As a homeowner in coastal climates such as the Pacific Northwest, it is crucial to consider the unique environmental factors and weather conditions that your property may face, including heavy wind, rain, and saltwater exposure. Therefore, it is essential to research the cost and maintenance requirements of any building material you add to your home before committing to it.
To help you make an informed decision, we have analyzed and compared the performance of 4 popular building materials in coastal environments. Our professional assessment takes into account the impact of saltwater and high wind conditions on each material.
Throughout history, wood has proven to be a reliable choice for exterior material, especially in coastal climates. Thanks to modern technology, excellent corrosion-protection coatings are now available to shield wood from harsh weather conditions. Additionally, consumers have a plethora of wood options to choose from, making it easier to find the right fit for their needs.
Pros of Wood:
Cons of Wood:
Plastics are viable alternatives but are expensive and unavailable for all applications. Common plastic materials used for exteriors are PVC, vinyl, HDPE, acrylic, and polycarbonate. Plastics and composites can be used for siding, decking, trim, roofing, windows, and doors. If the wood exterior isn’t maintained correctly, plastics and composites will last longer in coastal environments and with less maintenance.
Pros of Plastics:
Cons of Plastics:
Cement board is a good product, but It’s important to remember that it still needs paint to perform in an acceptable manner. Cement board is mainly used for siding and trim.
Pros of Cement Board:
Cons of Cement Board:
Common metal building materials are steel, stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, and copper. These types of materials are commonly used for siding, roofing, fascia, trim, windows, and doors.
Pros of Metal:
Cons of Metal:
If selecting your material is heavily based on your budget, it’s important to remember that market demand determines each material's cost and which is more expensive than others. It’s also crucial to note none of these materials will withstand repeated, direct contact with salt water, but they can work well if maintained in coastal areas where moisture and salt are prevalent.
The best material fit for your home will depend on budget, style, and climate. You should always consult with your trusted contractor when making material selections. If you’re interested in learning more about the home maintenance required, download our eBook, “Redefining Home Maintenance: The Proactive & Essential Guide for Homeowners.”
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