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Reviewed by Tomas Kalkys. President.
Qualifications: More than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial exterior remodeling.
Founding farther of Legacy Service.
Written by LegacyUSA Team
posted on Jun 04, 2020
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If we had to take a guess, we’d bet that you don’t think about your siding on a regular basis and its fire-resistance isn’t exactly on the top of your mind. However, it’s still good to know which type of siding is the most fire-resistant, especially if you live in an area that experiences dry spells and potential wildfires throughout the year. If you’re thinking about replacing your siding sometime in the near future, it’s a good idea to know which type of material would work best for you and your home.
At Legacy Service, we care about the well-being of your home’s exterior and your satisfaction with it. If you’d like to replace your siding, it’s a good time to learn more about the fire-resistant siding types and how you can apply them to your house. Deforestation and climate change are causing western states in the U.S. to experience a new age of wildfires. While you can’t prevent every type of hazard for your home, you can make it as durable as possible with the right type of fire-resistant siding.
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Continue reading this article to learn about the different types of non-combustible siding. To schedule a free consultation for a siding replacement, give us a call at 215-798-9790 or fill out a contact form here. So, which is a fire-resistant house siding material?
Vinyl is the most popular type of siding for residential homes in the United States. The reason for this is that it’s the most abundant type and usually the most affordable. It also tends to last for many years and will look beautiful on just about any home.
The downside, though, is that it’s one of the least fire-resistant house siding types. It’s typically not recommended for homeowners who live in an area that has to deal with wildfires. Vinyl is made of manufactured plastic, so it quickly melts when exposed to extreme heat. Melted vinyl exposes the inside walls of your home, which can cause even more damage. In fact, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) doesn’t recommend installing vinyl if your home is at high risk for fires.
However, if you’d prefer to install vinyl, you can improve its fire-resistance by adding ⅝-inch type gypsum boards with taped joints below the siding. That will help maintain a little bit of protection if the vinyl melts.
You may hear wood and immediately think that it’s highly flammable. While that may be the case for firewood, wood siding is different. There are ways you can improve its resistance to fire, including adding flame retardants to wood surfaces to slow the spread of the flames. Chemical flame retardant sprays help improve the fire resistance of this house siding material.
But while it does help improve the resistance, wood siding is still more susceptible to burning in a fire than other types of siding that’s more fire-resistant. Remain aware that fire can still get into the stud cavity of your home through the joints of the siding assembly. Even though you may have treated your siding, it doesn’t mean that roof soffit or exterior trim is safe as well. Make sure to also install separate trim that’s either treated or fire-resistant.
Wood siding is a great choice for many other reasons, though. It has natural beauty, and it’s ideal for energy efficiency. It helps your home stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Fiber cement siding has a very high fire rating, especially compared to the other types. This alternative to vinyl consists of a mixture of sand, cement, and wood fibers. It achieves a high fire-resistance rating without sacrificing durability and convenience. Many of the products made from fiber cement have a class A fire rating, which means that they can withstand hours of heat before they melt. They can also help slow down fires from spreading into nearby buildings and damaging the property, which will give the fire departments more time to reach your house during an emergency.
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Although it’s typically more expensive than traditional types of siding like vinyl, fiber cement siding by James Hardie is one of the most popular types among homeowners in the United States. James Hardie products combine high performance with a beautiful design. The company is known for being superior to its competitors in regards to durability and curb appeal.
If you live in an area that’s susceptible to wildfires, metal siding may just be your best bet. In fact, it’s virtually fireproof. Aluminum and steel exteriors are ideal when environmental hazards occur because they stand up well to rain, sleet, snow, and hail. Most types of metal siding are rated as noncombustible, which means that they have not been found to ignite and spread fires.
Also, metal siding is generally a more affordable option, it’s still more expensive than vinyl. You’ll need to take that into consideration when selecting your siding. However, many think that’s more than worth the extra cost due to its fire-resistance.
Brick and stone are other types of fire-resistant house siding material. Brick is known as a fire-resistant material. It also may help to keep flames away from the rest of your house since it doesn’t have caulked joints. Many fires occur when flames get behind the siding and ignite on the more combustible materials inside the walls of your home. If your siding can prevent the flames from getting there in the first place, that’s one less thing you have to worry about.
Brick or stone veneers tend to be more expensive than vinyl, but many homeowners prefer them due to the fact that they are more durable and resistant to fire. At Legacy Service, our team can help you determine which type would work best for your preferences. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.
What is the fire resistance for stucco? Traditional and stucco exteriors are also known for having high rates of fire resistance. When it’s properly installed, this type of plastic siding has a one-hour fire rating, meaning that it provides homeowners up to an hour before the material gives in to the fire’s heat and begins spreading. This gives firefighters plenty of time to get to people who live in stucco houses.
However, at Legacy Service, we don’t typically install stucco exteriors. We offer vinyl, fiber cement, wood, and synthetic slate. If you’d like to learn more about installing or replacing any of those types of siding, please feel free to contact us at any time.
Here are some of the questions that we’re most frequently asked about fire-resistant siding:
If you live in an area that is prone to wildfires, then it’s probably a good idea to get fire-resistant siding. Siding types that are the most highly rated when it comes to fire resistance include fiber cement, metal, and brick. Although vinyl is one of the most popular types, it’s not recommended if your home is at high risk.
James Hardie siding is mostly made up of sand and cement, which makes it highly resistant to fire. In fact, it’s currently America’s most popular brand of siding since it’s not only durable but also incredibly beautiful. Hardie siding also stands up to weather, water, pests, and time.
James Hardie’s fiber cement siding is one of the highest-rated products on the market today for fire resistance. More than 8 million American homes are protected by it. This exterior type has been tested by various IAS Certified Laboratories to ASTM International standards, and it’s classified as non-combustible, approved for fire-resistance-rated construction, with a flame spread of 0, and a smoke-developed index of <5.
Now that you know how fire-resistant each type of siding is, you can focus on your decision. Each type has its pros and cons, so it’s all about determining which type is best for you and your home. For example, if you live in an area that has a strong possibility of wildfires throughout the year, then you might consider getting something like fiber cement, metal, or brick. If not, then vinyl might be the best type for you.
At Legacy Service, we’re here to serve you. If you’re looking to upgrade your home’s exterior, you don’t need to look any further. Call us today at 215-798-9790 to learn more about siding replacement or fill out a contact form here.
Posted on Jun 04, 2020 in Roof
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