Hurricane-force winds. Searing rays from the sun. Baseball-sized hail. These are just a few elements that home exteriors can be subjected to on a regular basis. During Home Improvement Month in May, experts recommend homeowners invest in high-performance building products to gain peace-of-mind, lower maintenance hassles and enduring curb appeal for their homes.
“Whether you’re constructing a new home or renovating a cherished older home, it’s critical for homeowners to seek out building products with proven performance,” says Aaron Adams, regional manager with DaVinci Roofscapes. “Any product with exposure to Mother Nature has to be ready for all her fury.
“In recent years we’ve seen weather conditions change remarkably. Horrific blizzards, hurricanes, flooding and extreme weather conditions that rarely occurred in the past are now regular occurrences. This means that home exterior products — like roofs, siding, decks, windows and garage doors — must all be ready to handle repeat incidents of severe weather.”
Up on the Roof
The building product most exposed to weather conditions is the roof. Whether asphalt shingles, metal, cedar shakes or cement, most roofing products do not have the ability to withstand Mother Nature long-term.
“The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ couldn’t be truer than with roofing products,” says Trent Lovewell, with John Higgins Weatherguard Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska. “Our company has installed thousands of roofs over the past 32 years.
“We’re in an area where hail can ruin a roof in an hour. Some homeowners pay the insurance deductible every year and get a new roof with the same materials. Over a few years those deductibles add up, as do the hassles and the insurance premiums.
“We counsel that the smarter idea is to seek out a high-performance roof, like composite slate or shake. It may be more expensive initially than traditional asphalt, but then again, you’re making an investment in performance. In the end, a roof like DaVinci enhances the value of a home plus provides ease-of-care and peace-of-mind for the homeowner.”
Lovewell adds that people selecting high-performance roofing products, like DaVinci, may also get discounts on their homeowners insurance.
“There are many companies that offer policy premium discounts for impact-resistant roofs in different markets,” says Lovewell. “I’ve seen discounts up to 50 percent off homeowner insurance when someone switches from wood shakes or shingles to composite shakes. That’s a year-after-year savings on top of the advantage of not having to regularly worry about dents and holes in your roof from severe weather.”
Siding the Home
According to Adams, the second most exposed area of the home is the siding. “Every part of your home is sheltered by either windows, doors or siding — and siding is the bulk of that coverage,” says Adams. “It makes sense that during Home Improvement Month people should carefully inspect their siding for gaps, holes and degradation. Then, either make repairs or consult with a professional to replace worn-out siding.”
Durable siding products, like brick, stone and composite siding, can all work together with a high-performance roof to create a “building envelope” that bring both beauty and curb appeal to the home.
“No homeowner should have to sacrifice aesthetic appeal of a home exterior for durability,” says Adams. “There are many siding products available that provide resistance to high winds, ultraviolet rays, mildew, algae, insects and fire. These specific types of high-performance siding products are an investment for a homeowner.”
Adams cites DaVinci Hand-Split Shake Siding tiles as a high-performance product that has strong return-on-investment for homeowners.
“This siding is manufactured out of the same composite materials as our roofs,” says Adams. “It’s made of virgin resins, UV and thermal stabilizers plus a highly-specialized fire retardant. This maintenance-free composite siding is resistant to expansion and contraction that can happen with fluctuating weather conditions and temperatures.
“Marry up composite roofing and siding on a home and you have hassle-free days and nights … no matter what the weather’s doing outside.”