The Florida climate means that when it comes buying supplies for our home’s exterior, we have much more to think about than costs, warranties, and styles. When it comes to buying the right siding, the elements are an important factor to consider. In subtropical areas like Florida, we experience dynamic weather that includes heat and humidity, rain, and even hurricanes, so you’ll need siding well suited for whatever nature brings you.
Vinyl is one of the most popular siding choices. It’s well suited for wet, humid areas due to its resistance to water absorption (which means it won’t flake or rot). It also stands up to heat and wind effectively. A downside to vinyl, however, is that if your home spends a lot of time in direct sunlight you can expect it to fade.
Florida’s annual average rainfall is around 59 inches, so you should make sure to protect your siding from wind-blown moisture with a good roof overhang. If high winds are common in your area, it may sustain damage. Insulated vinyl is a good option in high wind areas due to its better resistance to wind. Insulated vinyl can also make your home more energy efficient and save you money on your cooling bill.
As a mixture of cement, sand, and wood pulp, fiber cement siding is a durable choice that holds up well in almost any weather Florida has to offer. Fiber cement siding is resistant to rot, insects, UV, salt, and sand. Being a heavy and stiff product, it also stands up to high winds, making it a popular choice in hurricane prone areas.
There are only a few downsides to fiber cement siding; algae or mildew might grow on siding in an area with a lot of shade, but this is easily fixed by a good power wash. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for small cracks that can let moisture in, but these are rare. The pros of vinyl siding heavily outweigh the cons, making it one of our favorite choices.
Due to our subtropical climate, some more traditional siding options that are popular in other areas of the country aren’t as practical in Florida. Wood siding is often considered more traditional and although it looks beautiful, it isn’t as good of an option for your Florida home. Wood tends to be less resistant to the elements, and as a result takes much more maintenance than other products. Wood is very susceptible to rot, mildew, and insect damage. It also expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations which cause splitting and cracking, and the finish can be damaged by the salt in coastal areas. We recommend passing over wood siding and choosing a more durable material.
Brick or Stone
Brick or stone siding are also a traditional option, but these can actually be a great choice in a subtropical climate. Although expensive, brick and stone do well in humid areas. They’re resistant to rot and insects, and they won’t break down under UV rays, although they may develop moss or mildew in shady areas.
If you live at the coast, salt and wind won’t be a problem for you. If you live in an area with full sun, brick and stone will keep you cool in the summer. Like fiber cement, temperature changes can cause cracks, so it’s important to be on the lookout for damage.
Steel or aluminum siding is strong against the weather, making it particularly good in areas prone to high winds or hurricanes. Aluminum won’t rust in the face of sea salt, making it popular on the coast. However, the finish on metal siding can fade in constant UV light, which is a big con in more sunny areas. Thinner materials can be damaged by hail, but that’s not as much of an issue in Florida. Not all homeowners are fans of the urban, industrial look of metal, but its popularity as a roofing material means you can rely on it for durability.
Choosing the right material for siding is important for the Florida area, but our list should have you on the right track. Premiere Builders is here for you when you feel that you need to upgrade your home’s siding, so give us a call today for a free quote.