Homeowners renovating the exterior of their residence are often caught between deciding to use vinyl or Hardiplank siding. The significantly lower cost of vinyl, both the material and its installation, make many believe that it is the better alternative. However, a careful comparison of the characteristics of these products will show that aside from cost, vinyl is actually the less astute choice.
Durability and Weather Resistance
Vinyl is made of polyvinyl chloride, a very durable synthetic material. It is thin and light, measuring only several millimeters thick. Thus, when it is exposed to hot weather, it warps or even melts. The cold can also cause it to become brittle and crack under impact. Most vinyl sidings are said to withstand winds up to 110 mph. Unfortunately, there are many instances that the wind can rip them off the side of a house.
Hardiplank, on the other hand, consists of fiber cement. According to the manufacturer, James Hardie Industries, it is made mostly of cement and sand plus a small core (about 10% of the product) of cellulose fibers. It has a thickness of slightly more than a quarter of an inch. These make it more resistant than vinyl to weather extremes. Fiber cement siding has also been proven as able to withstand hurricane winds and hail with little or no damage.
Both products do not attract insects, and neither do they rot. Fiber cement can act as a fire retardant. As such, it is considered as masonry. Vinyl, however, will ignite and burn in the presence of a source of fire and heat. Some may be fire-rated, but they cannot withstand fires for more than an hour or two.
Vinyl siding colors of the past were unattractive and limited in number. Today, a wider and more appealing range of color options is available. It can even be made to look like wood. Unfortunately, because it is rather thin, it still appears synthetic, especially as it does not have the grain that gives wood its attractiveness.
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Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement can look very much like wood unless scrutinized closely. Its thickness, the same as that of actual wood siding, allows manufacturers to mimic the grain present in wood. This siding can also be made to mimic other siding types such as stucco and brick. It also comes in a wider selection of colors.
Contrary to what most people are led to believe, vinyl siding color does fade. This takes a long time though. Furthermore, replacing it is rather easy and cheap. The baked-on color of fiber cement siding is also guaranteed to last at least 15 years. Once this happens, the siding does not need to be replaced. Repainting is all that is needed.
Most contractors are hesitant to recommend fiber cement sidings due to the fact that they are more difficult to install compared to vinyl. Vinyl can be installed by the homeowner after careful study of how it should be done. Fiber cement needs more specialized knowledge for proper installation. Most people do not have the time to install either vinyl or fiber cement on their own, however.
Majority of contractors are only familiar with vinyl siding installation. The siding experts at United Home Experts, however, have decades of experience with fiber cement siding installation. They can thus offer this excellent product to their customers.
The efficiency and effectiveness of their work has gained them many satisfied customers. They are considered the most experienced installers of fiber cement siding in the New England, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts area.