It’s attractive and it’s familiar — but how long does wood siding last? When cared for and maintained, it is possible for wood siding to look good, but the reality is that wood is not recognized as a particularly easy or long-lasting siding material. There are a lot of issues with wood siding, which means homeowners need to go out of their way to work on ongoing maintenance if they want their wood siding to last.
How long does wood siding last, and how can you make it last longer? These are the questions that you should be familiar with before you commit to this outdated siding material.
Wood Siding — A Traditional Option
Many people love the look of wood. After all, it has a very familiar, nostalgic look to it. Used as a traditional building material for generations, wood was often the most accessible material around. However, with sustainability concerns becoming more prevalent, it can be difficult to source responsibly-harvested timber with the confidence that it isn’t having a detrimental impact on the environment.
However, wood remains a very popular choice for house siding, simply because of its traditional allure. Natural wood grain patterns and colors evoke a link to nature, which lots of homeowners find desirable when creating a cozy home. To enjoy that aesthetic, homeowners should be prepared to put in the work required to maintain their wood siding.
Wood Siding Lifespan By Timber Type
Unfortunately, there is no single answer to know how long wood siding will last. The reality is that the lifespan of wood siding is often determined by the surrounding environmental threats and the level of maintenance dedicated to the exterior.
There are approximate average lifespans calculated for different types of timber. Of course, these are estimates, and the actual lifespan will depend on a variety of factors over the course of years. Nonetheless, here are the estimates for wood siding lifespan:
- Pine siding - 20+ years
- Fir siding - 30+ years
- Cedar and Redwood siding - 75+ years
- Cypress siding - 100+ years
These are averages based on continual upkeep and damage repair, which is usually needed every two or three years. Unfortunately, most residential wood siding is made from pine, and consumers will find that the costs of wood siding fluctuate to reflect these differences in lifespan. If you want longer-lasting cedar or cypress, be prepared with your pocketbook — for both the upfront costs and the expensive maintenance.
Common Issues that Affect the Lifespan of Wood Siding
Continual maintenance is a given in order to reach those average lifespans. Basic maintenance includes intensive sanding, caulking, and painting wood siding to address chipping, color fading, peeling, and surface flaking. These are all pretty common issues with wood siding that happen with everyday exposure to sun, wind, and rain.
In addition to everyday wear and tear, there are other issues that can cause major concerns for wood siding. Water damage is perhaps the biggest threat to wood siding, because it can cause deterioration at several levels.
Wood absorbs moisture naturally, and when it does, wood siding can become rotten and weakened. Built-up moisture can also create the perfect conditions for mold and mildew growth, which can be unsightly and dangerous.
Flammability is another issue with wood siding that can seriously affect its lifespan. As a highly flammable material, wood siding can go up in flames rather quickly, causing extensive damage that can put the property — and those inside — at serious risk.
A third problem with wood siding is that it is particularly susceptible to damage due to insects, rodents, and other wildlife. Hey, it’s wood! It’s natural for critters to think that wood siding is just as suitable for nesting as nearby trees or shrubs. Termites, squirrels, woodpeckers, and other critters can do an incredible amount of damage to wood siding, causing costly repairs and significantly reducing its lifespan.
Modern Wood-Style Siding Offers a Solution
Wood can be a beautiful siding option that homeowners find attractive, but the truth of the matter is that it isn’t the best material for those who are searching for a long-lasting exterior that will continue to look great year after year. Modern materials offer a great solution to this problem — without giving up the traditional look of classic wood siding.
Allura offers a full range of wood-look siding crafted from high-quality fiber cement. Made up of a superior blend of cement, sand, cellulose fibers, and water, fiber cement delivers exceptional durability that bypasses the common issues that spring up with wood siding. Plus, gorgeous wood grain patterns can be found in an abundance of styles, including shake, lap, board and batten, and more. This makes swapping from wood siding a cinch.