When it comes to selecting the best types of siding for a more environmentally friendly building, the truth is that finding the “best” siding requires factoring in a lot of considerations. Lots of the top siding materials have their own environmental benefits and disadvantages, and buyers need to look at aspects like the environmental cost of getting materials to market, as well as the overall maintenance requirements for each type of siding. However, some basic ideas can help property owners look at what types of siding might be the best for their particular needs to limit environmental distraction factors involved in building and maintaining their properties.
1. Wood Siding – In many ways, wood siding is one of the most eco-friendly siding options. It is a natural substance that does not require a lot of chemical processes (with some treated wood exceptions) – the flip side to this, though, is that over time, wood siding can have a significant environmental impact related to costly maintenance such as painting. It’s important to research different kinds of wood, including natural hardwoods like cedar, which can be prohibitively expensive, and the newest types of commercially timbered wood, which may be more sustainable and renewable over time. Companies are looking at possible solutions like rubberwood to get more accessible stores of wood without creating a negative impact on world forests.
2. Engineered Wood – Engineered wood products like plywood are cheaper than hardwood, but also more likely to need more maintenance. These may not be inherently eco-friendly, but they are still composed of wood, rather than items like vinyl that require pollution for their manufacturing process.
3. Aluminum – Aluminum is not an inherently environmentally friendly material. One of the biggest benefits, though is that aluminum can be maintained without a huge environmental impact, and, at the end of its useful life, this material can be recycled, which adds a lot of ecological value to promoting aluminum siding as an option for properties.
4. Masonry or Stucco – Masonry siding is also a more natural material choice. In fact, some experts consider masonry veneers or similar installations to be among top ecological choices. Naturally quarried stone is much less hard on the environment than vinyl or some other processed materials. Also, stone doesn’t take a lot of a toll in terms of maintenance. Different types of stone will require various maintenance procedures, and can get costly, but overall, it’s worth looking at convenient stone veneer options.
Along with the above considerations, property owners can think about the positive environmental impact of sticking with a particular siding for a long time, rather than tearing off one material and changing to another. Good maintenance, including painting and power washing, can keep a single type of siding functioning for many more years and cut down on the wasteful ecological impact of replacing siding frequently. Another option is to ask a LEED or green building certified professional about which materials are most sustainable considering your location, climate and other factors.