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Siding doesn’t just get side billing; it’s really an essential feature of any home or business exterior. Siding does more than just add aesthetic appeal; it’s an important front-line layer of protection, and it works as an insulator to help keep your building more comfortable.
Over many seasons of service, however, the years will take their toll on even the best of siding materials. 1 Corinthians 13:13 reminds us that only three things last forever – faith, hope, and love. Unfortunately, siding isn’t one of the things that makes it onto Paul’s list. But if you’re looking for a durable siding material that really stands the test of time, don’t lose faith; all hope is not lost! Some materials endure the challenges of weather, pests, and other potential threats better than others.
Let’s take a quick look at some popular categories of siding and make note of what you can anticipate in terms of their expected lifespan:
Aluminum is one of the most inexpensive siding materials on the market and is actually more durable than some people assume. However, it is a soft metal, which makes it more prone to scratches, pits, and dents. And while the metal itself can last for decades, the enamel which covers it probably won’t. Aluminum siding needs to be repainted or refinished every 15 years or so.
Wood is one of the oldest siding materials around and can also be one of the most beautiful. Wood siding can also last for decades if it’s treated and maintained properly. To that end, wood is one of the highest-maintenance siding materials. It needs refinishing about every 5 years, including both staining or repainting as well as caulking and resealing. Wood must also be regularly inspected for threat of damage from rot, mold, and pests. Any damaged wood that is found will need to be replaced promptly.
Steel is a more expensive metal than aluminum, but it’s also considerably stronger and more resilient. Galvalume steel is even longer-lasting than traditional galvanized steel. Another plus to modern steel siding? The colors and finish are infused into the metal during the fabrication process, making steel siding a durable, low-maintenance option.
Are you a stucco bucko? Stucco is another siding material that can be quite long-lasting, with an expected lifespan of anywhere from 50 to 80 years, depending on the method of installation. However, stucco is also a material which requires an ongoing schedule of maintenance to keep it well-sealed and looking nice. If you go the stucco route, just know that regular repainting and re-caulking will be required.
You’re probably already aware that vinyl is the most popular exterior siding choice in America. What makes vinyl so popular? It combines lasting performance and low maintenance with some nice options in terms of color and textural appearance. Vinyl also offers better insulation performance than many materials, and is one of the most cost-effective siding options. With just basic care and maintenance, a good quality vinyl can last generations.
Along with vinyl, fiber cement has become another very popular siding choice for U.S. homes and businesses. While vinyl can be designed to mimic other materials, in many cases you can still tell that it’s vinyl. The depth and texture of fiber cement, on the other hand, allows it to be made to look so much like wood (or other materials) that you honestly can’t tell the difference! Fiber cement does require occasional repainting or refinishing, but it’s also an incredibly durable material. With proper installation and maintenance, you may never need to replace your fiber cement siding.
Time eventually take its toll on everything; here are some factors that can degrade the look and performance of your siding:
Just because you find a siding material you like, doesn’t mean that all products in that category are made with the best available materials. Sometimes it could just be the quality of the material itself, or sometimes people see premature siding failure because they haven’t chosen the best type of siding for their particular home and climate location.
Proper upkeep can extend the life of pretty much any siding material, while neglect will almost certainly shorten its lifespan. Even low-maintenance vinyl requires occasional cleaning and inspection.
This one should come as a surprise to no one. All it takes is one strong storm to do some damage; no siding is completely nature-proof. Once any damage occurs, moisture and pests can then infiltrate over time, and continue to do even more damage.
Here’s a factor that many people actually miss. In many cases, premature siding failure isn’t due to any particular problem with the material itself; rather, it’s due to improper installation in the first place! Even the best-quality siding will eventually fail if it isn’t installed properly. The best way to prevent this dilemma? Hire a licensed, certified, and insured professional installer to ensure the right level of workmanship.
While there are many material options available when it comes to choosing your siding replacement, vinyl siding and fiber cement are two materials that are hard to beat in terms of cost-effectiveness, beauty, and durability. Skywalker Windows & Siding are preferred providers of quality vinyl siding products from Norandex. We also offer some great fiber cement products from James Hardie, a name that has become synonymous with quality fiber cement siding.
Considering some other siding materials? Reach out to the trained team of professionals at Skywalker. No matter what kind of siding material you’re interested in, Skywalker can work with you to help you find your perfect siding solution!
We’re one of the highest-rated, most-awarded contractors serving the NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Charlotte Metro, and Roanoke, VA areas. More importantly, NO ONE beats our level of professionalism, workmanship, and personalized customer service!
Reach out to us today at (336) 265-9595, and let us show you the Skywalker difference!
Book your appointment now & get a free Estimate.