When choosing a siding product to update your home’s exterior, make sure you consider how the seams between two pieces of siding are addressed. It may seem like a small thing, but it will have a significant impact on the curb appeal of your home, particularly if you are hoping for a “natural wood look” from a synthetic siding material.
Vinyl, aluminum, and steel siding seams are overlapped at the seam. This is due in part to how thin the materials are (typically.50 mil thick or less, or roughly the same thickness as a credit card). Because they are so think, it’s virtually impossible to create “butt joints” that are smooth and level. But the biggest reason these materials must be overlapped is to account for expansion and contraction. Without the overlap, the joints would open up when the siding contracts (during colder temperatures) and then smash together when it expands (during the heat of summer).
Traditional wood siding, polymer cladding, fiber cement, and engineered clapboard sidings are butted together at the ends. These “butt joints” are sometimes sealed with caulking, which happens prior to painting with those siding materials that require it. Because of the thicker panels, the minimal expansion and contraction of these more rigid siding products, and their seam treatment, polymer cladding, fiber cement, and engineered clapboard will look like more natural wood then the products that have overlapped seams.
Siding that fades is a hot topic in the home improvement industry and is certainly an important question on the minds of many homeowners. The unfortunate thing is, it might be one of the most over-sold and misrepresented pieces of information about replacement siding.
If a siding salesperson ever tells you that siding or paint will not fade in Iowa, you need to seriously question that person’s integrity
The truth is, in Iowa, all things will fade eventually! The degree of fading depends on a lot of factors, including the quality of the product, the coatings used, exposure to the elements, even the color of the siding you choose. For example, some types of vinyl siding have warranties that express their guarantee against fading based on the a number of “hunter” units or color change that is acceptable.
That being said, most premium vinyl sidings have additives in them to help protect against fading, which has also made it possible for manufacturers to offer deeper colors. The point is, anyone who claims that vinyl siding will “never fade” isn’t being completely honest. But there is a significant difference between bargain siding and premium vinyl. Make sure you know which one you’re getting and have an understanding of what to expect in terms of color fading over the life of the product.
Fiber cement, wood, engineered wood, and cedar siding are all painted or stained. We all know that we’ll need to re-paint or re-stain these product periodically over their lifetime. This kind of ongoing maintenance and upkeep is something many homeowners are willing to accept in trade for the warm, natural look of wood siding. It’s really no different than maintaining a wood deck – okay, maybe it’s a little different. Your deck will need refinishing quite a bit more often than your siding, but the fact remains that all products that are painted or stained will need to be recoated from time to time in order to keep that freshly painted look.
One notable advance in synthetic siding that addresses seam issues and color fading is Everlast Polymer Cladding. The solid construction of the siding means the planks don’t bend or bow and align perfectly along your walls and at the seams. Additionally, Everlast Polymer Siding is finished with “ColorHold,” a UV-Stable Acrylic Polymer with excellent fade resistance properties. In fact its lifetime warranty against fading is the strongest in the industry.