Being environmentally responsible is at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. Everyone wants to be responsible for their corner of the world. In recent years, this awareness has become even more pronounced when it comes to building materials. More homeowners are looking for eco-friendly materials for their homes, including siding options. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of eco-friendly siding.
There are a few factors that determine a siding material’s eco-friendliness.
Is the siding composed of toxic materials? Is it biodegradable? Was it derived from materials in nature? Is it green-certified?
The heavier the material, the more expensive and labor-intensive it will be to install.
The R-rating of any siding material is an indicator of its insulating properties. The higher the number, the better.
When the siding product reaches its end of life can it be recycled? If not, can it be salvaged or repurposed rather than ending up in a landfill? Also, is the standard 10-15% of waste for new materials, which is common, able to be recycled?
What impact does the siding materials manufacturing process have on the environment? For example, bricks use a lot of energy to manufacture as they are baked for days at 2000 plus degrees.
Let’s next take a look at a few commonly used siding materials and just how eco-friendly each is.
When it comes to eco-friendly materials, wood is at the top of the list. It is sustainable, renewable, and recyclable. There are many options in wood siding, but the most popular by far is cedar. Cedar is lightweight, making it easy to work with. Additionally, cedar comes with inherent insect and moisture resistance. Maintenance-wise it will need to be painted or stained to retain its natural look. If you’re not looking to tackle this type of upkeep, wood may not be your best choice.
Metal siding such as steel or aluminum has two things going for it. First, it can be made of recycled materials, and at the end of its life, it can be recycled. Second, metal siding also tends to have fewer upkeep needs. However, it has one pretty significant drawback. Metal siding can be easily dented. It is also not quite as easy to install as other materials.
Vinyl siding is by far the most popular choice when it comes to siding options. There is some heated debate on the eco-friendliness of siding. On the one hand, there is no denying that vinyl siding is composed of PVC, which can be harmful to the environment because of its chemical makeup. On the flip side, vinyl siding is lightweight and easy to work with. There are little to no maintenance needs for vinyl siding other than some occasional cleaning. Add to this the option of insulated vinyl siding with a booted R-value that will decrease your energy bills, and it’s easy to understand why vinyl is such a popular choice.
If you are in the market for an eco-friendly solution for your next siding replacement, give Bealing Roofing & Exteriors, LLC a call, and let’s discuss your options.