Should I Get Fireproof Siding?
Fires cause 2, 620 deaths and US$7 billion in property damage every five years. Most of those catastrophic events are caused by everyday household equipment like HVAC units and cooking appliances. A minor blaze can escalate in only 30 seconds, so even the quickest response can fall short.
As with most things, prevention is better than cure. A fireproof home is one of the most important assets you’ll ever invest in. Your siding is a critical part of that investment because it acts as the first layer of defense. Think of it as the tough outer shell that keeps nature where it belongs: outside.
The Best Fire Resistant House Siding Material
Your siding is your home’s barrier against Mother Nature. It protects you from infestations, fires, water, and chilly drafts. Fortunately, the most fire-resistant siding materials are also the most robust, so when you fireproof your home, you gain several extra benefits. There are three kinds of blaze-resistant siding:
- Ignition-resistant siding can withstand fire damage but will ultimately combust. Materials with this label pass a 30-minute flame test.
- Non-combustible siding may melt or buckle in a fire, but it won’t combust. It meets building codes and can pass a standard test. Plywood, vinyl, and strand board are all highly combustible.
- Fire-resistant constructions pass an assembly rating for flame penetration. This kind of siding only has a fire-resistant shell.
Stucco and metal are two of the best fire resistant siding materials on the market today. Aluminum and steel create a tough barrier against flames and other environmental hazards, but if you prefer a more organic aesthetic, you still have options.
If your heart is set on a beautiful, exotic wood exterior, fiber cement might meet your needs. This vinyl alternative is made from cement, wood fibers, and sand. It can achieve a Class A Fire Rating, which gives you plenty of time to evacuate and call the fire department. Wood surfaces can be treated with flame retardants, but this kind of assembly allows fires to sneak into your property via the joints and stud cavities.
No wood is entirely fire-resistant, but some options are safer than others. Ipe is right at the front of the race, so it’s earned the nickname, “ironwood.” Its sheer density makes it a tough contender in terms of infestation-resistance, too, so you can wave goodbye to black mold and termites.
Fire Resistant Siding for Vinyl Fans
Vinyl has become the rock star of the siding world. It can mimic the appearance of wood and resists most of nature’s assaults. It has a chlorine base, so it resists ignition relatively well. It’s also naturally flame-retardant, spread-resistant, and easy to extinguish.
The National Fire Protection Association has saluted its fire-safe properties. Some manufacturers add industrial coatings to improve vinyl’s ratings, and you can add to your fire safety by choosing a seamless assembly.
Should You Install Fire Resistant Siding?
In short, yes. If you’re like most families, your home is the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so it’s important to keep it, and your loved ones, safe. Fire-retardance, infestation-resistance, and weatherproofing tend to coexist in the same siding materials, so your investment will perform overtime to protect your property from more than just flames.
Siding’s financial benefits are almost as attractive as its safety features. New installations deliver an average return on investment of 80%, so they almost pay for themselves. They add to your curb appeal and increase your property value to boot.