What Is Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement Siding SamplesFiber Cement Siding

If you are a homeowner chances are that you have heard the term, fiber cement siding one time or another. Well what is fiber cement siding? How is it made? And most importantly, How long will it last? We will explore these important questions and post some informative answers below. 

What is Fiber Cement Siding & How Does It Protect Our Homes?

Fiber cement siding is an exterior building material that is made up of a number of different  components which includes; sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Fiber cement is an abbreviation for Fiber Reinforced Cement (FRC) and this building material was developed by James Hardie (a world leader in fiber cement siding and backboard) in the early 1980s. Fiber cement siding building material was manufactured as a substitute for asbestos cement sheeting or fiber based building products. In the early days, fiber cement panels used asbestos fibers to add strength to the construction materials.

What fiber cement siding is made ofWhat Is Fiber Cement Siding Made Of?  

Fiber cement siding is a substitute for wood and vinyl siding. Fiber cement siding is made from a mix of wood pulp, fly ash and cement. The wood pulp is used to avoid cracking and it also improves the suppleness while the fly ash is used as filler as contained by the cement and the cement which is made up of limestone, clay and iron combines all the ingredients used in making fiber cement siding bond together. When all these materials are mixed together with water, it mixes with the wood pulp and hardens as the cement cures. When the mixture is wet, it is then pressed into a mold to form the siding product.

Fiber Cement Siding SamplesStyles Textures and Other Options 

(click to enlarge)

Fiber cement siding comes in a variety of colors and styles that is very similar to siding materials such as wood & vinyl. The various styles includes; stucco panels, cedar shake shingles, vertical panels and horizontal wood clapboards (lap siding). All of these styles are primarily made from cement, sand and wood fiber (often a recycled wood fiber waste product). All of these combinations produce an exceptionally long-lasting home siding material.

Fiber cement siding decreases exterior maintenance expenses because of its rigged toughness. Fiber cement siding is normally more expensive than vinyl siding but it is less than true wood lath applied cement stucco. Due to it’s long-lasting nature, fiber cement siding is suggested for all climates as it resists many common elements like wind, fire, rain and insects. The variety of styles and textures of fiber cement siding present the look of wood but with no essential disadvantage of wood such as rotting.

Fiber cement siding is produced in different surface textures; it ranges from a smooth finish to an rustic cedar wood texture (woodgrain). As soon as the siding is being installed on your homes exterior, they may be painted in various choices of exterior colors or painted sometime after it has been installed.

Fiber cement siding is also produced in a flat sheet form which is not only used as vertical siding but it is as well used as a lining and as a tile underlay on decks and in bathrooms. From an exterior home perspective, fiber cement siding comprises of overlapping horizontal boards (lap siding), vertical siding, (flat panels) and artificial shake and straight edge shingles.

Only Made By Larger Manufacturing Companies 

Although, unlike other the normal building products; fiber cement siding is not usually produced with a small or medium scale companies. It is rare to find start-up companies manufacturing fiber cement siding in their industry. Generally, it is produced in a large scale which requires more capital to fund the business. So having said that, they are usually large companies that are manufacturing fiber cement siding products that have been in business for a while.

Importance of Fiber Cement Siding on Your Home

Fiber cement siding serves different purpose for homeowners. If a new house, garage or workshop is been built or needs replacement, fiber cement siding should be considered for use. Some homeowners are just discovering the advantages of using fiber cement siding for their homes while others have been using the product for years. This is a trusted product that will serve and protect you home for many years to come. 

Fiber cement siding fire resistance will not burn

Fiber Cement Siding Extreme Fire Resistance 

Wood Left / Fiber Cement Right – Will Not Burn

Fiber cement siding is recommended in all climates because no matter hot or wet it is. It won’t decay since the ingredients is made up of wood pulp, sand and portland cement which makes it termite resistant. Fiber cement is fire resistant and a great siding choice that is commonly used in high bushfire prone areas. According to the European standard, if fiber cement boards are tested; they simply come with Fire Classification of 1 (A) or even better classifications.

Fiber cement siding protects homes from hail and rain. It also protects the home from wildfires because of it’s non-flammable properties. Most of the materials used in producing it are not flammable. If standard untreated wood siding is to be installed on your home, it can more fuel and flame to the house when it’s on fire. Having said that, fire resistant fiber cement siding is not only used as an exterior siding for fire resistance but it can also be used as a replacement replacement for a timber border break (fire barrier) in high fire prone areas. 

Contrasting to the other siding products that are offered, fiber cement siding is utilized in the exterior part of buildings and offers fire resistance. This is to protect what resides inside from the elements. Fiber cement siding is usually unaffected by both heat and fame due to the cement material being used in producing the product that makes it fire resistant.

Cold Weather

Since fiber cement siding does not retain moisture, it is a great siding choice for cold climates. During cold weather, fiber cement siding is different from other siding option due to its cement nature. This siding product can become somewhat brittle or crack at below zero temperatures and difficult to work with in cold climates when moderately struck by impact. No biggie here just a side note you should know. 

fiber cement siding benefitsWithstands The Elements 

Furthermore, this siding material does not rot and it is crack resistant to a point. Resists pest, insects, termites, moisture, wind, fire, hail and UV rays from the sun. Unlike wood siding that woodpeckers that will often peck and make a hole in, fiber cement siding is impervious to them due to its natural hardness.

This will help your homes exterior to be maintenance free for many years to come. This resistance to the elements is what makes fiber cement siding a sensible choice. 

Wind Force On Home - Racking Coastal High Wind Zone Areas 

Fiber cement siding is recommended for some wind zone areas that usually experience hurricanes, tornadoes because it keeps the home secured due to its rigidity. However, it might be recommended to install plywood or OSB under the fiber cement siding to offer more wind and racking resistance. This is due to the fact that it has little structural value. 

In comparison to untreated traditional wood siding, fibre cement siding requires little maintenance as soon as it has been installed and painted. The thicker fiber cement products have exceptional impact resistance but the thinner siding products are less dense and needs to be protected from impact. 

When it is placed near water or bright sun, fiber cement siding can stand up to these elements and winds without allowing damage to the home. Note: The winds are limited to moderate wind loads as fiber cement has minimal structural racking value. For the fact that the ingredients used in producing fiber cement siding are regarded inert materials and they don’t decompose, fiber cement siding products are not recyclable.

painting fiber cement siding home exteriorPainting of Fiber Cement Siding

As discussed in previous paragraphs, the permanence of fiber cement siding is that it could last years before another coat of painting is required. If you choose a pre-painted product, make sure you get one with a lifetime paint warranty. We suggest lifetime or at least a 25 year warranty paint to be used. Fiber cement siding can be a bit expensive because it requires painting unlike vinyl siding.

Installation can be more high-priced because it would require more experienced installers painters and tools to install fiber cement correctly. Often times, fiber cement manufacturers offer their products both primed and non-painted. 

Some of the manufacturers of fiber cement siding applies paint at the factory under the best climate controlled conditions. They prime and paint in their enclosed environment. This by far and away makes it much more expensive. Some fiber cement manufacturers only offer a 15 year paint warranty. We suggest looking for one that is at least 25 years.

Fiber cement siding installation is a job that could be done by homeowners and do it yourselfers alike. However it requires experienced professional installers to install the product correctly. Having said that, the cost of installing fire cement siding correctly demands special tools. There is also the added cost as it is required to remove the existing siding before the new siding is applied. Fiber cement siding also poses health-threat issues because of its long term exposure to the silica dust created when it’s being cut.

Types of Fiber Cement Siding Styles and Profiles

 

horizontal lap fiber cement sidingHorizontal Lap Siding Fiber Cement Siding:

This type of siding can also be called clapboards or dutch lap (lap) siding. Found on most homes, horizontal lap fiber cement siding can be easily installed and they are offered in different textures which includes the smooth or rough and wood-grain surface.

They complement different types of home styles. This lap siding style is by the most popular as seen on may homes both in the past and currently in use today. Common lap siding exposures (how wide are the laps) are, 7″ and 11″. 

Shingle Fiber Cement SidingShingle Fiber Cement Siding:

They are available in either straight or staggered edges. Shingle fiber cement siding can either be primed, factory-painted and decorated to give the house an exceptional look.

Often times homeowners will mix shing siding with horizontal lap siding. Here you can get creative with your fiber cement siding styles and profiles. This shingle siding looks great on small accent areas as well as large walls. Shingle fiber cement siding is often used to imitate that New England cedar shingle look. 

Vertical Panel Fiber Cement Siding Panel Vertical Fiber Cement Siding:

The panel is basically a thin flat sheet of fiber cement siding offering a contemporary vertical line look to the exterior side of the home. They are available in 4×8’, 4×10’ and 4×12’ sheets which balance the appearance of the home. The panel tends to be a retro look that is making it’s way back.

This vertical panel siding comes on 8″ and 12″ on center vertical lines. This fiber cement panel is often mixed with the horizontal lap siding for a pleasing look.

Choosing The Brands:

Fiber Cement Siding Manufactures:

James Hardie – Fiber cement

GAF Weatherside

Allura – Fiber Cement

Nichiha – Fiber Cement  

Maxitile – Fiber Cement Products

Helpfull Fiber Cement Siding Links

The Spruce – Top Fiber Cement

ARCAT – Fiber Cement Manufactures  

Installing fiber cement siding on your home requires doing some research; familiarizing oneself with what every band has to offer and the pros and cons. Here we have posted many brands above for your viewing. 

Conclusion

No matter what brand of fiber cement siding that you choose, you can go wrong. It will give your home many years of protection from the elements. We hope that you have enjoyed this article, thank you from all of us at Texas Home Exteriors INC. 

Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 2 Comments

What is Engineered Wood Siding

How Engineered Wood Is MadeLP SmartSide Engineered Wood Siding

More Than Wood, It’s Engineered Wood!

The term, engineered wood can refer to flooring, OSB sheathing, building products such as beams and more. In this post we are going to talk about siding specifically. There are many brands of engineered wood siding on the market these days. We will be talking about the LP SmartSide siding product as it is an engineered wood siding which will provide any home with the rich look of a real mill processed wood. It offers homeowners all the characteristics you can get from traditional wood siding especially the warmth and beauty.

LP SmartSide perfectly combines these characteristics with the advantages that come with the treated engineered wood technology. LP uses advanced wood processing to improve upon the natural wood, thereby creating wood panels that are sturdier, more durable, stable in dimension and far more consistent that what you’ll get with the traditional wood materials.

How Long Have They Been Making Engineered Wood? 

LP Building Products SmartSide has been in the business of making siding materials for over a decade and they have been able to bring out excellence on every single project; so much so that they have become the industry standard and flag bearer in the United States. They are leading the charge to change the way we look at constructing and erecting homes, outdoor building structures and light commercial properties.

LP SmartSide engineered wood siding can go a long way in giving a new feel of life to any home with a wide array of selections when it comes to styles and profiles. Their ability to function while simultaneously enhancing the outlook of any home is one of the reasons why you should definitely should consider choosing this siding for your home.

Engineered Wood Is Made From Wood Strands Resin Binder and Zinc BorateHow Is Engineered Wood Siding Made?

LP Building Products’ SmartSide line of siding and trim is made up of wood strands that are coated (treated) with a resin binder and compressed to create a siding board of superior strength and durability. Each SmartSide piece is also treated using LP’s SmartGuard zinc-borate treatment system to protect against termites, rot and decay. Some will say that the zinc-borate is a green safe treatment process. 

Using their proprietary SmartGuard process, LP SmartSide has been successful at building and treating their products. By using four basic components of protection, the SmartGuard process is able to add a layer of strength and durability to their products which also helps in making these products withstand some of the most harsh physical, biological and geographical conditions, including freeze-thaw cycles, high levels of humidity, decay brought about by fungus, extreme rain and much more. In summary engineered wood is composed of: wood strands resin binder and zinc borate.

The LP SmartSide engineered wood panels offers the following benefits and much more:

The Natural Look of Cedar

Although treated with certain production processes, the SmartSide engineered wood panel still retains the beautiful and alluring look of cedar. LP has ensured that no matter how much change these panels have undergone and no matter the amount of engineering and additions, the product still keeps its natural cedar wood look and this will definitely go a long way in making any home look alluring and beautiful. The LP SmartSide engineered wood panel siding combines performance with looks in a way no other product does. With them, you get wood panel sides that are able to withstand harsh conditions and SmartSide will also increase the aesthetic (curb-side) appeal of your home.

Ideal For Texas Wind Zone 

Even in areas where there are high winds such as the Texas wind zone coastal areas, engineered wood siding is structurally sound and helps hold the structure together. Even with seismic activity, LP SmartSide engineered wood panel sides are still able to stand firm with amazing structural stability which prevents racking. These siding panels are the perfect way to protect your home from any harsh effects of the weather and you can rest assured that you have a reliable defense. The panels are also very long-lasting, so you can rest assured that purchasing them will work in the benefit of your home for the long run. You won’t be going back to the wood shop anytime soon.

Completely Safe

LP SmartSide engineered wood siding is made and treated effectively, is completely safe and holds no health hazard. 

Easy Maintenance and Cleaning

The maintenance cost and processes are also very easy. A quick cleaning every now and then will keep the beauty of the siding. The siding has very strong builds, meaning it holds its own against harsh conditions and still stands out with its beautiful look. The siding looks nice, regardless of the prevalent conditions around the house.

LP Engineered Wood SmartGuard Processes Treated With the LP SmartGuard Process

LP SmartSide treats the engineered wood siding using the SmartGuard process which gives the siding, moisture, decay and termite resistance. Part of their commitment is to make engineered wood siding which will a long, long time. You can rest assured that no form of biological degradation of decay will have an affect this wood siding. The SmartGuard treatment prevent this problem from occurring.

Ease of Installation and Building Efficiency

LP SmartSide treated engineered wood siding goes a long way in saving time. One way they do this is by cutting out the time you would have otherwise spent dealing with warped and split pieces when the product is properly stored and applied. The siding also comes with a pre-primed design that is ready to paint, saving time. The siding comes in lengths of up to16” which makes for fewer seams. This also makes for an easier installation and cleaning with far less waste to haul off from the site when the installation is complete.

Cost Effective and Time Saving

LP SmartSide engineered wood siding is easy to cut. All that is needed to cut the siding is a standard woodworking tool which is a major advantage over the fiber cement cladding which requires the use of expensive and rare diamond blades (not to mention breathing the silica dust which is very bad to breath). Because of this, it makes for an easier, faster and more efficient installation process. Weighing far less than other products and it is strong with the ability to resist breakage during handling (with only one man needed to handle a plank), all if this increases installation efficiency.   

Better, More Natural Aesthetic Appeal

LP SmartSide engineered wood siding offers homeowners the appealing look of unique cedar-grain texture which comes in a wide array of stylish profiles. If you’re a homeowner looking for uncompromising quality as well as a distinctive curb appeal, LP SmartSide is the siding choice for you. 

A Wide Array of Engineered Wood Siding Options

LP SmartSide is available in a variety of profiles to choose from including horizontal lap siding, vertical siding, cedar shingle shake siding as well as soffit and fascia trim.  The siding profiles can be mixed and matched as well as painted any color allowing homeowners to personalize the look of their home to their own unique taste.

Engineered Wood Siding Links: 

Bob Vila – Engineered Wood Siding 
Wikipedia – Engineered Wood
Reminetwork – Engineered Wood Article
APA Wood – Engineered Wood Products
Pro Builder – Wood vs Engineered Wood 
Modernize – Siding Types Engineered Wood 

LP SmartSide Engineered Wood Siding Profiles

LP SmartSide  Panel Siding

LP SmartSide panels are full  4×8′ and 4×10′ long vertical panels. They are know by their vertical lines that go from the top to the bottom of each panel. This profile is often used for light commercial structures, sheds, residential buildings and homes.

LP SmartSide Vertical Siding

LP SmartSide vertical siding gives homeowners the ability to create the alluring and beautiful display of board and batten with the added protection of the SmartGuard treatment process. For a strong and simultaneously stylish vertical siding, this is the beautiful choice.

LP SmartSide Lap Siding

LP SmartSide lap siding is by far the most common siding profile on the market. They come in 8″ and 12″ wide profiles. This is a form of siding that offers homeowners the ability to create the type of look they want. There are many profiles that are available so any homeowner can get as creative as they want. Engineered wood siding has been engineered to withstand extreme weather, making it far more durable. It is also a natural choice, so you don’t need to worry about gaseous emissions of any other hazards to your health or that of others around you.

Final Thoughts On Engineered Wood Siding 

There are many siding building products out there such as, fiber cement, vinyl and engineered wood. No home siding product is by any means perfect as they all have their flaws. However with the technology that we have available to us, we know that wood has come a long way. Engineered wood siding products have come a long way. They offer the most in strength and durability far and away from any other on the market today. Thank you for all of uas at, Texas Home Exteriors and please feel free make a comment below.

Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 2 Comments

Siding Wars

Lady thinking about sidingLP SmartSide Siding vs Hardie & Vinyl Siding

This post is my opinion based on experience of personally installing with my own hands, LP SmartSide siding vs Hardie & Vinyl siding products. In our Houston Texas metro area, it is not uncommon to experience rotted siding on your home exterior. This is due to the fact that we have nearly 4’ (48”) of rain per year in southeast Texas.

With all of this water running down the side of your home, it is no wonder that so many homes in our area are needing siding replacement. If you are reading this, it is likely you are in the market for new siding for your home and looking at available siding options.

Ranking: 1 – 10 (with 10 being the best)

What Is The Difference Between SmartSide & Hardie Siding Options?

How They Are Made?

SmartSide

The SmartSide siding product is made from treated engineered wood.  Strands of wood are pressed together with bonding agents and treated so they will not rot or decay.

Fiber Cement 

The fiber cement Hardie siding is made from fiber cement. This is a composite material made of sand, cement and cellulose fibers (wood pulp) and pressed together and will not rot as well.

Vinyl Siding

The Vinyl siding product is manufactured primarily from polyvinyl chloride PVC resin. It comes refinished and never needs painting. This product will never rot and is a great option for homeowners who never want to paint their home again and are okay with staying with the same color for years.

Siding impact resistant lp smartside hardie vinylDifferences In Impact Resistance?

SmartSide Impact Ranking – 10

Impact Resistance: SmartSide siding is very impact resistant to everything from golf balls, hail and larger objects which could potentially impact the home. Due to SmartSide being manufactured from engineered wood and the bonding agents, it is very strong.

Fiber Cement (Hardie) Impact Ranking – 8

Hardie siding is also impact resistant to golfballs and hail but not so much from larger objects of impact. Due to the Fiber Cement product being manufactured form a cement-based product, it will crack more easily when struck with larger objects.

Vinyl Siding Impact Ranking – 3

Vinyl siding offers little in protection from impacts due to the fact that it is a thin, non structural siding product. But due to its flexible nature with lower impacts, the vinyl will bounce back when struck.

wind load racking forceStructural Rigidity Differences 

SmartSide Structural Rigidity Ranking – 10

SmartSide siding holds snug to the wall studs in adding racking and structural rigidity to the wall system due to the fact that this product is structurally strong and is not brittle. Because SmartSide is made of engineered wood, it will move at the same rate as the studs that the home is built with with temperature  changes. This is a good thing in building terms and in my opinion.

Fiber Cement (Hardie) Structural Rigidity Ranking – 7

This product also It holds snug to the wall studs but does not offer much in the way of structural stability. Why is this? Fiber Cement is easily broken as is a brittle product. This is not to say that the fiber cement will not offer the home any structural rigidity, it will however not as much as the SmartSide siding. The Fiber Cement will also move at a slightly different rate as the wood studs in your home with temperature changes.   

Vinyl Siding Structural Rigidity Ranking – 2

Vinyl siding has almost no structural rigidity value to it. It is a very flexible siding product that can be easily bent. It conforms to wavy walls becuase it is so flexible and offers no structural rigidity. It moves at a much greater rate than the wood studs in your home during temperature changes.

hardie fire resistance siding Fire Resistance

LP SmartSide Fire Resistance Ranking – 5

Because the LP SmartSide siding is wood based, it will burn just link the wood that you home is built of.

Hardie Siding Fire Resistance Ranking – 10

If you have a home that is in a high fire danger area, then you should consider this siding product. Made from a cement based process, the Hardie siding is extremely fire resistant

Vinyl Siding Fire Resistance Rating – 1

This one is pretty self explanatory. Vinyl siding when exposed to any kind of heat over 160 fahrenheit will start to melt.  

Appearance

LP SmartSide Appearance Ranking – 10 

The SmartSide siding comes in many profiles and styles. Lap horizontal siding, grooved vertical siding, shake shingle siding and trim options. The LP SmartSide siding products comes in pleasing woodgrain and smooth finishes. 

Fiber Cement (Hardie) Appearance Ranking – 10

Just like it’s competitor it also comes in many profiles and styles. Lap horizontal siding, grooved vertical siding, shake shingle siding and trim options. Also just like it’s competitor above, the Hardie fiber cement siding products comes in pleasing woodgrain and smooth finishes. One note here, the smooth tends to show the imperfections and the nail heads. The wood grain tends to be more pleasing in my opinion. This is the same for the competitor above. 

Vinyl Siding Appearance Ranking – 7

Just like it’s competitors above it also comes in many profiles and styles. Lap horizontal siding, grooved vertical siding, shake shingle siding and trim options. However the Vinyl siding tends to have a plastic look about them. It is an inherent nature of this siding product. 

Warranties Offered

lp smartside 5 / 50 year siding warrantyLP SmartSide 

LP Building Products offers to homeowners a 50 year SmartSide warranty on both the siding and trim. The warranty expresses a 100% coverage for the first 5 years, and then prorated after that from years 6 – 50. Interesting to make note of, the siding and trim are both covered under LP’s 50 year warranty full prorated term. The prorated period starts after the first five years so for example on year 25 you will be getting 50% of the warranty value should an issue arise. 

hardie siding 30 year warrantyFiber Cement (Hardie) 

James Hardie Building Products offers to homeowners a 30 year siding warranty and a 15 year trim warranty. The warranty expresses 100% coverage for the full 30 years on the siding and 15 years on the trim. There is no prorated  period with the James Hardie siding and trim products.

Mastic Lifetime Vinyl Siding Warranty Vinyl Siding 

Since the term, Vinyl Siding is a generic one as there are many manufactures that have a lifetime warranty as PlyGem Mastic offers. This siding product has many manufactures. In general this siding product will come with a lifetime warranty. Having said that, there is really not much to warranty since the product is basically plastic.

Vinyl siding is warranted not to crack, and loose it’s color. One of the problems with Vinyl siding is that you are stuck with the color that you choose. If you are like most homeowners, you like to change up the color from time to time.

And The Winner Is:

LP SmartSide siding is the overall winner! If you are looking for fire resistance then I say to go with the Hardie siding option. You can go wrong with that siding product. If you want to never worry about painting your home and do not mind that inherent plastic look, then I would say go with the Vinyl siding. 

Creditable Reference Links

HCI – SmartSide siding tougher than competition 

DIY Home Decor Blog – Vinyl SmartSide Fiber Cement 

We hope that you have found this LP SmartSiding vs Hardie & Vinyl Siding post informative and most helpful. Thank you from all of us here at, Texas Home Exteriors INC

 

Posted in Siding - James Hardie/Hardiplank, Siding - LP Smartside, Siding - Vinyl, Texas Home Exteriors | 5 Comments

Top Seven Siding Mistakes

Top Seven Siding Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Home Siding Mistakes: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 

Strap on your seatbelts because here we go! Let’s say you are a homeowner in the Houston Texas metro area and have decided to replace the siding on your home. For some this might be a time which is dreaded becuase the time-consuming and laborious task of having to do the job yourself.  Or maybe you’re thinking of which contractors to call to provide an estimate then deciding which one to choose.

Our goal here is to provide you some tips and pointers to help save you some time. Not to mention the hassle of it all by sharing some common pitfalls that could be encountered when replacing your homes siding. In this post, we have put together a comprehensive list of the “Top Seven Siding Mistakes and How To Avoid them. So, get a pen and a pad for any notes you might want to make and let’s get to it! Note: you can click on the images to enlarge them for better detail.

The Top Seven Siding Mistakes: 

Choosing the wrong siding contractor is a mistake

1.  Not choosing a qualified siding contractor

Many advertise and claim they can install siding these days. With a company name, a business card, a truck, estimate forms and tools, they may seem to be a viable option to a homeowner. But be careful if you want your siding done right and by a qualified installer. Be sure to ask the siding contractor for past work references and proof of current insurance. Look for and read their online reviews and ask questions to ensure they have the necessary experience to install your homes new siding correctly.

Sadly, this is one of the top siding mistakes any homeowner can make. It is not selecting their installer company carefully. This is one of the most important mistakes not to make, you don’t want to have the experience of an incorrect or bad installation. The money you might save by hiring the low-bid-estimate contractor, you will lose very quickly and will cost you much more in the long run if the job needs to be redone or corrected by another contractor. As tempting as it might be, going cheap and with the lower estimates could certainly bite! Remind yourself, you very often get what you pay for, as we have all found to be true with nearly everything one can purchase. 

Texas Home Exteriors crew removing siding2 – The mistake of not removing the old siding

While it can be tempting and some contractors may say it is ok and will save you money to leave the existing siding on your home, it is highly recommended to remove that old siding. It is impossible to see every area, where rotted siding and or might exist. This is often under the old existing siding which can later cause you a multitude of problems. This is why removing the old siding is the best solution, this certainly the best long term choice.

Some other things to consider is by installing your new siding over the old siding is that it has a tendency to make the new siding more wavy. It will have more deflection (in and out) which looks bad when looking at any sidewall where the old siding is still underneath. There is also a good chance there could be trapped moisture in between the new and the old siding which can cause rot, mold and mildew down the road, not good! Thi is often the case with vinyl siding, old siding still underneath causing issues. Not removing the old siding is one of the top siding mistakes homeowners and siding contractors alike often make.

Rotted Studs found behind siding3 – Not being able to see rotted studs

When the old siding is removed, it allows access to the studs and framing residing underneath. This is a great opportunity to inspect the studs to find if there might be any rotting issues which need to be addressed, this is the perfect time to take care of any problems like this. The rotted studs or framing can be removed or cut out and replaced with new ones.

Good studs without rot ensures your new siding is securely mounted and so there are no structural issues that could cause problems in the future. In our experience, as we remove old siding, we have found there to be rotted or rotting studs related to framing on approximately 20% of the homes. Finding this rot is a very important step during to ensure a good installing with the new siding securely mounted to a strong, rot-free frame.

Underdriven and overdriven siding nails 4 – Overdriven or underdriven siding nails

Most siding contractors these days use air-powered pneumatic nail guns. These nail guns run on air pressure and require proper adjustment. If the pressure too high, the nails will be overdriven (pushed in too far). This can cause issues down the road as water collects in the cavity created by the nail being pushed in too far. If the nails are underdriven (not pushed in far enough), the nails will stick out and not fully securing (pushing) the siding family to the studs (see image to the right). Under-driven nails can also allow for the possibility of water entering into the sidings core as water can enter along the nail shaft that is protruding out.

It is very important to ensure the pressure of the nail gun is set properly so the nails are set into the newly installed siding snug or flush with the panel. This important step is often overlooked by siding contractors and/or the hired crews. Regardless if you are installing LP SmartSide siding or Hardie Siding, proper nail gun pressure is critical. 

siding level reveal gauge tools5 – Not using a level and reveal gauge

Installing siding is an art. Doing it correctly takes more effort that one might think. When installing siding on a home, it is important to use a level to take into consideration how level the structure sits.
For instance, in the case of when there is a gable end with brick on the first story, it is important to inspect how the siding overlaps the brick. In this case, the siding needs to overlap the edge of the brick by at least 1/2″ or more so it is important to take into consideration, how level the existing brick is to ensure this minimum overlap. If you install the siding level, and the existing brick is unlevel, you will have not enough overlap over the brick. 

It is also important to use a reveal gauge to measure the overlap of the siding. This way, with the siding which starts out level at the bottom, is still level once it meets the top of the structure. The reveal gauge should be placed on every piece of siding to ensure that the siding overlapping does not begin to fall out of line. Checking for consistency as this affects all the pieces which follow as the installer moves up the wall being re-sided.

Peeling cheap paint on siding6 – Using the wrong, cheap or low-grade paint

Big siding mistake! Paint is often one of the most overlooked parts of siding replacement which can cause issues. There is a common misconception that paint is paint. This certainly is not true, keep in mind that the paint used on your new siding is the finishing top coat on your siding.

Exterior paint plays more of a role than just adding color and personality to the home. The paint is also a protectant for your siding and home. For instance, with the intense sun, precipitation and humidity found in the Houston Texas metro area and areas with similar climates, it is important that homeowners select a top-quality paint for your new sidings surface.

It is a big mistake to use the wrong, cheap or low grade paint which will often flake and start to peel after some time, sometimes a short time! Once the integrity of this top coat is compromised in this way, the surface underneath the siding is exposed to the intrusion of the elements (and who knows what else). One of the high quality paints we recommend and use is Sherwin-Williams Super paint or the Resilience line which also comes with a lifetime warranty. 

LP SmartSide Siding BuildSmart Certificate Texas Home Exteriors7 – Not choosing a qualified siding installer

Make sure the siding company you choose uses crews specifically trained and experienced in siding installation. The crews should be equipped with latest tools, training and be using high quality paint products. By hiring a company with a good reputation, who takes pride in their workmanship, quality of their jobs and has integrity will ensure the siding job will look and perform to specifications for many years to come.

Siding Mistakes Links 

TrustedPros – Avoid Siding Mistakes
HGTV – Siding Exterior Mistake

Conclusion On Siding Mistakes 

Choosing an experienced contractor and crews will help ensure your siding installation is done correctly. We hope that you have found this post helpful as you move forward with your project. Nobody wants to have the bad experience which could cost more time, money and headaches from an unwanted siding mistake. You as the homeowner will avoid the mistake of having siding issues down the road. Texas Home Exteriors home of the Texas EZ Pay is here you help you with your needs.  Thank you from all of at Texas Home Exteriors. 

Posted in Siding - James Hardie/Hardiplank, Siding - LP Smartside, Siding - Residential Homes, Texas Home Exteriors | Leave a comment

Algae Resistant Roofing Shingles

 

A Roof Algae Is Growing On Algae Resistant Roofing Shingles

Do you know what those ugly streaks are which can be seen on roofs? These dark spots (which can be found on roofs in moister areas of the country like the Houston Texas) are algae streaks. Most homeowners notice this on their roofs and often question, what is the causes? What can be done about it? Also is this going to be an ongoing problem I will have to deal with for the life of my roofing shingles?”

These are great questions worth a good, solid answer. What you’ll find in this “Algae Resistant Roofing Shingles” post, is some informative and helpful tips and pointers to help you understand what is happening to your roof, how to prevent or resolve the issue. 

What Are Those Streaks I am Seeing On My Roof?

The roof streaks are algae staining on the roof surface. This algae is literally growing on the roof and embedding itself into your roofing shingles. This happens because of the very small spaces asphalt roof surfaces created by the coated roofing granules. In other words, with the roofing granules being irregular in shape, this provides small areas which can hold moisture allowing for a great environment for algae to grow.

As the moisture sits in these small spaces, mold and or algae begins to form in between these little areas. This typically happens on homes located in humid areas of the country, where the roofs tend to stay moist longer creating a perfect algae breeding-ground. This is most commonly seen on the north side of a home’s roof with the tendency to get less sunshine thus remaining moist for longer periods of time. 

What Kind of Algae Is Growing On My Roof?

The type of Algae that grows on roofs is called, Gloeocapsa Magma. This is a black algae which is living and is feeding on the surface of your limestone, granulated surface roofing shingles. This constant feeding will break down the shingles which will cause premature failure as it loosens the granules exposing the asphalt and fiberglass mat underneath, not a good thing to have happen.    

Algae Resistant Roofing Shingles Your Best Choice 

The most effective way (by far) to stop the roof on your home from getting those ugly roofing streaks in the first place. We recommend having an Algae resistant roofing shingles installed. These type of shingles were created for the purpose of preventing algae growth on the shingles. When installing a new roof, this is definitely the best option available to prevent your roof from getting those ugly stains which often occurs just a few years of installation. 

How Are The Algae Resistant Roofing Shingles Made? 

Have you ever noticed that when you look at a roof that has algae streaks, that there are no streaks on the downside of the metal roof projections? The reason why there are no streaks below the metal objects is because the water rolls down the roof and across the metal which is a metallic product with copper and zinc in it. This process just happens to kill the microscopic algae. As the manufacturers of the roofing shingles realized this, they actually created roofing shingles with copper and zinc which are now available for homeowners to have installed on their homes.

These shingles are marketed as AR, Algae Resistant, made with copper and zinc small granules in them for a non streaking algae resistant roof.  These roofing shingles are made with both copper or zinc granules embedded in them depending on which roofing shingle manufacturer’s shingles you choose to install.

Zinc Roofing Strps Alternative Roof Product with Zinc Strips

By doing a search on the internet you will find that there are many products on the market which will help keep the roof from getting those ugly algae streaks. One of the products is Zinc Armor. This product is a metallic strip that can be installed on the upper most point of your roof. When water rolls over it, the algae below is being neutralized (killed). This will in turn stop algae that may be trying to grow on your roofing surface.  

 

Algae Resistant Roof Shingles Points:

  • Algae on your roof will decreases the life of your roof
  • Algae can be cleaned off 
  • Copper and Zinc will stop Algae from growing
  • Algae resistant shingles are a great long term option
  • When replacing your roof, consider installing algae resistant shingles
  • Extra cost is nominal

Algae Resistant Roofing Manufacturers

When roofing your home located in the humid southwest of the United States, we recommend considering algae resistant roof shingles. Below is a list of algae resistant shingles manufactured by several different companies.

  1. GAF Timberline algae resistant roofing shingles. This shingle is marketed with stain guard protection to homeowners.
  2. Tamko Roofing Shingles – Algae Relief  
  3. Owens Corning – Algae Resistance  
  4. Atlas Roofing – Scotchgard Algae Resistance 
  5. Certainteed Landmark – Algae Resistance 

Black Streaks on Roof - Algae StainsImpacts on the Inside The Home

There is yet another issue you may want to consider which many homeowners do not think of when it comes to roof algae. Do you think that a roof with algae growing on its surface will have any impact on those living inside the home? I can’t help but think that most definitely the answer to this question would be, absolutely!

Keep in mind that musty smell that you sense when you enter a home from the outside, could very well be a good indicator of a possible issue in the roof system. This would more be the case dependant on how bad the algae problem is on the roof. Of course, the worse the algae, the greater the chances are that the roof can be contributing to the musty smell. This oder is more the case in hot and humid areas such as Houston Texas where we at Texas Home Exteriors see this issue and installs many algae resistant roofing systems. 

GAF Stainguard Algae Resistant Roofing ShinglesGAF Stainguard – Algae Resistant Permanent Roofing Solution 

Now you have a choice when it comes to replacing your roof. GAF offers a roofing system that will not streak due to the inclusion of copper and zinc built into their roofing shingles! Your new GAF roof will look great for years to come and will be backed by the GAF warranty. Now you can rest assured that you will never see those ugly algae roofing streaks again. The roof on your home will look just like new for many years to come! 

GAF Timberline HD With StainGuard Algae ResistantConclusion for Algae Resistant Roofing Shingles 

Many homeowners are not aware that their is algae is currently growing on their roof which will eventually create ugly black streaks. We recommend to homeowners to go outside and take a look around their roof for signs of this problem.

And remember, when it is time to replace your roof, we strongly recommend that you consider AR “algae resistant” roof shingles to provide you with many more years of service and the look of a new roof not to mention. you will be much less likely to encounter algae issues (not to mention breathing issues inside of your home). Check out the GAF Roofing Shingle colors and selections available. We have our famed Texas EZ Pay Financing if needed. Thank you from all of us here at, Texas Home Exteriors for visiting our site and reading this post on Algae Resistant Roofing Shingles.

Posted in Texas Home Exteriors | 3 Comments
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