If your home’s exterior is damaged, or if it’s just finally to the point where it’s really seen some better days, replacing the siding is a decision you really shouldn’t put off. Siding is much more than a decorating covering. Siding which does its job properly should serve as an important frontline layer of protection, effectively shielding your home from precipitation, moisture infiltration, temperature extremes, pests, and other threats. Based just upon this checklist, how’s your current siding performing for you now? Probably not nearly well enough!
In planning for your siding replacement, one of the next most important decisions is to choose which siding material you want to go with. You could go with wood, but wood requires a significant amount of regular maintenance. Aluminum is a relatively inexpensive option which is more durable than wood, but it’s also fairly easy to dent, and will still require refinishing every 15 years or so. Vinyl is also inexpensive and durable and is a material which doesn’t require repainting or refinishing. That’s probably why vinyl has become the most popular siding material in America!
There are many reasons why vinyl is popular, but don’t take that to mean that vinyl is the best siding material. It isn’t. If you’re looking for a siding covering that’s truly durable, long-lasting, eco-friendly, and offers a really beautiful texture and look – it’s time to give some consideration to fiber cement! For starters, fiber cement is comprised of a mixture of simple, yet extremely effective ingredients: Portland cement (that’s where the cement part comes in), sand, water, and cellulose fibers. How much of each, and in what percentages, will depend upon the fiber cement manufacturer and its intended applications. While fiber cement siding is more expensive than vinyl, it’s still less expensive than hardboard, composite siding, synthetic stucco, or brick. Plus, fiber cement is actually a pretty cost-effective material option when you consider how many decades of reliable coverage and protection it offers.
In case you’re not all that familiar with fiber cement, it’s actually a product that’s been around for nearly a century. One reason you may not hear a whole about fiber cement siding a whole lot is because it’s simply so long-lasting that it rarely ever needs replacing! So, what makes fiber cement so great, exactly? Below are a few specific features and advantages which are worth noting:
How a siding really performs in terms of its ability to protect your home is really the first thing you should consider when choosing a material. And when it comes to weather extremes like sun, wind, temperature swings, and all forms of precipitation, nothing really outperforms fiber cement. It’s more rugged and more impact-resistant than vinyl or other materials, which is why fiber cement is seen as a preferred choice in areas which are more prone to severe storm events.
Fiber cement is simply more resistant to flames or heat threats than other siding materials. Fiber cement doesn’t burn, and it also doesn’t melt when exposed to extreme heat. You really can’t say the same for either wood or vinyl siding.
Fiber cement doesn’t rot, so it won’t attract mold and mildew. It resists pest infestations in other ways, too. Wood is a primary food source for termites, but thanks to the composition of fiber cement it doesn’t attract termites at all. In fact, fiber cement isn’t susceptible to vermin or other pests, either. Essentially, no critters will be able to find suitable habitation in a fiber cement product.
Fiber cement holds its colors and finish really well. It may require an occasional retouch, but that’s really about it. Fiber cement doesn’t require the same attention or regularity of cleaning as other materials like vinyl. Most dirt and debris can be removed with nothing more than a garden hose and a sponge or cloth – pressure washing and harsh chemicals really aren’t needed. In fact, neither pressure washing nor harsh chemicals are really recommended for siding products at all!
At the end of the day, we know that looks matter when it comes to siding, as well. And while there’s a lot to like about the versatility of vinyl, it also leaves something lacking in the looks department. While vinyl can be made to mimic the look of wood or other materials, at the end of the day you can usually still tell that it’s vinyl. Fiber cement, on the other hand, delivers at a whole different level where aesthetics are concerned. It can actually be engineered to look so much like natural wood (for example), that it’s often mistaken for the real thing! Fiber cement offers many texture and color possibilities; not only can it replicate the real look of wood grain, and it can effectively replicate the look of other materials (like stucco, for example), too. And fiber cement can deliver that realistic appearance at a much better price point.
Want to shrink your carbon footprint? Concerned about your ecological footprint in general? Fiber cement is made from cement, sand, recycled wood fibers, and water. What that means is that the materials needed to produce fiber cement are much more sustainable than the petroleum products used to fabricate vinyl. Fiber cement is also an eco-friendly choice due to the fact that it’s so long-lasting! The less often you need to replace your siding, the fewer of Earth’s resources you’ll end up using.
One of fiber cement’s biggest advantages is the fact that it demonstrates the longest lifespan of any popular siding material. Fiber cement is engineered to last 50 years or longer – something that can’t be said of wood or vinyl. Thanks to its rugged durability, fiber cement is a truly cost-effective material that’s worth considering as a siding material solution.
Sure, there are other manufacturers out there which produce fiber cement siding, but the best fiber cement products in the U.S. come from James Hardie. James Hardie has worked to earn the title of most trusted fiber cement siding brand in America, and they’ve actually been around for more than 130 years. Skywalker Windows & Siding is proud to install James Hardie products for our customers in both NC & VA, and we offer the full array of Hardie fiber cement siding products. We can install everything from HardiePlank Lap Siding, to HardieShingle Siding, to HardiePanel Vertical Siding, to HardieTrim Boards, to HardieSoffit Panels, to James Hardie’s exclusive Artisan Collection of luxury fiber cement siding products.
While choosing the right siding material is certainly important, choosing the right local contractor you can trust to install it may be the most important decision you can make. Skywalker has all the tools, training, and experience to take care of your siding project with excellence, and we’ll take good care of you in the process. Fiber cement is a fantastic material choice, but we recognize that it isn’t the cheapest. That’s why we partner with preferred lenders to offer you the best available financing plans, too. We’re here to help you make the best siding solution an affordable reality for you!
Skywalker is one of the highest-rated, most-awarded siding contractors serving the NC Piedmont Triad, Piedmont Triangle, Charlotte Metro & Lake Norman region, and Roanoke, VA area. In addition, we’d be more than happy to come out and provide you with a FREE on-site inspection and personal consultation. Connect with us today, and experience the Skywalker difference for yourself!
Luke Wilson started working on roofs with his dad when he was a teenager, and eventually launched Skywalker Roofing in 2003. Skywalker operates in 5 locations across NC & VA, and now includes windows, siding, and other exterior services. Luke also hosts the popular Roofing Mythbusters series on YouTube.
301 South Elm Streen, Ste 523, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA Call us at +1 (336) 850-0027
555 Fayetteville St, Suite 201, Raleigh, NC 27601, USA Call us at +1 (919) 800-0496
257 Ram Loop Stokesdale, NC 27357, USA Call us at +1 (336) 627-5596
1518 Carlisle Ave SE, Roanoke, VA 24014, USA
Call us at +1 (540) 212-7255
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