A Siding Comparison: Fiber Cement vs Wood and Vinyl

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A combination of wood fibers and cement, fiber cement is fairly new to the world of siding but it has a lot to offer. How does it stack up against popular siding materials like wood and vinyl? That’s what I’m here to discuss with you. In terms of:

Fire Resistance

Fire resistance is always a major concern when it comes to choosing materials for the home because it involves safety. In the case of siding, choosing a fire-resistant material can provide your home with another layer of protection, which is particularly ideal in areas where wildfires are common.

  • Wood: Wood is naturally weak against fire. While fire retardant can be applied to wood, it will still catch fire when exposed to fire long enough.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl starts warping at high temperatures so you can just imagine what will happen in a fire. And as vinyl siding melts, panels can catch fire and contribute to a possible blaze.
  • Fiber Cement: Fiber cement is fire-resistant so it will not burn. This means it can withstand high temperatures so you also won’t have to worry about warping during the warmer months.

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Versatility

Visual appeal is a very important factor when it comes to siding. Having plenty of options available is crucial to  making sure you choose siding that will match the rest of your home perfectly.

  • Wood: While the appearance of wood is something that some people cherish, it’s generally just one look being provided to you. Good for you if you’re one of those who like their wood grain but bad if you’re looking for actual color options. Wooden siding can be painted but it’s also a shame to cover up its natural appearance.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl siding is available in a range of colors so it’s not difficult to find one that will complement your home’s existing color scheme. However, it does fade over time, so you’ll either have to paint or replace it to get it looking attractive again.
  • Fiber Cement: Thanks to factory-applied colors, fiber cement siding gets to offer long-lasting finishes. In fact, the colors last so long that you’d sooner change it because you’ve gotten bored with what you have rather than actually needing to. Should you feel the need to change siding colors, you can have fiber cement siding painted.

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Weather Resistance

Weather resistance refers to a siding’s ability to withstand or resist damage caused by various elements such as the wind, rain, humidity, and temperature.

Wood: Treated wood provides good moisture resistance, but requires a lot of maintenance to keep it waterproof. Untreated wood can rot and weaken after constant exposure to water and humidity.

Vinyl: Vinyl is immune to moisture damage so it is better than wood in that respect. However, the siding material tends to get brittle over time, especially during cold weather.

Fiber Cement: Fiber cement siding is like vinyl in that it resists moisture damage well. However, unlike vinyl, it performs reliably regardless of temperature so you don’t have to worry about brittleness.

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Thickness

Thickness helps in making your home’s siding more resistant to impact caused by flying debris or other objects, which also helps reduce damage caused by strong winds during storms or hurricanes.

Wood: Wooden siding is capable of great impact resistance but only if the siding material is thick enough.

Vinyl: Vinyl siding features thin panels so it offers very little impact resistance. In the presence of hail, it is not unknown for vinyl siding to end up with dents, dings, and even holes.

Fiber Cement:  As fiber cement siding offers better impact resistance than wood at the same thickness, it’s possible to have thinner panels without sacrificing durability and installation ease.

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Choosing the Best Siding for Your Home

Different homes have different needs and getting to know siding options available to you is a key step in addressing those needs. To learn more about fiber cement siding or siding installation in general, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local siding expert today.

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Author Bio:

Scott Barr has been working with Southwest Exteriors since 1990. His goal is to deliver the ultimate client experience each and every time, taking satisfaction in seeing customers satisfied.  Scott also enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge, turning to writing to reach people. Check out his updates in the company blog!

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1 Comments

  1. I would love to use fiber cement siding for my new house but cannot find anyone in St. Louis to install it at an affordable price.

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