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If you are looking for ways to enhance the appearance of your home while protecting it from the elements and saving on energy bills, siding is the perfect solution. Siding is ideal for keeping moisture away from the home where mold and other contaminants can grow such as bacteria and dust mites. These three problems can cause serious problems with respiratory and allergy. Additionally, siding will help maintain the integrity of your home for many years to come.

When you get ready to look at siding, you need to think about several things. First, depending on the climate where you live, different sidings work best. For example, siding chosen for homeowners in Arizona would not necessarily be the same siding that would be chosen in Florida or Oregon. If you live in an area such as Oregon or England, where it tends to rain a lot, moisture is an issue.

Following the guidelines listed below will make your choosing and buying process much easier and more enjoyable:

Aluminum Siding � This type of siding is preferred by most people over the traditional steel siding since steel can rust. This siding is constructed in long panels that have an enamel surface baked on and can be made smooth or with a nice texture. The downfall is that aluminum can dent by hail and depending on the location of the damage; the panel could be a challenge to replace. However, aluminum is an excellent heat insulator and is waterproof.

Clapboard � this rectangular planking is installed in a horizontal design and overlapped. Although it will not look as nice and smooth as what you would get with vertical planking, it does have a nice beveled appearance.

Composition Board (Hardboard) � These planks are constructed from wood fiber that has been compressed and adhesive that is strong, durable, and weather resistant. If you live in a state with dry air such as Arizona or Nevada, this would be an excellent choice. Panels can be cut as long as 16 feet, which is perfect for eliminating gaps.

Rectangular Plank � These planks are made from wood and placed together vertically, creating a clean, smooth look. The joints of each plank are covered with wood strips known as battens. These battens help eliminate moisture problems and also create a nice rise and fall appearance.

Seamless Siding � This type of siding is an excellent option for protecting y our home. Seamless siding is made from steel with sections being produced on-site. Using a special machine, the steel is rolled out, cut, and measured exact to your home. Although steel siding comes in standard sizes, it can always be customized for any surface.

Shakes � This is a rougher type of shingle and usually made from cedar, cypress, or redwood just as with shingles. The difference is that shakes are not uniform in size and create a rustic, backcountry look to the home. They can be applied in a single design so that all are open to the natural elements or they can be slightly overlapped. The drawback is that they can cup, curling toward the middle and then cracking or splitting.

Shingles � Typically, this type of siding is made from cedar, cypress, or redwood. Shingles have a nice charm in that they are cut smooth and uniform. Once each shingle is applied, the next is slight overlaid so there is a contracting rise and fall design when finished. The two downfalls to shingles are that because of fire hazard, some homeowners associations or cities do not allow them. The second is that they are prone to cupping, just as shakes.

Vinyl � Made from polyvinyl chloride, this type of siding has a strong resemblance to wood. If vinyl siding should be scratched, it does not have to be repainted as steel siding would because it will not rust. Additionally, the color is not just painted on the surface as with aluminum siding. Instead, it goes through the entire panel. Most of the vinyl siding made today is offered with a lifetime warranty and this is probably the most popular choice for homeowners.
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