When investing in new siding for your home, there are many things to consider such as your budget, the type of siding material, and your location (near a body of water or a busy road). Bottom line is you want curb appeal without having to spend a lot of time on upkeep. If your will be replacing the siding in the next year or so, consider one of these low-maintenance siding materials for your home exterior.
Vinyl siding, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is one of the most popular siding materials currently on the market for several reasons. It’s ideal for DIY projects – lightweight means it’s easy to install. It’s inexpensive – per linear foot it’s the most budget-friendly siding material. Because vinyl siding is available in a variety of colours and styles, it can be easily matched to additions such as an attached garage or a family room that has been built several years after the original siding was installed. It’s easy to maintain – doesn’t need painting; not prone to rotting, warping, or pest infestations. While vinyl siding has a lot of pluses, it is not an eco-friendly siding material choice.
To clean vinyl siding, use a power-washer on a low setting or a soft-bristled brush and a pail of mild soapy water.
Aluminum siding is a popular siding material because it’s versatile, available different sizes, colours, and textures, and is easy to keep clean. It is the second most bud-get friendly siding material on the market. Aluminum siding can be painted. It is very durable, lightweight, and resistant to fire, mold, and pest infestations. If new siding isn’t on your list of DIY projects this year, because it’s lightweight and relatively straightforward to install, labour costs will be lower. It’s an eco friendly siding material choice because it can be recycled.
Aluminum siding can be easily cleaned with a mild detergent solution and a soft-bristled brush or natural fibre cloth.
Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement is very durable, available in a variety of styles, colours, and textures. It can be manufactured to resemble wood grain, cedar shakes, cedar shingles, and stone. Depending on the location, fiber cement siding can last up to 35 years before having to be replaced. Since it’s not recyclable, it can’t be considered an eco-friendly siding option.
Clean fiber cement siding once a year. If the siding came with any manufacture instructions for cleaning, follow those. Otherwise, skip the power-washer, and use a garden hose. If you need to use a cleaning solution to remove stains, mold or mildew, use a product specifically formulated for fiber cement surfaces.
While fiber cement siding is low-maintenance, it is prone to moisture absorption. To keep it in tip-top shape for years to come, consider taking the following steps:
- Clear out the gutters and downspouts to prevent overflowing
- Trim back vegetation growing close to the siding – plants, shrubs, etc. can encourage moisture accumulation
- Check to see if the caulk around windows, doors, and corners has not been damage or worn
- Plan to paint it every ten to 15 years – while it is a durable siding material, it will become faded and worn over time
Modified Wood Siding
A type of composite wood, modified wood siding is ideal for the homeowner who wants the look and feel of real wood without the high-maintenance factor. Available in a variety of styles, colours, and textures, it is manufactured by combining natural wood fibres with resin and then applying heat without oxygen to increase its strength and durability. Modified wood siding is weather-resistant, insect-resistant, and not prone to swelling or shrinking like wood is. However, while it’s not susceptible to rot, it will develop a weathered appearance over time. As a siding material it is free of chemicals and typically has a longer lifespan than real wood.
Clean modified wood siding at least once a year. Depending on your climatic region, you might need to only wash your home exterior once every two years. Because of the way it’s manufactured, you will never need to paint it.
Brick is one of the most durable siding materials. When well-maintained, it can last hundreds of years. Brick, made from natural materials such as clay, shale, and sand, is eco-friendly. Brick siding is fire-resistant, weather-resistant, and offers more insulation from noise and escaping air than other types of siding materials.
A brick home exterior should be cleaned once a year. Remove dust and dirt first with a dry brush or broom before pressure washing or manually applying a mild cleaning solution. Older brick siding might need tuckpointing (replacing the mortar between bricks in specific areas) or repointing (an in-depth removal and replacing of damaged or missing mortar).