Unless you have a background in the construction or siding industries, the term engineered wood siding may seem completely foreign to you. Other terms you may hear that essentially refer to the same product are, synthetic wood, manufactured wood, and composite wood siding. If you completely trust your contractor on a choice of material then understanding different types of siding may not be necessary. But if you would like to obtain some knowledge of this unique material then continue reading for a detailed look at what engineered wood siding is and why someone may opt to use it over the other available options.
Definition of Engineered Wood Siding
Traditional siding is typically made of planks of treated wood, and while that is still a viable option, there are plenty of materials that hold up better to direct sunlight, moisture, and drastic temperature changes. Engineered wood siding is made by combining fibers of wood that are coated in wax with chemical binders. The sheets of resin, binders, and strands of wood fibers that are produced are then heat-treated for strength and to make them resistant to fungal decay. The large sheets are then cut into whatever shape they need to be, such as planks or panels and from there the pieces are coated in an additional layer of waterproof resin. After the initial manufacturing process, some producers opt to emboss or press a pattern into the outer layer of resin that will make the finished product more like natural wood grain.
Engineered Wood Siding Styles
As engineered wood siding is created to look and feel just like wood siding many of the styling options you would get with wood are available with engineered wood as well. Like most siding, engineered wood is available in shingles or board styles. This gives you a wide variety of shapes and configurations.
Boards – As both wood and engineered wood siding are so flexible there are hundreds of options that you can choose from how you want your boards to be displayed and arranged. First, you need to decide whether you want them to be arranged horizontally or vertically. Then, you can choose how they should be arranged, these options include styles like lap, board-and-batten, tongue-and-groove, clapboard, and trim boards.
Shingles – Shingles can be a great option as well; they give your home more of a rustic classic appearance and provide the same amount of protection as boards. Also like boards, shingles come in a variety of shapes, including half-rounds and octagons. Custom made precut styles are also available.
Color and Finish - Choosing the type of wood you would like to use can be slightly easier with engineered wood, as it does not matter if you like the look of hard or softwood. This siding is created the same way no matter if you prefer the look of pine or cedar. You can also choose from many different colors of the siding.
Benefits of Engineered Wood Siding
While this is still a relatively new material, the benefits of engineered wood siding far outpace the more dated options available.
Warranties - are typically longer with this material, and in some cases, it can be as long as 30 years and eligible to be passed on to future homeowners.
Strength - While it is stronger and denser than traditional wood siding, it still cuts well and is easier for contractors and their staff to work with. Also as there is a minimal amount of wood in the finished product, it is less susceptible to things like warping and water damage.
Resilience - This material is very resistant to damage. While some materials like vinyl can be dented or torn, engineered wood siding stands up to the pressures of installation.
Drawbacks of Engineered Wood Siding
Though the benefits of this material are unmistakable, there are some drawbacks that may give a homeowner pause or the desire to go with something else.
The one concern that most people seem to worry more about these days is the environmental aspect. The engineered wood manufacturing process involves the use of chemicals and binders that would not be considered by most to be eco-friendly.
Others are concerned with the visual appearance of the product itself. While there are efforts to make this material look more like natural wood, there is still a distinctly manufactured look that may appear too perfect to some homeowners.
One of the biggest drawbacks with engineered wood siding is that it is relatively new to the market, and while there are warranties that go as far out as 30 years, in most cases we haven’t observed what happens to this product after that long.
Picking the right type of siding for you can be one of the most important decisions to make when it comes to keeping your home safe. At Weather-Tite Exterior we are siding experts and can help you choose what type of siding is the right option for you and your home. Call us today for more information on engineered wood or to request a quote.
Engineered Wood Siding Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Engineered Wood Siding Last?
Engineered wood can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years. Many engineered wood manufacturers will offer excellent warranties if for some reason it does not last as long as promised.
How Do You Clean Engineered Wood Siding?
The best way to keep your engineered wood siding looking great is to wash it annually with a solution of mild detergent and water. It's best to use a sponge, cloth, or soft brush to wash the surface and rinse off the residue using a garden hose. Do not use an abrasive household cleaner, and do not use a high-pressure washer. It is best to use a solution of three parts water to one-part white vinegar.
Do I Need to Paint My Engineered Wood Siding?
You do not need to paint engineered wood, but it is recommended to paint every 5-10 years to help keep the siding looking great and it will increase the longevity of the siding.