Home siding does more than provide a common theme outside the home. It provides protection and depending on your location, that could play a vital role in your home’s security.
Before you choose your next home siding or repair your existing one, you must first understand the basic functions of home siding. Below, I will explain how siding protects your home, which types are best for certain areas, the costs associated with the most popular options and what siding is best for the environment.
What Does Siding Really Do?
Home siding, no matter the material, has two basic functions. The first is to protect your home from outside elements like rain, snow, hail or ice. There are other elements protecting your home, but your siding is the first barrier to entry.
The second function of home siding is design. Your home needs a common and aesthetic exterior. Siding gives it that collective feel we all desire.
How Does Siding Protect the Home?
The most common failure of home siding is water penetration. If you have poor siding, water could enter your home, be it from the roof or windows, and cause major damage like mold and foundation issues.
Given that building materials may contract and expand with changing temperatures, oftentimes, siding is overlapped to cover the joints. If the joints are not fully covered or sealed, water and snow could enter the home.
While my next point may not provide physical protection, it can provide financial security. Other than water, siding also protects against wind. During those cold winter months, proper insulation is vital to your heat and energy bills. If unnecessary gusts of wind enter your home, your furnace or boiler will work that much harder, thus, increasing your utility bills.
If you feel air is coming through your home’s exterior, it may be time to repair your siding. See what it costs with our siding repair cost estimator.
What are the Most Common Types of Siding?
The most common type is vinyl. This material can come in just about any color and is one of the most durable types available. Furthermore, vinyl siding is extremely easy to care for and maintain. Homeowners can simply power wash or hose off as needed to keep it looking like new.
Wooden siding is also very durable and many homeowners enjoy its more rustic look. However, one of the drawbacks is the fact that wooden siding can rot and damage quite easily. Therefore, it requires a lot more maintenance and can be quite expensive.
Aluminum siding tends to be the cheapest option, but many homeowners agree that it’s also the least attractive and not very durable. Those who go with aluminum siding often find that they spend a great deal of money simply repairing and replacing it over time.
What Siding is Best?
Even though home siding is one of the most affordable exterior materials available, there are certain types that beat out the rest.
As I said earlier, the first function of home siding is to protect the home from outside elements. Vinyl siding is among the most popular siding options for wetter parts of the country. Other materials, like cement and brick, work well, but when it comes to water protection, vinyl is the best bet.
Other materials, like wood and stucco, are gaining momentum, especially for those looking for a unique appeal outside the home, but beware, none hold up against the elements like vinyl or aluminum.
See what each type costs to install by checking our siding installation cost estimator.
Like all other aspects of the home, green options are coming to life for home siding.
The most environmentally friendly siding option is fiber-cement. It’s very durable, saving you unnecessary repairs down the road. The earth and your wallet will thank you for that.
See how you can add an environmentally friendly option to your home at How To Go Green With Siding.
Now that you understand the basics of home siding, you have the tools to go out and choose the right type of siding for your home. If you’re looking for more tips, be sure to read our 21 Facts About Siding You Didn’t Know.