Which Siding Material Offers The Most Fire Resistance?
Here’s What Every Central MA Homeowner Should Know.
Though it’s probably not your TOP reason for selecting a specific kind of exterior siding, it is smart to consider whether or not the material is fire resistant.
While harsh weather is a WAY more common problem for New England homeowners, fires can happen, and it’s important to know whether or not your siding will offer any protection or literally add fuel to the fire.
So, which type of siding IS the most fire resistant?
Based on the research and our years of experience as one of the biggest siding installers in Central MA, fiber cement siding is the clear winner, in terms of fire resistance, at least when compared to vinyl and wood. Specifically, we like James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding the best.
3 Most Common Types Of Siding
Aluminum siding once had its day in the sun, and brick is great if your home’s already made of it. Nowadays, though, most Central MA homes have either vinyl, wood, or fiber cement siding.
Below is our brief guide to all three:
Vinyl siding is extremely popular because it’s fairly inexpensive, it can look good on nearly any home, and you don’t have to paint it. That being said, it comes with some downsides.
Paint doesn’t adhere very well to it, so you are more or less stuck with the color you have, unless you want to deal with cracked paint.
Vinyl siding can also lead to wood rot. While vinyl is water-resistant, it can allow water to seep behind it and cause MAJOR damage to the wood underneath.
As for fire resistance, it’s not ideal. At the high temperatures a major house fire would burn at, vinyl siding would simply melt. It’s not necessarily highly flammable, but it’s far from flame resistant.
Wood siding looks great, and it can even add value to your home…if you happen to find a buyer that really likes it. Of course, you should only install wood siding if YOU really like it because it will add an additional maintenance burden. It will also need to be painted regularly, and you’ll have to be extra careful to prevent water damage.
In terms of fire-resistance, wood siding is the worst because it is flammable. Most wood siding is treated with chemicals to make it significantly more fire-resistant, but at a high enough temperature they can still ignite.
So, unless you like wood siding enough to put in the extra work and money that WILL go into properly maintaining it, it may not be the best choice of exterior siding.
Fiber Cement Siding
Last and definitely not least is fiber cement siding. For us, it provides the most benefits with the fewest downsides, and it’s easily our favorite. It’s not an arbitrary whim, though. We’ve done the research and tested all the options.
First of all, it’s incredibly durable and has a LONG lifespan. While other siding materials can last a couple of decades, fiber cement siding can last more than 50 years. In fact, it SHOULD last that long, as long as it’s taken care of.
Secondly, it looks great. It comes in an amazing array of styles, many of which look nearly IDENTICAL to wood siding. The difference is they come without the added maintenance hassles.
Fiber cement siding also provides the best VALUE over time. You can spend a little less on vinyl in the here and now, but the added lifespan more than makes up for it.
But What About Fire Resistance?
Fiber cement siding is also the MOST fire resistant siding material out there. Because it’s made of fiberglass and cement, it’s VERY hard to burn. It won’t stop a fire, but it also won’t burn away as easily as wood, and it won’t melt like vinyl.
Why James Hardie Is The Best Brand In The Business
James Hardie invented fiber cement siding and then proceeded to perfect it and perfect it over the years. The fiber cement siding we install today is SO much better than it was 20 years ago, and their products just keep getting better.
James Hardie fiber cement siding is DESIGNED to hold up to the weather we get in this part of the country. It’s also DURABLE and non-combustible, as we mentioned.
James Hardie also backs up their products with FOUR different warranties:
- 30-year limited transferable warranty on materials and installation
- 15-year trim warranty materials and installation
- Weather barrier warranty good for 10 years
- ColorPlus-enhanced siding comes with a 15-year finish warranty
If that’s not enough, James Hardie siding has also been deemed Green Builder Media’s “Greenest Siding Brand.” They locally source 75% of their raw materials, and they even process them nearby to reduce the need for transportation.
Why Choose Solid State To Install Your Siding
We know siding QUITE well. You might even say it’s our specialty. James Hardie siding is truly our favorite material to work with because we know the kind of quality you get when we install it.
Our James Hardie installers are trained thoroughly by our own James Hardie expert, Rudi da Silva. He is a former James Hardie employee himself and makes sure each and every technician we send out is more than up to par.
James Hardie fiber cement siding is not an easy material to work with, and all that training is necessary to get it ABSOLUTELY right. When contractors don’t follow procedure , the results can be disastrous, which is a shame for such a great product.
So, if you want your siding installed by the experts, please give us a call today or schedule a virtual consultation online.