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Freeze/Thaw Considerations When Using Decking Material as Siding

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With a variety of decking companies releasing PVC composite cladding as exterior siding solutions, we understand why you may be tempted by these appealing and affordable alternative products. If it can work on your deck, it can work as your siding, right? However, the long-term protection of PVC products as siding varies and there are points to consider before making a decision. 

What Is PVC Composite Cladding? 

Known as cellular polyvinyl chloride, PVC can closely resemble the look and texture of natural wood, yet it overcomes the primary disadvantages of the natural product. PVC as a decking construction material has been used for nearly a half-century, whereas it is still in its first decade of residential use as a siding material.

Natural wood siding is prone to rot and will attract pests like termites or woodpeckers that can feast on the material, while PVC composite decks are able to overcome these problems with the added advantage of being non-combustible.

So, why can’t it also work seamlessly as a siding option?

What Is PVC Composite Cladding?

Why Decking Materials Should Not Be Used as Siding 

Just like natural wood, PVC composite building materials will also expand and contract. They are resistant to moisture, yes, but because of that, they will change in size to acclimate to differing temperatures. PVC will expand in hot temperatures and contract in the cold. What does this mean when it’s used as a siding?

Your installation has to be absolutely perfect in order for expansion not to cause a problem for the integrity of your home. Choosing a PVC composite cladding that’s normally used for a deck is going to change the ease of your installation, the safety of your home and the spacing of your exterior.

When PVC composite cladding is its normal size, it’s pretty easy to work with. But when the temperature increases during the summer, the boards become pliable, which makes the cutting and installing processes difficult. When the boards contract in the winter, you will have a killer time trying to install the boards properly with the appropriate space for when they will eventually have to expand. 

When the boards contract and expand, there’s also a high chance for the nails and screws to move. This can be damaging to your exterior, but it’s also a safety problem. During installation, if you place them too close, it will cause friction between the boards. On the other hand, placing them too far will leave large gaps when they contract.

It’s a very tricky process that could be made hassle-free if you just decide on a material that remains consistent, no matter the climate or temperature ... a material like Nichiha’s fiber cement siding.

decking material siding solutions

Nichiha Offers You a Solution

Nichiha’s fiber cement siding provides you with little to no maintenance, moisture resistance with our built-in rain screens (on our architectural wall panels) and endless design versatility (including textures and finishes that look like natural wood) with a relatively simple installation process compared to PVC composite decking material.

Fiber-cement siding is made from wood fiber, Portland cement, water and sometimes other materials, such as sand. Its flexibility means you're getting a siding product that can give you strength, performance, cost-efficiency — and a high-end look that you’re sure to love.

Nichiha’s VintageWood architectural wall panels come in several popular wood colors, including Cedar, Bark and Redwood. Nichiha’s Sierra & Savannah plank siding product series also come in pre-finished panels with wood-textured options like Maple and Mahogany.

Nichiha’s Architectural Wall Panels are easy and quick to install, saving you both time and labor. Our wall panels are 17 ⅞-inches high and 71 9/16-inches long, covering more space so you use less product and waste less time during installation.

Plus, our large panels use our award-winning Ultimate Clip Technology so you and your team won’t require specialized tools to complete the job. With the flexibility to install over a variety of substrates, Nichiha provides a range of hardware options available to cover a range of applications.

Building materials need to be able to withstand the elements, and no matter what region you’re building in, Nichiha has you covered. If you’re in a region with annual freeze-thaw cycles, you probably already know that vinyl siding can be prone to cracking, while wood-based and metal options may buckle. In warmer, more humid climates, rot, fungi, termites and sun exposure can all require sustained efforts to preserve year-after-year.

Fiber cement siding is resistant to humidity and changes in temperature. One of the most durable options on the market, Nichiha’s Architectural Wall Panels are also one of the easiest to keep looking great over the long-term. 

decking material siding solutions 1If you want to learn more about how Nichiha can provide solutions for you and your dream home project, check out our blog. Or get inspired for your forever home by viewing our gallery.
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