Americans have been using timber shingle siding to protect and insulate their homes for generations, and shingles made from redwood are particularly prized for their beauty and old-world charm. Unfortunately, while redwood shingles can make your home more beautiful, they have a number of practical disadvantages that can make them expensive and difficult to maintain.
If you are looking for a modern alternative to replace your home's redwood shingle siding, fiber cement shingle siding is an excellent choice. Here are three reasons to choose fiber cement shingles to replace your home's old redwood shingles:
Timber siding is generally more fragile than most other siding materials, and because redwood is a relatively soft wood, redwood siding is particularly vulnerable to damage. Heavy impacts caused by falling tree branches or DIY accidents can badly damage large sections of siding. They are also vulnerable to high winds, which can rip lightweight redwood shingles straight off your walls.
Fiber cement is made from tough cement, which is further reinforced and strengthened by cellulose fibers. This unique, composite structure makes fiber cement shingles incredibly durable. They can shrug off accidental impacts that would destroy most timber siding products, and their increased weight makes them considerably more wind resistant.
This improved durability also means that fiber cement shingles last a lot longer than redwood shingles and need to be replaced less frequently. This makes fiber cement a better long-term investment than redwood shingles.
Redwood shingle siding requires a great deal of maintenance to stay in good condition, which can be both expensive and time-consuming. It must be treated regularly with anti-fungal paints or sprays to prevent mold and rot. Insecticidal treatments are also necessary if you live in an area with termites or other wood-boring insects.
Redwood shingle siding is particularly high maintenance because it is more susceptible to discoloration caused by UV light than other timber types. It will need to be painted or stained on a regular basis to prevent fading and graying.
Fiber cement shingles, on the other hand, require almost no maintenance. They are completely immune to rot and insect damage, and any moss or lichen that grows on their surfaces can be easily removed with a pressure washer or stiff-bristled brush. Fiber cement is also colored using penetrative dyes instead of surface stains and paints and will not fade or discolor even after many years of use.
Like any type of timber siding, redwood shingle siding is flammable. It can be treated with fire retardant chemicals, but these treatments have limited effectiveness and will wear off relatively quickly. If you live in an area that frequently sees dangerous wildfires or brushfires, redwood siding can make your home more vulnerable to a catastrophic blaze.
Fiber cement shingles are completely non-flammable and boast a class-A fire protection rating. While they cannot fully protect your home from wildfires, they provide a vital thermal shield that helps to prevent heat convection from igniting flammable materials inside your home.
Contact a contractor to learn more about products like James Hardie home siding.