The Pros and Cons of Home Siding Types
It is quite common for homeowners to purchase a property, only to later realize that they don’t know very much about the siding type that is currently on their home. Different types of siding require different maintenance schedules and, of course, they also require different methods and techniques when it comes time for a paint job. It is important to be aware of how your siding type will affect your future maintenance plans and any renovation projects that you have in mind for the future. Below are a few tips to help keep your siding in top shape and how to paint it properly so that the paint job will last as long as possible.
Stucco is one of the most popular siding materials in Florida and with good reason. There is a wide variety of colors available, the finish is quite resistant and the style is timeless. Stucco also has an added benefit of being soundproof and fire proof when the materials that have been used are of high quality. The Achilles heel of stucco is that the porosity of the material can be problematic in wet climates and the type of paint used is important for the aesthetics of the final paint job. The porosity tends to allow mold and moss to grow out of the pores during periods of high humidity and excess dampness. Since Florida is well-known for its damp climate during a large part of the year, having the stucco pressure washed with low pressure at least once per year after the rainy season is strongly advised to extend the life of the siding. When it comes to paint, it is always a good idea to choose a matte finish paint, since shinier paints might exaggerate imperfections in the rough surface of the stucco. Matte finish paints on this type of surface make everything look neat, tidy and well-kept.
Hardie-Plank siding is more similar to stucco than most people would guess! Although the planks look like wooden sections, Hardie-plank siding is made of a cement mixture, much like stucco. The cement is mixed with wood fibers in order to make the siding look like wood, but with the resilience of a cement-based siding. Not only is this type of siding waterproof and soundproof, but it is also quite fireproof. Due to the dense material that these siding planks are made of, the installation will not be as cheap or as easy to carry out as vinyl siding. Nonetheless, its durability and wood-like appearance can increase the value of any home for years to come. Since this type of siding does not rot, painting only needs to be redone every 7 to 10 years. Regular wood siding would need to be painted sooner because cracks in the paint are a liability when it comes to the beginnings of rotted siding. You can expect to need cleaning for this type of siding about twice per year. They key to cleaning this type of material is to use a soft-bristle brush or cloth and to avoid harsh chemicals that might affect the finish. Low-pressure washing is also acceptable.
Wood siding or cedar siding are both great options for siding your home. Not only is wood a classic type of siding, but it can add a rustic look that is quite charming. It isn’t quite as durable as stucco or Hardie-plank because it is prone to rot, is not fireproof and the amount of water that it can resists depends on the quality of paint or stain that has been applied. The most important thing with wood siding is that the paint is regularly inspected for cracks, peeling or damage that may invite mold or rot to set in. Regular maintenance is the best way to avoid unnecessary paint work, since clean paint will resist water and damage much better than paint that is being broken down by mold or algae. Having wood siding cleaned about twice per year is usually sufficient to maintain the integrity of the surface. When having wood painted, an experienced painting company is key. Wood has to be completely dry when it is painted because any remaining humidity will try to escape by bubbling or cracking the paint. If bubbling is a recurring problem for you, consider using a waterproof stain instead. They are more forgiving and are aesthetically pleasing. However, you will need to reapply the stain every 4 years or so if you want to keep the wood underneath healthy.
Vinyl siding is extremely low maintenance, but it is also much more fragile that all the previous options. A hail storm, heavy wind and rain or flying debris are all dangerous for vinyl siding because it can get cracked or the paint will chip away if the vinyl bends too far. Also, painting damaged vinyl is nearly impossible. The cracks or dents cannot be fixed in any durable way, so replacement of damaged sections is nearly always required. Other siding materials can be sanded or repaired with a patch of cement or some wood filler. However, vinyl cannot rot, mold, or catch fire, which are all excellent properties for a siding material. In order to keep the paint from fading or damaged from dirt build-up, low-pressure washing is recommended every 1 – 2 years. Vinyl can be painted with any number of paints, so the choice of color and finish are truly up to you.
Overall, stucco and Hardie-plank are the most durable choices when it comes to long-lasting types of siding. If they become damaged, a quick repair and repaint can make the siding look like new all over again. Wood siding is gorgeous but it needs a great deal of care because it is much more prone to rotting and damage from the elements than any other material listed above. Vinyl siding is a great choice when regular maintenance isn’t easy to keep up with, but you aren’t worried about having to replace sections when they become too damaged. Painting all types of siding is possible when you hire a professional painting company to guide you.