Composite siding is an exterior material used in homes and buildings. "Composite siding" can refer to a number of materials including fiber cement, asbestos and aluminum, but most often composite siding or engineered wood siding refers to wood products and byproducts like wood chips and saw dust that are compressed into boards. The problems associated with composite siding vary according to the specific make-up of the material.
Composite siding is particularly susceptible to moisture. It is composed of severall materials that are pressed into a board; the space between components creates openings for moisture from rain, humidity or garden watering. If composite siding is installed improperly, spaces between boards can also allow moisture to penetrate the exterior of the building. Moisture can promote mold or fungal growth which deteriorate the product and pose a health risk if the spores are inhaled.
Manufacturers of composite siding advertise its ease of installation, but composite materials like fiber cement board come in heavy sheets. The sheets are cut to size on location; dust from cutting can cause respiratory irritation. The weight of the boards make them difficult to handle and install, increasing the likelihood of errors that can lead to further problems like moisture build-up or buckling.
Exterior wall materials provide both thermal and sound insulation. Some composite materials like cement board do not provide adequate heat insulation. Engineered wood composites like hardboard may not provide adequate sound blocking. Poor insulation capabilities can lead to higher home heating and cooling costs which may defeat the benefit of low purchase and installation costs.
Wood siding and wood composite siding can mask warping or unevenness in the frame of a house. Cement composite siding, however, does not have the same capabilities. If the frame of a house contains any bumps or irregularities, they will not be masked by cement fiber boards. If the boards are not properly installed, they have the potential to buckle or warp due to heat or moisture. The boards can also swell from water damage; swelling can cause cracks in the siding or cause the outside of the house to appear warped.
- Photo Credit Yellow Wall image by steverts from Fotolia.com
What is Masonite Hardboard Siding?
Masonite's 1990s entry into the siding market siding was not a success. Class lawsuits were filed by the end of the decade...
Types of Vertical House Siding
Several modern vertical home sidings are available, including those made from aluminum, steel, vinyl, pressed composites and plywood such as Texture 111....
How to Install Composite Decking
More homeowners are choosing to replace their worn deck material with composite decking. Composite decking is a blend of plastic and wood...
How to Paint Composite Siding
Although composite siding isn't too difficult to paint, there are some things to pay attention to that can help you avoid chipping...
Types of Composite Siding
Composite siding is a man-made material composed of processed wood pulp or chips that may be combined with Portland cement for greater...