Homeowners today are more aware of the need for long-term protection for their homes. They realize that a fire-resistant siding for their exterior is essential. Still, they might not understand the necessary level of protection, especially in wildfire-prone regions like the Western United States.
Here’s how dealers and builders can help their clients find the best fire-resistant siding for their exterior, whether they’re buying a new house or remodeling their forever home.
Prioritizing Protection: Fire-Resistant Exteriors
Wildfire season is getting longer each year, and the home insurance sector is preparing for the number of wildfire claims to increase every year going forward.
The number of acres burned by September of 2020 doubled the entirety of 2018’s total. The damage from more than 8,000 wildfires in California (as of September 27) included 8,100 destroyed structures. While there isn’t a completely fireproof material out there, fire-resistant materials can help prevent damage so that homeowners aren’t burdened with a complete rebuild of their home.
There are some important things to remember when it comes to choosing fire-resistant siding. “The key is to construct a building in which a fire would take effect slowly, allowing the occupants plenty of time to escape,” says Jayne McGrath for HowStuffWorks. “This is also why materials themselves are rated for how long it would take fire to affect its structural abilities.”
Fiber cement siding gives homeowners peace-of-mind when it comes to fire-resistance and is one of the few home exterior siding products on the market to receive a Class A or Class 1 fire rating.
Fiber Cement and Its Fire-Resistant Features
Fiber cement siding offers fire resistance that can meet the strictest standards for fire- and weather protection, and it is often recommended over other siding materials for its durability, even under severe conditions.
“A fire-resistance rating indicates how long under test conditions a wall assembly can prevent flames and heat from passing through the wall. A minimum fire-resistance rating of 1 hour is recommended, but higher ratings provide greater protection,” according to FEMA.
Fiber cement from Allura comes with a Class A or 1 rating as a fire-resistant and non-combustible material, the highest possible fire rating for siding.
While other highly durable exterior siding materials exist on the market, fiber cement siding comes with more benefits besides fire protection that other products just can’t match — and might even save homeowners money.
How Fiber Cement Stacks Up Against Other Materials
There are many fire-resistant siding options for homeowners to consider. “Even heavy timber can be considered fire-resistant. It's combustible, however, while metals like aluminum or steel aren't combustible — instead, they tend to buckle under intense heat,” says Jane McGrath for HowStuffWorks.
Let’s break down a few of the materials available to homeowners and see how fiber cement siding compares.
While vinyl siding has been a popular and affordable siding choice for decades, it is prone to melting under extreme heat and flame and isn’t recommended for homes in wildfire-prone regions.
Aluminum siding can offer some protection to exteriors but can warp or buckle under extreme heat, exposing any wood framing or insulation materials underneath.
Wood siding needs to be treated for fire-resistance, but even when specially treated, it isn’t recommended for homes in wildfire-prone regions. If you still want to use treated wood, understand how protected your home will be by flame spread testing standards.
Brick is a great option, but homeowners should be prepared to spend significantly more upfront due to the higher material and labor costs to install.
Fiber cement offers exterior solutions for homeowners who need a siding product without the hassle of applying additional finishes or the cost that comes with installing materials like brick. Fiber cement comes in so many different finishes and colors that it gives homeowners more options for a well-protected, fire-resistant exterior than first realized.
And working with a brand like Allura gives homeowners peace of mind, even if you aren’t expecting a wildfire every year, thanks to its industry-leading, 50-year warranty.
Fire-Resistant Solutions: Beyond Siding
Homeowners looking for fire-resistant products need to consider protecting their entire exterior, including any trim or soffit areas. “Fires typically spread upward to the top reaches of a home, but flames may become trapped in these areas, creating superheated conditions,” according to Modernize.
Homeowners can enhance the fire-resistant of their homes with fire-resistant soffit and trim products. By choosing Allura siding, soffit and exterior trim, homeowners can help guarantee a highly durable exterior and fire-resistant home.
Using materials like fiber cement that offer comprehensive protection can pay off in the end for homeowners. In states where worsening wildfire activity is anticipated, insurance regulators are working to “give discounts to customers that make their home fire-resistant,” according to CBS News reports.
Find out how fire-resistant solutions and style go hand-in-hand: Explore Allura’s products for a look at what we offer.
Or find a dealer to start working with us at Allura today.