Various composite materials are also used for siding: asphalt, asbestos, fiber cement, aluminium (ACM) etc. They may be in the form of shingles or boards, in which case they are sometimes called clapboard.
Composite sidings are available in many styles and can mimic the other siding options. Composite materials are ideal for achieving a certain style or ‘look’ that may not be suited to the local environment (e.g., corrugated aluminium siding in an area prone to severe storms; steel in coastal climates; wood siding in termite-infested regions). These products are normally cheaper than Stucco and Stone/Brick but has similar life spans.
Costs of composites tend to be lower than wood or masonry options, but vary widely as do installation, maintenance and repair requirements. Not surprisingly, the durability and environmental impact of composite sidings depends on the specific materials used in the manufacturing process.
Fiber cement siding is a class of composite siding that is usually made from a combination of cement, cellulose (wood), sand, and water. They are either coated or painted in the factory or installed and then painted after installation. Fiber cement is popular for its realistic look, durability, and fire resistance. Composite siding products containing cellulose (wood fibers) have been shown to have problems with deterioration, delamination, or loss of coating adhesion in certain climates or under certain environmental conditions.
A younger class of non-wood synthetic siding has sprouted in the past 15 years. These products are usually made from a combination of non-wood materials such as polymeric resins, fiberglass, stone, sand, and fly ash and are chosen for their durability, curb appeal, and ease of maintenance. Given the newness of such technologies, product lifespan can only be estimated, varieties are limited, and distribution is sporadic.
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