Last week, Hurricane Irene caused an estimated $7-$13 billion of damage to properties throughout the ten East Coast states she affected (according to ABCnews.com). A large portion of this damage happened to personal property, such as residences. Many?families are now being forced to not only deal with the emotional strain due to the?devastation, but also the financial strain of repairing the damage to their homes.
As we begin to move forward and repair the homes that were damaged, one thing we can learn from the devastation is that we should use the most durable building materials that are available, but still affordable. Although our structures could all be rebuilt using materials such as concrete with reinforcing bars, it probably wouldn’t be very cost effective or provide the home design options that other exterior products do.
The products you chose for the outside of your home will determine how well it weathers the storm. Although no siding product can escape the wrath of Mother Nature, some products have been proven in the field and in the lab to perform better than others during her normal episodes such as rain, hail and even tornadoes and hurricanes.
Here are five characteristics that can help you determine the durability of the products you are considering for the exterior of your home:
- Impact Resistance
How well the product can stand up to impacts from items such as?hail, rocks thrown from your lawn mower or your child’s baseball will greatly determine how durable it is. Look for?product test?reports or video demonstrations to see how durable one product is compared to another. ?
- Wind Rating
In many areas, particularly coastal zones, a product’s wind rating is essential to understanding how it will stand up to the elements. The higher the wind rating, the more intense weather the product will be able to stand up to, preserving your home’s appearance during some of the?harshest weather.
- Moisture Performance
Heavy rains are usually par for the course when it comes to?severe weather. How your?exterior products?manage that moisture will greatly impact how well your home is protected from damage. Exterior products need to shield your?home from bulk water while allowing the moisture that does get in your wall system?to?escape,?drying the wall completely.
- Resistance to Pests
The?exterior of your home is its first defense against unwanted critters such as?termites. Look for products that eliminate spaces for pests to nest and are resistant to insection infestation. Some products even contain insecticides that repel pests but are safe for installers and homeowners.
Companies that have testing and field experience to prove the durability of their products will?typically back?them up with strong, extended warranties. Look for products with these types of warranties so you can rest assured that your product is promised to perform, or it will be replaced in the event that it doesn’t.
Whether you’re looking to repair your home’s damaged exterior or build a new home, make sure you do your research and select durable products that will weather the storm and protect your home for years to come.