The siding you choose for your home is a big deal. While it may not get the same focus and attention as the foundation and roof, it still matters a great deal in the long run. Unfortunately, many homeowners have been led astray by pervasive myths and it’s important that we do a good job of debunking them.
Six Myths That Simply Aren’t True
Myths are typically rooted in some form of reality. This is what makes them different than lies. Whereas a lie is something false that people purposefully perpetuate in an effort to mislead others, a myth is a misconception that the individual believes to be true. In this sense, a myth is more dangerous. A myth has just enough truth that uninformed people are willing to take it at face value and not ask questions.
If you’re in the market for new siding, you’re bound to come across a variety of myths. Everyone from the neighbor next door to the contractor you found online will freely spout myths and you typically won’t have much of a reason to question what they say.
Well, here’s your wake-up call. Siding myths are a dime a dozen and you deserve to be informed. Here are a few of the most common ones – and why they aren’t true.
- Manufacturers Use Asbestos in Fiber Cement Siding
You may have heard someone tell you that fiber cement siding contains asbestos, the dangerous material with fibers that are known to cause lung cancer. This is partly true, but you don’t have much to worry about in 2016.
“Asbestos cement first came into use as an exterior cladding after 1907, when Austrian engineer Ludwid Hatschek came up with a way to shape the material into sheets, allowing it to be manufactured as siding and shingles,” the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors points out. “By the 1920s, the National Board of Fire Underwriters recommended that asbestos cement replace wood as siding and roofing material because of its superior fire-resistant properties.”
As a result of this recommendation, hundreds of thousands of homes were constructed in the U.S. using asbestos cement siding. Then, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the media began reporting on the health issues related to asbestos and the material was banned in the manufacturing of building products.
So, if you own a home that was built between 1907 and the early 1970s, and it has fiber cement siding, then there’s a chance that it contains asbestos. But, if you’re looking to install new siding on a home – or have a home built from 1975 on – you have nothing to worry about. New fiber siding products do not contain asbestos.
- All Fiber Cement Siding is Created Equal
Different types of fiber cement siding may look similar, but this doesn’t mean they’re created equal. There are certain brands and materials that are stronger than others.
The gold standard of fiber cement siding is James Hardie. Not only does James Hardie siding offer a variety of color options, which means you can find a solution for any home, but it’s also low maintenance and fade, weather, and insect resistant. James Hardie fiber cement products are also perfectly engineered for the climate in which they’re installed. This reduces shrinking, swelling, and cracking for better long-term use.
There are other brands, so be sure to check them out, but most agree that James Hardie is the best.
- Fiber Cement Siding Never Needs to be Repainted
Does fiber cement siding tend to hold its color well over time? Yes. Will it keep its color for decades on end? No. If a salesperson ever tells you that fiber cement siding will never need to be repainted, they’re lying. You will eventually have to repaint, even if it takes longer than other types of siding.
- Vinyl Siding Isn’t Very Durable
Vinyl siding tends to get a bad rap from certain people who don’t like the product but don’t let them dissuade you. The biggest myth is that vinyl siding isn’t durable.
Well, did you know that vinyl siding can actually withstand winds up to 110 mph? We’re not sure what your definition of strong is, but that sounds pretty sturdy to us. Vinyl siding also holds up comparatively well under extreme temperatures and generally comes with liberal warranties.
- You Can Install Your Own Siding
Can you technically install your own siding? Yes – but it’s not advised. There’s a lot that goes into preparing the house and installing the siding. If you aren’t a trained professional or don’t have any experience working with siding in the past, then you should definitely hire a professional. There’s simply too much at stake – including quality issues that could lead to leaks and cosmetic problems that could result in a poor overall look.
- All Siding Contractors are Basically the Same
Speaking of contractors, you may hear someone tell you that all contractors are the same, so why not just choose the cheapest one? Well, if someone tells you this, it’s usually because they are the cheapest contractor. Unfortunately, this also means they’re probably the most inexperienced or do the poorest job.
In this industry, price is generally a reflection of quality. While you don’t need to spend more than the market commands, be wary of only looking at the lower end. Find the right contractor and every penny you spend will be worth it.
Contact American Home Contractors
At American Home Contractors, we are New Jersey’s premier home improvement contractor. We offer a variety of services, including fiber cement siding installation. If you’re looking to do business with a knowledgeable company that’s willing to sit down and discuss the facts, then we’re here for you.
We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 8,000 satisfied clients and a 98 percent work done right rating. If you’re interested in learning more, then please contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation and quote!