Menu

Is Our Freeze/Thaw Winter Damaging Your Home’s Siding?

This winter, many U.S. and Canadian cities have experienced record low temperatures followed by unexpected warm-ups. This cycle of freezing and thawing puts great stress on roadway surfaces, underground pipes and exterior siding. It’s what causes water main breaks and highway potholes – and it can cause significant damage to a home’s siding. The freeze/thaw cycle occurs because water expands by nearly 10 % as it freezes. If water gets trapped in a siding material like fiber cement and the temperature falls below 32° F, it creates extreme pressure on the siding material as the water freezes and expands.

Some cities have just a few days of freeze/thaw cycles per year. Other places aren’t so lucky: The Denver area has more than 105 days of freeze/thaw annually, while cities in northern Michigan often get 102. Baltimore logs about 83 days and Kansas City has 79 days each year. When the freeze/thaw cycle happens repeatedly, year after year, the cumulative effect can cause cracking and serious structural damage to fiber cement and vinyl siding.

Here’s how today’s most popular siding choices compare when it comes to combating freeze/thaw damage:

Fiber cement – Since fiber cement is essentially concrete, it’s naturally more brittle than engineered wood siding and other material. That makes it more susceptible to cracking or breaking when water penetrates the substrate and expands as temperatures fall. There’s a lot of talk these days about “smart concrete” that can resist freeze/thaw damage, but that technology is still in the testing stage.

Vinyl siding – Vinyl contracts and expands significantly as the temperature changes. That’s why it must be loosely installed on a house to allow for movement. Like fiber cement, vinyl siding is more likely to crack in the winter.

Traditional wood siding – It requires a high level of maintenance to protect traditional wood siding from freeze/thaw damage. Without routine maintenance like painting and scraping, wood will easily warp, crack and split.

Engineered wood siding – This material is specially designed to resist cracking and splitting. Because products like LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding are made from a combination of treated wood fiber and industrial-grade binders and resins, they’re better able to withstand damage from freeze/thaw cycles.

Freeze/thaw cycles will continue to produce potholes on our roads, but engineering breakthroughs can prevent them from damaging home siding.

Continue Reading
News & Stories4 min

Boreal Forest Gets Unprecedented Conservation Agreement by Ducks Unlimited Canada and LP Building Solutions

Performance is written into everything we do at LP Building Solutions. This goes beyond the way our team members do their jobs, how we manufacture our products and the drive to deliver building solutions. We also watch, measure and steward our environmental performance. Sustainable sourcing and energy efficiency are just two ways we act as stewards of our environmental performance, but recently Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and LP signed a landmark conservation agreement to support 6,2 million acres in Manitoba's boreal forest. This agreement is the culmination of an 18-year partnership between the two organizations that was jointly released in January 2020.

Continue Reading
Trends5 min
Your Biggest Exterior Design Trend Questions for 2020, Answered

It's hard to imagine we're living in the year 2020. While we're not surrounded by robotic butlers and flying cars, home design trends in 2020 will feel revolutionary in style, texture and color. Whether you're looking at new home building trends for 2020 or want to update your current home's exterior design, we're tackling your biggest design questions and providing ideas for inspiration.

Business Advice4 min
Predictions for 2020 from LP Execs

The homebuilding industry is always changing, thanks to housing trends, shifts in buyer preferences, new technologies and even finance options. We recently sat down with Brad Southern, CEO of LP Building Solutions, and Mike Sims, LP's SVP of Marketing and Business Development, to discuss the latest industry developments.

Industry Trends3 min
Why Key Strategies for Reducing Labor Time May Be Backfiring

Many construction companies and remodelers have been sorely challenged by the shortage of skilled laborers. As more companies struggle to find good workers and juggle projects, many are thirsty for strategies that promise to trim time.