It’s been a pretty mild winter this year, but all the same we’re seeing those telltale signs of winter’s damage all over our homes. Continuous frosts and thaws crack the sidewalk around our home, soggy winter snowmelt seeps into our foundations, and salty, dirty air and moisture leaves caked dirt on our exterior windows and walls.
Watching this winter fallout might have you wondering: what can I do to minimize winter damage to my home? What will be the most weather-resistant investment? Well, when it comes to siding, picking and installing weather-resistant materials and techniques is what we do best, especially for homes along Utah’s Wasatch Front.
Here are some of the primary considerations for siding if you’re worried about weather damage:
With the intense sunshine that we experience in both the winter and summer, it’s important to consider how quickly your siding’s color will fade. It might not seem like a problem at first, but when you start noticing that there’s a permanent shadow cast by shrubs around the perimeter of your home, you’ll care. Often, fade happens unevenly across the surface of your home, and contributes to an overall appearance of dinginess.
A factory coating on plastic, vinyl, and fiber cement siding will always last longer than standard paint. Wood siding, while it can look charming, will always fade the fastest and need to be repainted regularly. Vinyl siding’s colors last a long time without any sort of maintenance, but fiber cement siding needs to be refinished regularly to keep its color and integrity.
In cold weather, siding can become more brittle and prone to cracks in the case of stormy impacts. Cracks quickly lead to damage, and free entry for pests who can continue to damage the siding and the house beneath it. Vinyl holds up well to fading, but has a hard time with impact in cold weather. Depending on the quality of vinyl siding you get, you might find yourself needing frequent repairs and replacements.
Surprise! Vinyl siding is not waterproof unless you give it additional treatment. The trouble isn’t in the vinyl material itself, but in the gaps between panels, which allow in moisture that can lead to rot and deterioration. Installed properly, vinyl siding will resist moisture. However, fiber cement siding like James Hardie, when properly installed, is usually the best open to resist rot and moisture. Note that in all of these options, professional and proper installation is key for best results.
One aspect of windproofing that few people consider is how well it holds up to the wind. Shabbily-installed siding easily comes undone, leading to cracks and noisy rattles in violent winter storms. In order to prevent this, we recommend thoroughly-vetted, certified, and professional installation for whatever type of siding you choose.