In Canada, home building materials are carefully selected to deal with the country’s extreme weather. The severe cold in winter and intense summer heat can quickly deteriorate materials. With siding, there’s no exception, the material must be able to withstand adverse weather conditions. This can make the process of choosing siding a bit more complicated and often confusing.
Siding acts as a protective barrier that prevents the outside elements from reaching the interior framework of your home. It contributes to making your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Siding prevents intense cold, ice, moisture and even flying debris from getting into your home.
Homes that lack the right siding are poorly insulated. Poor insulation results in energy wastage, which could explain the sudden spike in your energy bills. One common sign that your home has poor siding is cracking. Cracks and breaks show the inability of the siding to withstand freezing and thawing cycles.
The right choice of siding is the one that works for the type of climate you reside in. In Canada, there are different climates and some siding will work better than others.
We’ll go over the most common siding options available today.
This is one of the most commonly used in Canadian homes due to its low cost and minimal maintenance demands. Vinyl siding is quite easy to install and doesn’t have additional maintenance expenses like an exterior painting. This siding is also very versatile as it comes in a wide range of colors and designs.
Vinyl siding is durable and water resistant. Debris, dirt, and mold can be removed by power washing at regular intervals. Poor installation of vinyl siding can cause it to buckle over time. The material may become brittle and easily break or crack when hit.
Main advantage: It’s resistant to color fading and quite affordable compared to most siding options.
Major drawback: It can be damaged by strong winds or crack and break in extreme weather. It’s also not waterproof.
Cost of vinyl siding: Depends on the type and quality of vinyl you’re going for. Generally, costs between $9 and $150 per square ft.
Beautiful, durable and low maintenance, these are the main features that make brick siding a popular choice in Canada homes. Though it’s more expensive than most siding options, brick has an unmatched sophisticated look. This siding material can be maintained by simply power washing.
Brick siding is not water-resistant, but the material doesn’t weaken when exposed to water; it just absorbs it. However, if exposed to salt brick, it corrodes and weakens over time. It’s not recommended in homes near the coastline or in the ocean-side.
Main advantages brick siding:
• Radiates natural strength and unmatched beauty
• Low maintenance
Major drawback: Expensive and unsuitable for homes exposed to salty water. Can be costly to repair and installation is somewhat complex.
Cost of brick siding: Expect to spend between $7 to $15 on the brick siding and $6 to $11 per sq. ft. for installation.
This is a popular siding often used in commercial and industrial buildings due to its practicality and low cost. Aluminum withstands extreme weather much better than vinyl siding. It can retain temperature better than vinyl, which is why energy-conscious building owners prefer it as an excellent siding option. It’s also very versatile as it comes in a wide range of colors. Another advantage of aluminum is that it holds shade and finish longer than vinyl, so most people paint it to complement their building design. This siding can be used in coastal homes where moisture is an issue.
Main advantages: Stands up well to damp weather, it’s versatile and long-lasting. It’s easy to install. It doesn’t rust. Offers great insulation benefits.
Major drawback: Aluminium dents easily. It’s noisy and not very attractive. The color of aluminum also fades over time.
Cost of aluminium siding: Expect to spend between $199 to $250 per 100 sq. ft. depending on the quality of aluminum you choose.
Perhaps the classic and rustic look of wood best complements your home design. Wood has a unique finish which transforms over time as it is exposed to the elements. Wood is available in varying shapes and colors making it a very versatile siding option. You can choose horizontal wood boards that mimic shakes and shingles to give the property a cohesive look.
When to choose wood shakes
If you’re looking for long-lasting siding that is watertight, wood shakes from cedar are the best option. Keep in mind that the shakes come untreated. You will have to finish or seal this wood siding to prevent it from rotting over time. Cedar and redwood shakes are more durable even without finishing. They just require a bit of priming. With wood siding, it’s important to consider the climate in your area. Though there are many wood types to choose from such as pine, cedar, and redwood, your options are still limited if you’re looking for siding that’s ideal for extreme climates.
With proper installation and the right measures taken to ensure utmost protection, wood siding can stand the test of time. Unsealed wood exposes your home to moisture, which is extremely dangerous and costly to fix. Get a contractor to ensure the wood siding is properly fit and sealed if you want it to offer the best value for money.
Drawbacks of wood siding: Wood shakes can be hard to maintain compared to other siding options. This type of siding is prone to rotting, splitting, cracking or cupping if not well maintained. The wood siding should be painted every 3 to 4 years in order to avoid damage.
Benefits of wood siding:
• It has a great aesthetic appeal
• A wide range of options to choose from
• It’s easy to replace when damaged
• It’s eco-friendly
• Can be customized by staining or painting
The cost of wood siding: This will depend on the type of wood you choose as well as your location because it determines the availability of certain wood types. Cedarwood can cost $50 to $25 per sq. ft. whereas plywood is cheaper at $35 per 32 sq. ft.
WOOD FIBER SIDING
Wood fibre siding is made from wood fibers, glue, and fillers. The siding has a classic texture like real wood, and you can paint or stain it to achieve any desired look. Wood fiber is a more affordable siding option that’s available in a wider range of colors. It’s also easy to install.
The main drawback with wood siding is that it has extensive maintenance demands. The material has to be sealed at the ends to avoid swelling due to moisture exposure. Swelling can still occur if there are bumps or nicks on the surface of the siding. This makes maintaining wood siding a challenge in homes with wet climates.
While wood fiber is cheaper, the cost of maintenance is relatively high. It is not a recommended siding option for wet environments.
Main advantages of wood fiber:
• It’s cost-effective
• You can achieve a unique look and feel
• It’s eco-friendly
• Can be easily customized
• Resilient and long lasting
Major drawbacks of wood fibre siding: When installed in humid environments, wood fiber can attract moisture leading to costly damage.
The cost of wood fibre siding: You will spend $11 to $27 per 1600 sq. ft. for wood fibre siding panels.
FIBER CEMENT SIDING
Fibre cement is made from cement, sand and recycled wood fiber. It’s an extremely durable siding material that comes in a wide range of colors and styles. This siding option is designed to resemble other materials like cedar shingles and wood clapboards. It offers the same authentic look of wood siding but at a lower cost and with reduced maintenance demands.
Although fiber siding is more expensive than vinyl siding, it outlasts it because the material is resistant to moisture damage as well as hazards such as insects, wind and fire. Fiber cement siding can be used in a wide range of climates. It’s ideal for humid environments because it doesn’t rot when it gets wet. The cement and sand that constitutes this siding also make it resistant to insects like termites.
There are currently no recycling programs for fiber cement siding but since it’s unlikely to rot and it is an inert material, it has a minimal environmental impact when it ends up in the landfill.
Main advantage of fiber cement: Fairs very well in fluctuating climates. It’s not affected by freezing and thawing cycles. It also holds paint better than wood siding so it’s likely to maintain a clean and polished look for longer.
Major drawback of fiber cement: Costly to install as more manpower is needed to handle this material. Fiber cement siding is heavy and difficult to replace.
Updating your siding is a big project and D’Angelo & Sons is committed to delivering an exceptional siding service. Whether you need help choosing the right siding for your property or a reliable installation expert, reach out to the experts at D’Angelo & Sons. It’s time to give your home a complete makeover with new siding.