2020 has been an eventful year, to say the least. Yet with all of the events that have unfolded, one has flown under the radar. Record-breaking weather patterns. 2020 will go down as the third hottest year in recorded history, a year that has included tens of thousands of new daily temperature records around the world. These weather patterns cause unforeseen consequences, such as new energy requirements for a home, or even costly damages. Depending on your geographic area, these recent weather trends could indicate you may actually need to consider replacing your siding for the energy savings alone (depending on SHGC, insulation, and air leakage ratings.) Either way, meteorologists predict these patterns could continue, which could have major repercussions on the health of your home and siding.
What Weather Does to Siding
Depending on the material and maintenance of your siding, different weather patterns can have different effects. Extreme differences in high and low temperatures can cause siding to warp, bow or even melt. Meanwhile, excessive rainfall, moisture accumulation and poor maintenance can mean rot and mold. When analyzing your siding, its best to take local weather patterns into account.
Vinyl siding is much more breathable than other siding, which may make homeowners believe it’s more equipped to handle intermittent temperature spikes than some other materials. However, given that vinyl will expand and contract when exposed to heat and cold, the rapid changes in temperature may result in rapid expansion and contraction of the vinyl. Ultimately, this can cause cracked, warped or even buckled siding. Additionally, some vinyl can even melt when exposed to extreme heat, and become brittle in extreme cold. Naturally, both of these scenarios are not ideal, and can lead to costly damages down the line.
Natural Wood Siding
While natural wood siding may perform well in cold weather, the recent spells of warm days in the winter months mean melted snow, and wet winters. While wooden siding can have the aesthetic that a homeowner is looking for, it requires consistent maintenance, especially when the weather turns damp. Wood will naturally absorb the water in rainfall, snow, or even fog, which can cause rotting, mold and structural damages to your siding.
Additionally, if the number of abnormal warm days, and record breaking temperatures this past year are an indication of continued weather patterns, it’s not a good sign for wood. Natural wood will move, warp, swell and shrink alongside temperature shifts, and sporadic patterns can make this even worse. In 2021, it could be time to ditch the wood.
Metal siding is often split into two categories: steel and aluminum. Metal siding has become an increasingly popular option for homeowners due to its durability, and overall strength. It performs well against wind and hail, and the material sports rugged strength that can last a homeowner a long time. Metal is also fire-resistant, and rejects insect infestations as well. That being said, steel isn’t waterproof, and prolonged exposure to moisture may lead to rust. Meanwhile, while metal is durable, it can also be dented, scratched or visibly damaged in other ways as well. The insulation values offered are also inferior to other options on the market, and both aluminum and steel siding will need to be repainted and cared for by a homeowner. These factors could add up to a siding that requires maintenance through these record breaking weather patterns.
James Hardie Fiber Cement
James Hardie Fiber Cement siding could be your best option during these sporadic weather patterns. The siding is composed of a unique fiber cement designed to last a homeowners years against the elements. One of the most durable products available, it’s also incredibly versatile and comes in a wide variety of designs to seamlessly fit any home.
Unlike wood, vinyl, steel and aluminum, fiber cement can retain its color far longer without needing to be repainted. When it comes to weather protection, this option is built to withstand the heaviest snow, winds, rain and hail, and can even protect your home from gusts upwards of 150 mph. While other siding materials like wood are subject to decay, rotting and warping from moisture, James Hardie Fiber Cement is built to prevent water damage, and is proven to be five times thicker than the average vinyl siding. This means increased protection, improved insulation, and a much longer-lasting material.
Like the benefits of a different siding but love the look of wood? No problem. James Hardie Fiber Cement siding can imitate the look of natural wood grain better than metal and vinyl, without the maintenance requirements of wood.
Speaking of maintenance, here’s some general tips for how to stretch the lifetime of your siding.
One of the best ways to ensure your siding is providing the highest returns is to properly maintain it. Ultimately, properly maintained siding will perform better, help lower energy bills and even prevent damages down the line. As a rule of thumb, there are a few general siding maintenance principles that every homeowner should follow. Be sure to:
- Keep your gutters clean
- Plan regular annual siding cleaning
- Check for bowing and warping
- If you see any, it’s time to call in a professional siding company.
- Evaluate your siding after any large storms
- If you have Vinyl siding, be sure to listen for any audible pops- this could indicate tearing
- Apply fresh paint as needed
- Check for scratches, dents, and marks, especially in your metal siding
Protect your Home from Weather Damage
Is it time to have a professional team inspect or replace your siding? Our work can ultimately leave a homeowner with improved insulation, upgraded exterior design, greater protection against the elements, and a solid return on investment. Blue Springs Siding and Windows has been providing quality siding services to the Kansas City metropolitan area for more than 20 years. Read more about our siding installation, or contact us today to get a free estimate.