What Type of Siding is Best to Use in the Northeast?

Northeast Home SidingThe type of siding best to use in the northeast should be carefully considered for home exterior aesthetic and climate zone. Siding has more than aesthetic applications. Siding provides a vapor barrier to the home and can provide an insulating factor, if needed. Modern composite and vinyl siding should be considered for the cold climate of the northeast prone to damp weather conditions. There are also a few other considerations for New England siding.

Insulation Factors

The type of siding best to use in the northeast should have some form of insulation or accommodate insulation easily. The coastal climate of the northeast brings in cold weather from the Atlantic ocean and can affect the required R-value of a home, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association. The R-value measures the depth of insulation in wall cavities and ceilings. Vinyl and composite insulation can easily encapsulate foam board insulation or contain insulation in the material to raise the common R-value in walls to R-21 for maximum benefits.

The R-value rating in walls consist of the combination of sheathing and wall cavity batting insulation for most homes. Purchasing siding should take into account the combination of these layers of insulation.

Environmental Factors

New England homeowners present some challenge in maintaining an exterior finish to a home that is absent in inland parts of the country. Homes located close to the coast have a higher concentration of salts in the air. This fresh sea air can erode at aluminum and wood shake siding without proper maintenance. Colors can also fade from these environmental factors. A professional installation of composite siding usually comes with a lifetime warranty that protects color fading and any damage associated with moisture infiltration. Siding thickness should also be considered for any hurricane or gale force wind events that are prone to coastal areas. Thicker siding can withstand impact and warping from these high winds.

Composite vs. Vinyl

Composite and vinyl are the most popular and efficient forms of siding material for the northeast. However, composite gains an advantage slightly over vinyl with true watertight resistance and lower maintenance. Composite siding can also match the traditional coastal look of cedar shake siding without the additional maintenance. The choice of composite siding over vinyl is a personal decision that depends on coastal locations and climate differences. Both offer competitive maintenance costs over time and the flexible installation of complex home layouts. Vinyl siding has another disadvantage in protection from heavy winds in the northeast. Storm season can warp and dent thinner vinyl siding.

Related Resource: Treating Wood Panel Siding To Withstand Weather

The variety of weather conditions in the northeast can vary radically from one region to another. For example, northern Maine is zone six and additional coastal cold temperatures that require insulating siding to keep the R-value high can be a challenge. Inland Massachusetts has a more temperate climate and less infiltration of the Atlantic ocean salt to cause damage. Regardless of where you live in the northeast, the type of siding best to use in the northeast is form of composite that can add insulation and waterproofing in one product.