Florida house siding has to be tough, resilient, and aesthetically attractive to keep up with both the weather threats of the region and the cutting-edge style expectations of the Florida housing market. While almost any type of siding can be modified to look crisp and modern at the start, maintenance, deterioration, and moisture damage can take a more severe toll on some types of siding over others.
Let’s compare four of the most popular house siding materials – wood, vinyl, stucco, and fiber cement – to see how they fare in Florida.
Florida House Siding Has to Deal with Unique Weather Threats
Because siding is outdoors, climate will always play a role in determining how fit a particular material is for the task. Florida house siding may experience unique challenges that aren’t prevalent in other regions with milder weather patterns.
Being situated so close to the ocean, humidity is a constant factor in Florida weather. The bulk of the Sunshine State is classified as a humid subtropical climate, with the Everglades offering even more reservoirs for moisture inland. Rainfall can be excessive, with an impressive record of over 30 inches of precipitation recorded in Gainesville in a single month.
Heat and sun exposure add another threat to Florida house siding in the form of panel warping, cracking, swelling, and color fading. Add in the high wind gusts prominent during hurricane season, and it’s easy to see why Florida house siding needs to be incredibly durable.
As any builder knows, excessive moisture can lead to all sorts of siding damage, like rotting, mold growth, and stains. With that said, some materials are more susceptible to moisture damage than others. The same goes for sun damage and deterioration due to high temps – some siding materials are simply better equipped to withstand these conditions and maintain their original integrity and appearance.
Grading Different Types of Florida House Siding
Let’s compare four of the most common types of house siding:
Wood siding is the traditional choice throughout most of the U.S. However, it’s not a reliable pick for hot and humid climates like Florida and the rest of the Gulf Coast. The advantages of wood siding are that it’s easy to work with and it delivers a classic charm that feels nostalgic and cozy. Many traditional siding styles, like lap, were first developed using wood.
When it comes to moisture resistance and durability, however, wood is pretty weak. Natural wood can absorb moisture, leading to soft or rotten panels. Wood siding is also known to attract pests and rodents looking for a place to nest. Wood siding can be attractive, but it requires an intense amount of upkeep, including painting and caulking, that is only multiplied in a hot and humid climate like Florida.
Vinyl is another popular choice for homeowners throughout the country. Vinyl is considered to be fairly affordable and easier to maintain than wood. Vinyl also comes in a wide range of colors and styles, offering plenty of design potential. It’s also easy to work with, thanks to its incredibly lightweight build.
With all those perks, vinyl is not typically recommended for Florida house siding. The main problem with using vinyl in Florida is that it can be somewhat flimsy. When storms kick up throughout hurricane season, strong wind gusts are common, so you don’t want any siding that can be torn off the side of the house easily. Unfortunately, vinyl doesn’t offer the durability and strength needed for Florida homes.
Stucco is a beautiful exterior choice that fits in well with the coastal aesthetic and relaxed sophistication that’s popular in Florida designs. Stucco is usually featured in neutral tones, like beige and off-white, making it a cool choice for Florida exteriors. Stylistically, stucco is a great pick for this region! It’s also less flammable than wood and vinyl, making it a safer choice in terms of fire safety.
The biggest challenge homeowners can anticipate with stucco is the maintenance required to keep it in tip-top shape. Though absolutely beautiful, stucco is a porous material, which means that moisture can find its way in and cause damage – especially in humid climates like Florida. Mold growth is another concern, as the pocked surface of stucco offers the perfect breeding ground when it stays damp. The key to combating moisture damage is to choose a high-quality paint finish – preferably with a matte finish – and stay up-to-date on resurfacing the stucco.
Fiber cement offers the enhanced moisture resistance and long-lasting durability that house siding needs to protect the home for the long haul. Thanks to its unique composition, fiber cement delivers elevated strength and integrity – something that comes in handy during turbulent weather.
Plus, there are plenty of styles available with fiber cement, allowing Florida homeowners to get the precise design they’re dreaming of. From classic lap to cozy, coastal-style shake – and even stucco-style panels – fiber cement provides plenty of choices that will keep up with the competitive trends seen in Florida.
For the Best Fiber Cement, Trust in Allura
Allura makes state-of-the-art fiber cement siding, with options available in traditional lap, shake, and even panel. Finally, finish off the ideal beach home siding with Allura soffit, all of which comes in a variety of color options, pre-painted and ready to install, cutting down on labor and aesthetic inconsistencies.
Contact Allura today to explore fiber cement siding that’s well-suited for Florida homes.