Siding is the outer covering or cladding of a house meant to shed water and protect from the effects of weather. It is also a key element in the aesthetic beauty of the structure. (Wikipedia)
Siding is the outermost material of the Exterior Wall and must shed water to avoid moisture penetration. Siding is made of very durable materials or materials that can be coated with a durable finish like paint to create a weatherproof surface. Siding is attached to the structure of the walls or to the outside sheeting of the walls, on top of the House WrapA thin membrane applied to the exterior sheathing of a home and acts as a moisture barrier, keeping exterior moisture out of the home and allowing moisture inside the home to escape. House wrap is installed before siding..
Some of the materials used for siding are:
- Vinyl – Polyvinyl Chloride, also known as PVC, is a man-made plastic. Vinyl siding is widely used because of its cheap cost, ease of installation, and low maintenance. Dioxins, plasticizers and known carcinogens are found in vinyl siding and, for this reason, Make It Right does not recommend this material.
- Wood – Because it is widely available, wood has been used in siding for hundreds of years. Most wood species must be painted or coated to prevent rotting. Today wood siding is not the most cost-effective or sustainable option for homes.
- Stucco – Stucco typically has three main ingredients: an aggregate, a binder and water. Stucco is typically used in dry climates.
- Masonry –Concrete or clay brick is a very durable siding option. Masonry is typically set in mortar in staggered rows. Brick siding sits in front of the exterior wall with an air gap between the wall and the siding. While masonry is a durable and low-maintenance siding option, the cost of both the material and installation can make it cost prohibitive for many homeowners.
- Metal – Metal, like aluminum, is a durable, lightweight siding material with a long lifespan. In some cases, the aluminum is Powder CoatedIndustrial finishing process for metal that involves applying paint particles electrostatically and then using high heat to bake the particles onto the surface. increasing its durability and giving it a metallic appearance. The material and labor cost can be higher than other siding choices. Make It Right has used metal siding on a few of our houses; but, on most homes, metal siding is cost-prohibitive.
- Cement Fiberboard – Cement fiberboard siding is made from cement, sand and recycled content. This popular siding option is durable, can be painted to look like wood and resistant to rot and termites. Make It Right uses cement fiberboard for Lap SidingAn installation method in which the upper board overlaps the lower board. This allows for a watertight seal so rain can cascade down the face of the facade without water intrusion to the interior of the wall. application, Smooth PanelSiding sheets that come in 4' x 8-12' lengths. These panels typically need battens or flashing at the joints to resist water intrusion. application, BattensA long, flat strip of siding used to cover gaps where two siding panels meet., Corner BoardsBoards installed at the corner of the house. Lap dies into the corner boards, while smooth paneling sits under. These boards are thicker than the siding and protect the corners from damage. and around windows and doors.
All siding has weak points where material starts and ends, where it meets windows and doors and where joints are sealed with caulk. House WrapA thin membrane applied to the exterior sheathing of a home and acts as a moisture barrier, keeping exterior moisture out of the home and allowing moisture inside the home to escape. House wrap is installed before siding., windows and doors (when properly installed) and metal flashing help minimize sidings weak points and keep water out.
Make It Right uses cement fiberboard for Lap Siding application, Smooth Panel application, Battens, Corner Boards and around windows and doors. We have used metal siding on a few of our houses; but, on most homes, metal siding is cost-prohibitive
Minimizing the weakest links in a wall assembly is essential in installing siding. Water can come through joints and breaks in siding leaving only CaulkA waterproof sealant or filler. as a barrier against moisture. Caulk fails over time, exposing the home to Water Intrusion. For our homes in New Orleans, where moisture inside the home can quickly turn to mold, we are increasingly using Battens at all joints where smooth panels of cement fiberboard meet. Even with the BattensA long, flat strip of siding used to cover gaps where two siding panels meet., water can accumulate on horizontal joints that act as shelves for the water, raising the risk of water intrusion inside the home. In our homes, we’ve found lap siding is the most affective application as it does not rely on CaulkA waterproof sealant or filler. or BattensA long, flat strip of siding used to cover gaps where two siding panels meet. for waterproofing, except at the corner boards. This makes for fewer points of potential failure and, ultimately, Water Intrusion.