Siding is what protects the raw beams and boards of a home from the violent efforts of the elements. No matter where one lives, the weather is a factor. In Arizona, the sun is brutal and can dry out a home in no time; in Florida, the humidity can cause wood to rot and the rain can weather any building; in Michigan, the winter storms can batter a house with snow and ice and wind. A siding for your house is like a shield to keep it safe. There are many different types of siding materials to choose from. House siding has changed a lot over the years, and there are styles that reflect each of those changes. Wood siding used to be the normal choice, though it has seen a decreased usage with vinyl becoming more popular.
Different types of Siding
Wood siding, long wood boards that have been cut to fit one over the other. These are then painted or stained to keep the wood itself protected, and caulking is used in the cracks to keep rain from getting in. Vinyl siding is newer, and is manufactured out of polyvinyl chloride. Since it is a chemical compound, it has to be created and is not found naturally. It does not rot or break, and can be made in many different colors that then will not need to be painted. Fiber cement siding is made from sand and cement, along with cellulose fibers. It is very heavy and strong, and looks like its namesake, cement, in that it is gray in color and tough enough to keep out the elements.
Wood siding needs to be painted or stained frequently to keep it weatherproof. It also needs to be caulked at the holes and breaks. Vinyl siding needs less work, but does need to be checked for breaches and caulked where appropriate. Cement siding is very tough, but if it does break, slabs may have to be replaced to keep the integrity of the siding.
Common Problems Found With Various Types
The biggest problem with wood siding is that it can rot. If the paint doesn't fully cover, the rain can get inside. This will result in sections having to be replaced. Vinyl siding can melt, so one needs to be careful to keep open flames away from it, as it will warp. Cement siding can crack, and those cracks can spread out the way they do in a windshield, leading to further problems.