Homeowners searching for the most durable exterior siding often end up torn between two major materials: steel and fiber cement.
Both steel siding and fiber cement siding are renowned for their longevity, toughness, and resilience, while still working beautifully as residential cladding. Although both are high performance options, you might find that when it comes to the steel versus fiber cement debate, steel comes out on top.
Reduced Maintenance and Longer Lifespan
More often than not, the debate between steel and fiber cement occurs when durability is a primary concern. Naturally, if you are re-siding your home, you want to invest in a high-quality material that requires less work on your part, compared to say wood.
Though fiber cement is high up on the low-maintenance siding options, many homeowners may not be aware that it still needs to be repainted at least every 15 years.
The more maintenance a siding material needs, the higher the chance of neglect. Steel siding does not require any painting or repainting and is virtually as low maintenance as you can get.
This mean you get to spend more time enjoying your home rather than maintaining it.
Sustainability Factor of Green Building
Sustainability should be kept in mind when selecting materials for your home. Not only is a green home kinder to the environment, but it also helps reduce energy expenses. Fiber cement is a man-made product, and though it scores high for "greenness," steel is still a more responsible choice.
Steel siding is 100% recyclable and many companies already include recycled steel in production of their siding. Steel is a neutral material, leaching no gases or other pollutants into the environment. Steel also is surprisingly insulative, allowing you to cut down those monthly heating and cooling bills.
Unique and Eye-Catching Aesthetic Appeal
A big selling point of fiber cement is that it can replicate wood, but it’s limited in available design and aesthetic options.
Steel siding is incredibly flexible in how it can be used. It comes in a variety of colors and the option for wood grain. You don't need to worry about your home looking like a commercial building thanks to designer color options and sleek paneling.
Also, if you enjoy the look of a mixed media exterior, you'll love how well steel works with wood or stone. Don't forget you can install steel panels horizontally or vertically.
Versatility in Regional Applications
Steel siding is widely used across the country because of its design versatility (and incredible durability). While some siding is limited to only dry, hot regions or humid, wet climates, steel can thrive nearly anywhere.
Steel handles freezing temperatures, snow and hail better than any other material without chipping or cracking. The material is difficult to dent and even when that happens, the material won't be compromised like fiber cement or other materials might be.
Climates prone to consistent wet weather or dangerous tropical storms are often challenging to say the least, but steel still comes out on top as the solution.
There is no doubt that fiber cement is an excellent material, but when it comes down to the above factors it's clear to see why steel siding is the better choice. Steel siding is a unique, green option for homeowners wanting a siding that requires very little upkeep. It offers a distinctive, striking look while still being adaptable enough to blend into any neighborhood. Before you settle on fiber cement for its popularity, consider going an alternate route with steel.