Siding is the external material applied to the walls of a house or other structure that is meant to discard water, protect the walls from the effects of weather, insulate, and is important to the aesthetics of the structure. Siding may be formed of horizontal or vertical boards, shingles, or sheet materials. In all cases, avoiding wind and rain infiltration through the joints is a major challenge, met by overlapping, covering or sealing the joints, or by forming an interlocking joint such as a tongue and groove or rabbet.
Siding may be made of wood, metal, plastic (vinyl), masonry, or composite materials. It may be attached directly to the building structure (studs in the case of wood construction), or to an intermediate layer of wood (boards, planks, plywood, oriented strand board) called sheathing. An intermediate air/moisture barrier may be applied to the sheathing or a modern sheathing material also serves as an air/moisture barrier.
Vinyl siding is the most popular choice for remodeling and new construction – it delivers the quality appearance of wood without the costly, time-consuming maintenance. Vinyl won’t split, peel or rot. And because its color goes throughout the panel, it never needs to be scraped, stained or painted.
Fiber cement is the only siding that combines the performance of masonry—minimal upkeep; rot-, fire-, and termite-proof; unaffected by wind or cold—with the look of painted wood clapboards, shingles, even stone or brick. Yet fiber cement goes for just a fraction of the cost of these other materials. No wonder nearly 15 percent of new homes use it!
Aesthetics, durability, and the track record of wood siding makes it a choice worth considering. Under normal conditions and with proper periodic maintenance, quality wood siding will last the life of the building.
Wood siding is a veneer or protective covering that is attached to the exterior of the house. The wood is held in place primarily by nails, screws, or in some cases construction adhesives.
Water does penetrate wood, so it is important that a moisture barrier is installed between the siding and the structure. Wood siding will deteriorate if not properly maintained, particularly at joints, knot holes, or points of damage. The required periodic maintenance includes painting or staining and caulking.