There are a lot of things that come to mind when you think about building an environmentally friendly home. Some homeowners might imagine solar panels on the roof, while others might picture Energy Star appliances inside. Some will focus on energy-efficient windows, and others will think about insulation that keeps the pleasant temperatures in, and the unpleasant ones out, with minimal energy loss. What a lot of homeowners overlook, though, is their siding. Which is really too bad, because James Hardie fiber cement siding is a great way to go green, and save some green, all at the same time.
What's So Great About James Hardie Siding?
James Hardie siding is made from fiber cement. What that means is that cellulose fibers (made from plant material) are mixed with cement. The mixture is then dyed, and pressed into boards, which are given a particular pattern. So, what you have is cladding that's made from cement, but which can be made to look like a slew of other materials.
But what is so great about fiber cement siding? Especially in comparison to more natural, wood siding, or aluminum or vinyl siding?
Well, the simple answers are "durability," "strength," and "ability to be recycled." You see, while genuine wood siding can bevery attractive, it doesn't stand up to the elements very well. It swells when it gets wet, dries out and cracks when exposed to the sun, and it's a prime target for insects like termites. Not only that, but wood siding will only last for a few years if it's untreated, and only for a few years longer than that if it is treated with harsh chemicals.
Vinyl siding is more durable than wood, but it comes with its own problems. Vinyl siding has been known to release toxic chemicals when it gets hot, and it can warp over time. Not only that, but vinyl siding cannot be easily recycled, when it can be recycled at all. Aluminum siding, by contrast, is very long-lived, but it shows wear easily. It fades, and everything from hail to the occasional harshly flung frisbee can leave dents in aluminum that will be there for the life of your home. It also needsto be repainted, which can grow extremely tiresome.
James Hardie siding combines the strengths of all these different forms of cladding, with none of their weaknesses. It brings the aesthetic appeal of wood siding, but it's impervious to vermin, and stands up in the face of the elements. Fiber cement siding has the flexibility of vinyl when it comes to color and style, but it is safe, natural, and completely recyclable. It also brings the longevity and strength of aluminum, but it stands up against impacts, and can weather wear and tear with far greater grace.
In addition to all of those benefits, though, James Hardie siding is environmentally friendly. The manufacturing process creates no hazardous waste, and the fiber cement boards can be recycled and remade over and over again. They're simply ground up, and then re-molded. They're also cheaper over the life of the cladding than other options, given how long they last while maintaining both their pattern and color.
The Long-Term Impact of Your Home
If you're serious about building a green home, you need to look at the lifetime of the structure. James Hardie siding is a long-term investment that starts green, and stays green, while keeping your home protected from everything nature can throw at it. For more information on this unique fiber cement siding, and how it can keep you and your loved ones safe, simply contact us today!