When it is time to select the siding for your new home or replace the siding on your existing home, you will find that there are several options from which to choose. However, if you want a long-lasting, beautiful siding that is also environmentally friendly, you should consider fiber-cement siding. James Hardie Building Products, the company that introduced fiber-cement siding to the world, produces an extensive line of fiber-cement products that can help you create a unique exterior for your home.
Wood Siding Installation – Choose Green | The Advantages of Fiber Cement
Fiber-cement siding products are remarkably durable and resist impacts better than vinyl or wood siding. It does not take baseball-sized hail to damage vinyl siding; even small hailstones can leave vinyl siding riddled with holes. Hail, windborne debris or other impacts can crack or chip wood siding.
With fiber-cement siding, you need never worry about rot. Traditional wood siding can require a great deal of maintenance to protect it from rain and humidity. Wood siding can also be damaged by termites and carpenter ants, but the materials used to manufacture fiber-cement siding are pest-resistant.
Another advantage of fiber-cement siding is its resistance to fire and heat. Wood siding can be set ablaze by a stray ember, and vinyl siding is prone to warping during hot weather. Furthermore, when vinyl siding catches fire, it produces dangerous fumes that pose a hazard to the home’s occupants as well as their neighbors.
Fiber-cement siding is versatile and attractive. It is suitable for any type of architecture, and the numerous options make it easier to select the perfect style or styles to customize your home. Furthermore, since fiber-cement siding is easy to paint, you can change your exterior colors whenever you like.
Why Fiber Cement Is Environmentally Friendly
Fiber-cement siding contains water, cement, wood fibers and sand. All of these materials are sustainable and/or natural; they have low toxicity levels and are not harmful to the environment. The siding does not contain formaldehyde or glass fibers like some artificial siding materials. Because fiber-cement siding uses little wood, it requires much less lumber than traditional wood siding.
The manufacturing process required to produce vinyl siding can have a much stronger environmental impact when compared to fiber-cement siding. Vinyl siding is typically made from polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, which contains petrochemicals. When PVC is manufactured, it can release substantial amounts of dioxin, which is known to cause cancer in humans. The manufacturing process can also release sulfur dioxide, a leading cause of smog and acid rain, as well as a greenhouse gas called nitrogen oxide.
Furthermore, when vinyl siding is replaced, the old siding is usually taken directly to the landfill, taking up valuable space; if burned, vinyl siding can release additional dioxin as well as chlorine gas, a chemical weapon that led to the deaths of many soldiers during World War I. In addition, the manufacture of PVC uses a great deal of electricity, resulting in much higher emissions of carbon dioxide.
One more point that should be considered is the life expectancy of the siding. Any product that must be replaced every 10 or 20 years will have a greater impact on the environment than one that lasts for 50 or 60 years. Because of its relatively short life, manufacturers of vinyl siding will have to keep producing the product, consuming more materials and using more energy. Furthermore, the environmental impact related to the manufacture of the stains, sealants and paints needed to protect wood siding should also be considered.
Contact Us to Learn More About Durable, Environmentally Friendly Siding
Alpha Roofing is a residential roofing contractor and provides a variety of roofing services in Austin and throughout Central Texas, including the installation of siding, metal roofing systems, skylights and asphalt shingles. We also offer roof repairs, moss removal, chimney repairs and roof inspections. We have built a solid reputation for our award-winning customer service, the exceptional quality of our work and our reasonable rates. We would be happy to help you choose the best siding for your particular needs. For a free quote, call our office at (512) 777-1086 or submit the handy online form.