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Good Old Wood: Is This Traditional Siding Material Right For Your Home?

If you're a homeowner whose house is in need of new siding, you've likely seen how many choices are available -- and there are a lot. One of those choices is wood, an old, old choice that can look wonderful if done right. However, as simple as wood siding seems, it may or may not be the best choice for you depending on your needs. Here are a few considerations that could help you make your decision about whether or not to use wood.

Environmental Friendliness

Wood itself is fairly environmentally friendly. It doesn't require too much processing, compared to materials like vinyl, and old siding can often be recycled. You have to be careful not to get wood that's from questionable sources; Green Building Advisor notes you can get certified wood that is from forests that are not being cut down beyond sustainable levels.

Good for Paint and Sealant

When primed correctly, wood siding is an excellent base for paint. The wood is easy to seal; in fact, you can get siding that is already sealed so that you don't have to worry about moisture damage. Vinyl siding, as a contrasting example, doesn't do well with darker colors of paint, which can result in heat damage.

Won't Melt

Live in a hot area? Wood is a tougher, cooler option. Vinyl, for example, can melt in extreme temperatures, but wood stays intact. You do have to be on the lookout for spots where the wood is drying out and cracking, but for the most part, wood is a better bet if you live in a hot region.

High Maintenance

Speaking of checking the wood out for spots of damage, that is a drawback to wood -- it's high maintenance. You have to keep inspecting the siding for signs of damage, as well as repainting it occasionally.

Pests Like It

Related to the maintenance issue is the pest issue -- bugs and birds like wood. If you have woodpeckers in the area, you are likely to see some damage if you use wood siding, so choosing a different material is better for you. If woodpeckers aren't an issue but termites are, you'll have to have a good pest control contract if you decide to use wood siding.

Talk to siding contractors about the materials that they've seen used in the area. Ask them about the damage they've had to deal with and which materials need replacement less often. To learn more, contact a company like Side-Pro, Inc.