Fiber cement vs. vinyl siding for windy weather

No one wants to lose their new siding in a wind storm. When it comes to fiber cement vs. vinyl, which performs better in the windiest of weather?

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Well, it depends on several factors, including the windload ratings of the specific siding product and the installation method.

Fiber cement vs. vinyl windload ratings

Siding undergoes complex wind velocity tests and many variables--building shape, height and wind direction--are taken into account. These siding products can provide you with a reference point for how the windload ratings of fiber cement and vinyl siding compare:

  • CertainTeed Board and Batten vinyl siding: 180 mph
  • Polar Wall® Plus vinyl siding: 215 mph
  • CertainTeed WeatherBoards™ fiber cement siding: 100-140 mph
  • Cerber fiber cement siding: 105-120 mph

Each manufacturer's siding product is given a windload rating, though not all products are created for high-velocity winds. You can discuss variables that affect your home with a siding contractor.

Contractor John Wilder chooses fiber cement siding over vinyl, which he says blows off too easily during wind storms. "Fiber cement does not expand and contract like vinyl siding, and if you lay a bead of construction adhesive between courses, it will not blow off even in 200 mph winds," says Wilder.

Installation factors, such as the types of fasteners or adhesive used, directly impact how well your siding performs in windstorms and if it can achieve--or exceed--the manufacturer's published windload rating.

Both windload ratings and installation matter when comparing siding products for windy weather, so take the time to consult an experienced siding contractor who is familiar with weather in your area.


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