Wood siding has stood the test of time as one of the most beautiful and accessible types of siding. It was used by our ancestors who first settled this country, and it still remains one of the most popular siding choices today. If properly cared for, wood siding has been known to last up to 30 years or longer. Let’s take a look at some of the common types of wood siding available as well as the benefits of wood siding over other materials.
Types of Wood Siding
Pine Siding – Pine is an easy to obtain and durable wood option that has been considered by most builders to be the standard. The main benefit of pine is that it takes a wide variety of finishes well and is considered a softwood, which makes it much less expensive than other wood options. If you have the time to properly seal your pine siding and keep up with maintenance, it will be beautiful for years to come.
Cedar Siding – Cedar has been used for centuries because of its rich smell, durability as well as it’s resistants to both rot and insects. Cedar is going to be one of the most expensive options, but if the striking appearance and smell are worth it to you it will be a great investment. As with all wood siding options, it will need to be sealed, stained, and properly maintained on a regular basis.
Spruce Siding - Spruce is another member of the pine family, so it’s also considered a softwood. It costs around the same as pine per square foot and has very similar characteristics. Because spruce trees are generally larger than pine trees, longer planks of wood are able to be harvested. For this reason, there are more options with how it is installed on your home.
Redwood Siding - Redwood is not seen nearly as often on homes as other wood options such as pine, especially as you travel further east, as redwood is typically harvested on the west coast. Redwood is resistant to shrinking and warping which makes it ideal for all types of climates, even those that tend to be more humid. It absorbs many finishes and is insect and rot-resistant so maintenance will not be as intense for redwood. The only con for redwood may be the cost, as it tends to be one of the most expensive options.
What Are The Benefits of Wood Siding
One of the most obvious benefits of wood siding is the appearance. While there may be other more cost-effective options out there for siding, you will never be able to achieve the natural beauty and warmth of a home that has wood exterior siding. You can stain wood siding many different colors to achieve the desired look, and over time with proper maintenance, its character will only continue to deepen.
Downfalls of Wood Siding, Proper Maintenance
Drawbacks of wood are definitely the maintenance involved. Although wood siding still might be the most popular type of siding it has by far the highest maintenance of all the sidings.
In order to properly maintain your wood siding, you must first make sure you choose the right sealer. As the wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity, if left unprotected your paint will chip and crack, this will put more pressure on the caulked seams around the windows and doors. This additional pressure can cause the caulk to fail and leave your wood susceptible for root as it allows water to seep into the cracks.
There are 3 different types of sealant for your wood siding:
Stain – Stain in a substance that seeps into the wood fibers which helps seal against moisture, it is also resistant to cracking and chipping that affects paint.
Paint – If you decide to use paint, you will need to be repainted every 5 years or as soon as you see it deteriorate.
Clear Sealers - Clean sealers like polyurethane can be an option if you are hoping to keep your woods natural color. Its protection factor works much like paint but will need to be reapplied more often (generally every 2 years). One of the downfalls of clear sealers is that it will not prevent the color of your wood from changing it will only slow down the process.
The last important part of the maintenance process is making sure that you keep your siding properly cleaned. By using warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush you can remove a majority of mildew and rust stains. You should do this on an annual basis.
The drawbacks of wood are definitely the maintenance involved. Although wood siding still might be the most popular type of siding it has by far the highest maintenance of all the sidings.