. Wood siding like cedar shingles develops a silvery patina over time that adds to the appearance of a home.
When properly maintained, wood siding can last longer than vinyl or aluminum siding. In addition to its durability, it also provides extra insulation that can prevent heat loss in winter and help keep your home cool in summer.
Wood Siding Disadvantages
The biggest disadvantage to wood siding is its upkeep and vigilant maintenance. It is prone to decay and is vulnerable to insects and fire. Even primed and sealed wood siding can be susceptible to fungus, mold and mildew.
Fiber Cement Siding Advantages
Fiber cement is made by combining together a number of organic and recycled materials like sand, wood fibers and cement. It is exceptionally strong and very durable. While it tends to be more expensive than wood siding, it generally requires less maintenance. Should you wish to give your home a new look, fiber cement siding can easily be painted or stained.
Because it is a composite substance, it can have the look and feel of any type of real wood including cedar shingles or other types of siding such as brick and stone. Since it not real wood, it doesn’t rot or develop mildew or mold problems. It is also is not susceptible to termites and other insects and is fire-resistant.
Fiber Cement Disadvantages
Because it is hard and durable, it can be more difficult to install, shattering when dropped or improperly cut. While the siding material itself is very long-lasting, it does need to be painted as often as traditional wood siding (approximately once every five to seven years).