Is Fiber Cement Siding Ideal for Cold Weather Climates?

Siding does more than simply help your home maintain its curb appeal; it’s also your home’s first defense against the weather and conditions outside. When you live in a climate that experiences very cold weather, you may have some concerns about the material you’re putting on your home. After all, things like vinyl, wood, and even brick can have problems in cold weather climates if they aren’t maintained properly. Thankfully for those searching for another option, fiber cement siding makes an ideal covering for any home in cold weather climates.

The Problem with Siding and Cold Climates

There are a few different issues that can arise with your siding in a cold weather climate. These can range from keeping your utility bills low to preventing the kind of maintenance unique to these climates. Fiber cement siding has an answer for all of them, allowing you to feel good about your choice.

Insulation

Obviously, the number one concern that most people have is insulation. You want to ensure that your siding can help keep out the cold weather that can drive your utility bills through the roof each winter.

Fiber cement siding paired with insulation made just for this purpose creates an excellent barrier against the cold. Most types of insulation used with fiber cement are formed to fit perfectly behind the siding, leaving no gaps where air or moisture can infiltrate your home.

Freeze & Thaw Cycles

The second biggest concern that most people have is the freeze/thaw factor. In cold climates, any moisture that seeps into a material – such as wood, brick, or mortar can freeze very quickly when temperatures drop. When water freezes, it expands, which can do some serious damage to your siding and your home. While most siding in good condition is fairly watertight, wood that is losing its paint or mortar that has some cracks in it can become problematic because water can now seep in just enough to freeze, expand, and do some damage.

Fiber cement siding is naturally water resistant. It doesn’t absorb water, swell, or expand so you don’t have to worry about how a freeze/thaw cycle will affect your siding over time. And because it’s also virtually maintenance free, you also don’t have to spend a lot of time each fall and spring searching out areas to repair to ensure that the next winter doesn’t put your home in jeopardy.

Melting Vinyl

Another issue that is unique to cold weather climates is the problem of vinyl siding actually melting in some areas. This is because most people who live in colder climates often install insulated glass windows, with double panes and a low-E coating to help keep energy bills down.

In cold weather, these types of windows have a tendency to warp very slightly, which concentrates the light onto the center of the panes. Combined with the low-E coating, which reflects light, you now have a concentrated stream of light – and heat – pointing away from the windows. If your home is directly across from a neighbor’s that has these types of windows installed, and you have vinyl siding covering your home, you could find that this beam of light and heat actually causes your siding to melt at this point. And because this is not seen as an issue with the vinyl itself, but merely a circumstance of where it’s installed, you will be responsible for making the repairs year after year to help maintain your curb appeal and prevent things like moisture from infiltrating your home behind the siding.

Fiber cement siding doesn’t melt. It’s also naturally burn proof and insect resistant as well. That’s because it’s made up of a mixture of Portland cement, cellulose fiber, sand, glass, and silica – all materials that are dense, durable, and when mixed together, completely rigid and unlikely to warp, bend, crack, peel, or melt even in the harshest of climates.

Cracked Siding

The final concern for many homeowners in cold climates come from those areas where the weather can reach such low temperatures at times that materials can actually crack simply from becoming cold. This is a serious issue with materials like vinyl, which are actually fairly brittle in composition. And any crack that develops in the siding can lead to further problems, including freeze/thaw expansion and contraction, as well as water infiltration that can lead to things like mold and wood rot over time.

Fiber cement siding does not crack even in the coldest weather climates. So you don’t have to worry about those other issues developing over time, or about things like regular cold weather maintenance on your home’s exterior; once you install fiber cement siding, you’re set for life.

Make the Right Choice

If you live in a cold weather climate, you know how important it is to ensure you get the right product for your home’s siding needs. Choose fiber cement siding to ensure your home is covered properly.