From Renee Rutledge on April 18, 2011 in Siding
The home siding market is saturated with cheap, toxic, hard-to-justify products. Take, for example, the vinyl siding options that promise easy maintenance, durability and an incredibly low up-front investment. While vinyl and other plastics may be eye-catching, it’s important to remember that they’ll be around in dumps and landfills for thousands of years after they’ve adorned your home.
Luckily, when it comes to green siding, you’ve got plenty of options. To check pricing in your area, click here.
Wood siding is long lasting when properly maintained, and from the right suppliers it’s a plentiful, renewable raw material. If you’re thinking about wood siding for your home, you’ll want to make sure that it’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC certified wood is harvested by socially and ecologically responsible companies that work to give back as much as they take.
On the down side, wood siding eventually rots and needs to be painted every few years.
Engineered wood is manufactured by pressing wood fibers together with waxes and resins. It’s long-lasting, affordable, and bio-degrades nearly as quickly as natural wood. Some engineered woods are manufactured with formaldehyde, but you can avoid that pitfall by simply selecting a formaldehyde-free variety.
Engineered wood looks great and lasts a very long time. It’s best in dry climates where it won’t warp and swell.
Metal siding will easily last a lifetime and is virtually maintenance-free. It can sustain all kinds of temperatures and inclement weather, and shakes off extreme humidity and aridity like nobody’s business.
Unfortunately, metal siding is considered a high embodied energy product. That means that its manufacture, marketing and disposal consume a questionably high amount of resources. Metal siding types should only be used as a long-term siding solution that really justifies their costs.
Fiber cement siding is very long lasting, demands little or no regular maintenance, and can be surprisingly affordable. It’s lightweight, easy to install and easy to transport. But be cautious. While some fiber cement products are made with a high volume of recycled materials, they sometimes contain epoxy as well, which does not bio-degrade.
Most stucco is made with cement and epoxy, but some eco-friendly stucco can be found that uses earth and lime mixtures instead. Eco-friendly stucco sports a basic, no frills look and feel, and is both affordable and long-lasting. Keep in mind that any stucco will probably need repainting every couple of years.
Photos by Truwood Siding