Your roof is the protective cap to your home, designed to keep UV rays, water, and other damaging elements out from indoors. Good siding serves the same purpose for the vulnerable exterior walls of your house. And while some siding is primarily decorative, great siding wraps your home in a safe and protective barrier.
Two common varieties of siding include vinyl and fiber cement. But which one is right for you? Here's a comparative guide to these popular siding options.
Vinyl is a synthetic material made of ethylene and chlorine plastic that's designed for easy customization. Vinyl is commonly used because it's affordable and quick to install. Whereas fiber or fiber cement siding is made from a mixture of natural wood pulp and Portland cement. It's often referred to as HardiPlank or Hardie board in the construction industry. Installation is similar to that of wood—it's nailed directly onto a home exterior.
Fiber cement looks like real wood siding, likely because it's made of organic materials like wood pulp. This makes it a great style option for homes. It combines the rustic elegance of wood siding with the extra durability of cement. This means that you get great style and functional benefits at the same time.
While vinyl is often processed to resemble wood shingles or planks, it's less convincing as a wood alternative and can end up looking more artificial. However, both fiber and vinyl siding offer style versatility because they're sold in many styles and color options. While you might find vinyl in a wider range of colors, fiber cement is the best choice if you want to recreate a natural look.
Both vinyl and fiber siding are long-lasting and durable, especially from a price standpoint. The low initial cost of these two materials, coupled with their resistance to the elements, makes them great, durable options for any home.
Vinyl siding tends to be more energy-efficient than fiber cement, as long as it comes with a layer of insulation. However, fiber cement is a more sustainable, natural product, and is produced without the use of fossil fuels. And when it comes to eventual disposal, fiber cement is much better for the environment.
Resisting moisture is essential for all home exterior products, including roofing shingles, windows, and cladding. It's particularly important for siding because the product needs to keep rain and humidity out. In this regard, both fiber and vinyl are reasonable. While fiber cement may absorb moisture, it still forms a solid moisture barrier if installed properly. And unlike materials like brick or stucco, siding doesn't crack nearly as easily, so they both form a watertight barrier.
Fiber cement is more flame retardant than vinyl, which is an amazing safety benefit. They're both also excellent choices for preventing pest problems. When combined with insulation, both materials will offer a great R-value to a home. Both options are cheap to purchase and install. Your local roofing supply company should carry a selection of siding in multiple styles.
If you're looking for great home siding, start your search with Preferred Roofing. We offer the best selection of roofing supplies in Marietta, as well as tools, fasteners like roofing nails, fiber cement siding, and more. Visit us today for the best roofing products around, or to select the best siding for your project.