Types of Eco-Friendly Home Siding

There are several options for making your interior home environmentally-friendly. But what about your home’s exterior? Can it also be altered towards eco-friendliness? Yes! A home’s siding can be functional, visually appealing, and eco-friendly all at the same time! If you are in the market for new home siding, you may want to consider an eco-safe siding material. Continue reading to learn the different types of common materials used for environmentally-friendly home siding.

Metal

Steel metal siding is a popular choice among homeowners with a “green” agenda. That is because most metal siding is made from recycled metal, such as junk cars or construction scraps. You see, metal is easily recyclable and abundant, so it is a viable source for eco-friendly home siding. It is also durable and easy to install.

Wood

Wood is a renewable resource. It is abundant, natural, and locally-sourced, making it a great option for eco-safe siding. It is also very easy to install, convertible, recyclable, and sustainable. Most wood siding comes from Douglas Firs, Cypress trees, Redwood trees, Pine trees, and Cedar. It is recommended to use wood materials that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified.

Brick

Although bricks are man-made commodities, they are constructed from renewable, natural resources like shale, clay, and water. This makes brick a wonderful, “green” siding option! It is made from natural resources so it is biodegradable and safe for the environment. And not only is brick siding eco-friendly, it is long-lasting. Brick can last for up to 200 years!

Rock

Although rock is not a common home siding option, it is an environmentally-friendly one. Using rocks is labor-intensive and time-consuming, but it renders a stunning look that holds up for years to come. Rock is a great choice because it is natural, energy-efficient, and locally-sourced.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement home siding is made from recyclable ingredients like cement, sand, and wood pulp. And since the makeup of fiber cement emits few dioxins when burned, it is an eco-friendly option. It can be manufactured to resemble higher-end materials like wood or vinyl, but for a much cheaper cost.

Stucco

Like fiber cement, stucco is also made from using recyclable, natural ingredients, like water, cement, sand, and lime. This chemical-free combination gives stucco an eco-friendly appeal. It is also natural, energy-efficient, and easy to install.

Eco-Friendly Roofing Materials

If you are someone who enjoys contributing to environmental wellness and sustainability, then making eco-conscious roofing decisions is a great way to continue this positively-charged pastime. Fortunately, there are several options for eco-friendly roofing systems. Your choice will depend on your personal preference, budget, and a few other factors.

By talking to a professional roofing contractor, you can learn all of the eco-friendly roofing options that will best fit the unique needs of your home. You can also review many of the possibilities beforehand, in order to prepare yourself for making the ultimate decision.

Continue reading to learn some of the most common and celebrated eco-friendly roofing materials, as well as a few tips to improve energy-efficiency and more.

Environmentally-Friendly Roofs:

The most common environmentally-friendly roofing systems include some of the most popular ones on the commercial and residential markets. Below is a list of these systems, and the qualities that make them safe for the environment and surrounding eco-systems. This list includes asphalt shingles, metal, clay tiles, concrete tiles, slate, wood shakes, fiber cement, and recycled roofing.

Asphalt Shingles – This is one of the most cost-effective and common options for residential roofs. They are considered the least attractive, and do not last as long as other roofing materials, but they are made of natural materials, making them perfectly eco-friendly.

Metal – Metal is 100% recyclable, and can be reprocessed over and over again. Recycling metal lowers the need to mine more, reducing natural ore deposit depletion rates. An old metal roof is still useful and valuable, and can be repurposed, endlessly. Steel and light-weight aluminum are the most common metals used for metal roofs.

Slate – Slate is a natural element of the earth and highly durable. It lasts a long time, but comes with a hefty price tag. It is one of the more attractive roofing options. Slate is also 100% decomposable and recyclable.

Clay – Clay tile roofs are referred to as “terra cotta” in the industry. They are made from natural resources, mostly clay and water, which are 100% natural. You must be careful choosing the coating, however, as some are slightly toxic if they runoff into the natural water sources.

Concrete – Concrete tiles are similar to clay tiles in terms of eco-friendliness and natural composition. Concrete is made from natural aggregates, like cement, stone, gravel, and sand.

Wood Shakes – Wood is a natural element that comes from trees, making it 100% eco-friendly and safe for the environment. Cedar is the most common material used for wood shake roofing systems, but other types of lumber are frequently used as well. Just be sure to choose FSC certified wood.

Fiber Cement – Fiber cement board is an excellent green roofing option since it is primarily composed of cement and cellulose fiber, both of which are biodegradable.

Recycled Roofing – Using recycled product is a terrific eco-friendly practice, and roof systems are no different. Plastic and rubber roofing are recyclable, and can be manufactured to resemble higher-end materials, like wood shake and tiles.

Additional Tips:

  • Go for materials that are high in recycled content.
  • Avoid copper and zinc coatings.
  • Avoid materials that require the use of chemicals for maintenance.
  • Choose light-colored roofing in hot climates for increase sun reflectivity.

What You Need to Know About Fiber Cement Sidings

Fiber cement siding is composed of fiberglass mesh that has been encapsulated in a cement plaster. The exterior of the siding has a wood finish that protects the cement board from deterioration that comes from sun exposure, heavy rain and snow fall.

types of cement sidings

There are three types of the cement siding: lap siding, batt and board, and cedar shingles.

Lap siding is the most common style of cement siding. The material is usually installed horizontally across a home and comes with an exposed face of 4-8 inches. If you are planning of driving nails or screws into the siding, you have to pre-drill it to create the holes.

Batt and board siding comes in 1X2 to 1X12 boards that can be installed vertically. To cover the seams, you can use smaller width boards.

Cedar shingles are usually 2 feet by 16 inches. For you to hang them you need to pre-drill them. In addition to this you also have to overlap them so that they can create a look of real cedar shingles.

Advantages of fiber cement siding

The main advantage of cement siding is that it’s durable. The reason for this is because its water proof and resistant to bugs. The material also doesn’t crack or warp in extreme temperature.

Another advantage is that the material is versatile. This is because it comes in different designs and styles that are very elegant.

For example, the material can be easily made to look like wood, cedar shingles, stucco or even vinyl. Existence of the material in different styles gives homeowners a wide range of options.

Fiber cement siding is fire resistant; therefore, you don’t have to worry of your house catching fire when you install the sidings.

Many manufacturers usually offer warranties where some of the warranties are for as long as fifty years. These warranties are good because they give you confidence that you are dealing with genuine products with a long lifespan.

Disadvantages

Although, the sidings have these advantages they have their fair share of disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is the health concern that comes with the use of these materials.

Scientists say that the dust that comes from the sidings (when they are cut) can cause cancer; therefore, you should be very cautious when installing them.

Another disadvantage is that the materials are expensive. On average one square foot of the material costs $4 which can be expensive for many people.