Timber house siding is definitely attractive, but it takes a lot of hard work to keep it that way. To prevent damage caused by mold, exposure to UV sunlight, and damage caused by wood-boring insects such as termites, timber siding must be regularly coated with protective oils and other surface treatments, and scrupulously cleaned to prevent the spread of mold and fungal growth.
If the timber siding on your home is past its best and needs to be replaced, there are a number of low maintenance alternatives available. Here are two of the most popular, low-maintenance siding materials, along with their individual advantages and drawbacks:
If you want to replace your aging timber siding with a low maintenance alternative that doesn't break the bank, vinyl siding may be perfect for your needs. This cost-effective siding material requires virtually no maintenance. It cannot be damaged by insects, mold or fungal growth. Any mold that does appear in its surface can be removed easily with a pressure washer, without damaging or staining the vinyl itself.
Good quality vinyl siding also contains UV-resistant polymers that prevent it from perishing in intense sunlight. These UV-resistant siding panels resist fading caused by sunlight exposure, so if you prefer colored siding in your home, choosing vinyl means your siding will stay vibrant after many years, without the need for repainting.
Vinyl siding is also very easy to repair if it is damaged by physical impacts, such as falling tree branches. Individual panels can be replaced without having to remove whole sections of siding, unlike most types of timber siding.
Unfortunately, vinyl is more vulnerable to shattering under physical impacts than other materials, so you may need to replace panels frequently if you live in an accident-prone home. The popularity of vinyl siding also means that it won't make your home look particularly distinctive, although this may be an advantage if you live in a neighbourhood with an HOA.
Aluminum siding is impervious to any sort of damage caused by mold, insects or intense sunlight. Unlike steel siding, it is also virtually immune to rust and corrosion, even when installed without protective coatings or paint. This makes it an excellent low maintenance alternative to timber siding, and high-quality aluminum siding will only need occasional cleaning to stay looking new for years.
While individual panels are prone to denting under heavy impacts, they will not shatter, so your home will not lose any weather protection after accidental damage. If you wish to replace the dented panel(s), they can be swapped out relatively easily.
Aluminum is also a good choice if you want attractive siding without the headaches timber siding can cause. Its close resemblance to steel siding gives it the same kind of old-world charm as the steel siding used on many historic buildings. Alternatively, it can be painted or powder coated in a wide variety of colors and designs. Convincing wood-grain effects are available if you want to mimic the look of your old timber siding.
Aluminium siding is more expensive than vinyl siding, but its all-round durability makes it a smart long term investment. However, you may wish to steer clear of aluminum if you live in an area that regularly sees extreme weather, as it can make a lot of noise in high winds.