It seems that sustainability is the trend and with government programs such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design), the US Green Building Council’s certification for sustainable buildings already in practice, it is no surprise that those interested in home siding have also looked to greenness when it comes to restoration or replacement. At ASAP ROOFING, sustainability has always been important, as has been educating consumers about sustainable choices in the market.
So let’s take a look at what we can do when it comes to home siding the green way.
- Unless your home siding is leaking, rotting or warping, try to avoid replacing it. While new home siding may beautify your home, it may also create a fair amount of waste. Often, existing home siding can be made more attractive by power washing or painting rather than replacement. On the other hand, in an area such as Denver, Colorado, the specialists at ASAP ROOFING often find the home siding has been damaged due to hail or wind, in instances such as these, it is imperative to replace siding to prevent further damage to the home.
- Consider Durability. A common rule in durability is that the products that last the longest are the most sustainable. However, just as in roofing, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Vinyl siding, for example, is quite durable, but produces significant hazardous pollution during the manufacturing process. Another example is wood siding, which can last a long time, but requires frequent painting –which bears its own environmental toll — to maintain.
- Consider Maintenance Costs. As mentioned above, some options look affordable and durable yet the cost on the environment to maintain these options outweighs the durability. While oriented strand board (OSB) and hardiboard use small, lower-grade trees than solid wood or plywood, they also require more frequent painting than traditional wood, which emits more hazardous chemicals. On the other hand, fiber-cement, a blend of Portland cement, wood fibers, sand, and clay, requires less frequent staining and painting than traditional wood, yet requires extensive energy to produce and emits a lot of silica dust — which is very harmful to breathe — when sawed or cut.
Damaged Vinyl Siding
So what are the “good” options?
1. Masonry: Masonry production bears relatively little impact on the environment, being composed of brick, natural stone, and manufactured stone (a cement-based product poured into molds and finished to look like real stone). Because it is fire resistant, and durable, masonry takes little to maintain. To improve the sustainability of this choice even further, look for salvage or recycled brick or stone.
2. Stucco: Because stucco today uses what is known as EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System), a synthetic stucco applied over foam insulation boards on the outside of the house, it results in a significant energy savings. Additionally, it typically does not ever need repainting, and is less likely to crack than traditional stucco, and provides good resistance to fire.
3. Wood: Woods like cedar, redwood, and cypress have a great resistance to moisture and insects, use less energy to manufacture, are made from a renewable resource, and result is relatively no waste as other industries can always use scrap wood. While scrap siding can often be reused, wood siding does have some drawbacks. Requiring painting every five to ten years, maintenance requirements can be high, and the harvesting of trees does cause environmental damage. To protect these precious forests, your best bet is to choose Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified siding, or reclaimed wood siding, which is typically milled from lumber salvaged from old buildings and other structures.Hardiboard shake and lap siding
As always, the professionals at ASAP ROOFING would be glad to help you find the most sustainable siding option for your home. Just visit them at http://asaproofing.com/.
Written by Nick Dorotik