Wood has always been a popular style of siding. But, in the past, uncontrolled logging left forests devastated, ruining the ecosystem of the area.
However, in the last couple of decades, new forestry laws have been put in place to protect forests from deforestation. As a result, eco friendly wood has become increasingly prevalent. It is a better option than regular wood for countless reasons, but most importantly, because it protects forests.
What Is Eco Friendly Wood?
Sustainable wood is wood that has been sourced responsibly — through processes dictated by various laws and regulations — from eco friendly forests. These forests have earned the distinction of being sustainable due to the way they are managed. Specifically, the forest stewards work to prevent damage to the ecosystem, watersheds, and wildlife that all make up the forest. In other words, there is more of a focus on long-term conservation than the short-term, so that the forest will continue to thrive.
As a result, strict rules and regulations are in place to protect the sustainable forest from being destroyed by logging companies. Forestry laws help protect forests from deforestation, which helps to ensure the forests will continue to exist for generations to come.
Why Are Forests Important?
Forests are critical areas that do far more than provide a home to animals and produce oxygen. The trees also absorb carbon dioxide, which is, in part, responsible for global warming. They also can help create rain due to the unique atmospheric conditions they create, while also reducing floods by absorbing water in their extensive root system.
The list of things forests do is virtually endless. Because of all of this, it is crucial to protect forests from issues like deforestation as much as possible.
5 Characteristics of Eco Friendly Siding Materials
One of the top characteristics of eco friendly siding is that it is a renewable resource. When trees in a sustainable forest are cut down, new ones are planted to ensure a consistent amount of trees in the area. There is also a limit on how much logging can occur in these forests, ensuring that too many trees won’t be removed and it becomes an unsustainable forest.
While some sustainable timber siding includes softwoods, the more common ones are hardwoods. Hardwood siding is an incredibly durable option that has been used in both residential and commercial construction. These woods are more resistant to denting and will not chip, bend or warp as easily as other woods.
Aside from their durability, some hardwood eco friendly siding materials also have the benefit of being fire-resistant. A number of these woods, like Ipe, offer a Class A Fire Rating — the highest fire rating construction materials can have. A Class A Fire Rating means those hardwoods are safe for use even in wildfire-prone states like California.
4. Highly Moisture-Resistant
Most hardwood eco friendly siding is also more moisture-resistant than other woods. This, in part, is due to how dense hardwoods are, which prevents moisture from seeping in. As a result, this makes these woods ideal for use as house siding.
5. Low Maintenance
Sustainable timber siding also has the benefit of being an incredibly low maintenance material. Due to how durable sustainable wood is, there is less of a need to worry about it chipping or breaking and needing any repairs. Aside from staining for added protection and color preservation, all hardwood requires is cleaning of dirt and debris.
Eco Friendly Siding Options
When it comes to eco friendly siding, there are a few different options to consider. There are three specific types of eco friendly wood siding to choose from:
Ipe, or Brazilian Walnut, is one of the most popular and durable options. Like many hardwoods, Ipe is water-resistant, rot-resistant and insect-resistant. It also has a Class A Fire Rating, adding to the overall durability and safety of the wood.
Similar to Ipe is Cumaru wood, also known as Brazilian Chestnut. Like Ipe, Cumaru wood offers moisture resistance and rot resistance. It also is insect-resistant, incredibly durable and features a Class A Fire Rating.
A final eco friendly siding option is Batu, which comes from Southeastern Asia. It is a non-treated wood that features all the benefits of Ipe and Cumaru. People choose Batu for its beautiful, consistent red color and more affordable price point.
4. Rainscreen Siding
Rainscreen siding is not actually a type of siding, but a method of installing different eco friendly siding materials. With this method of installation, the siding is not placed flush against the home's structure. Instead, clips are used to leave a roughly 3/4-inch gap, which allows ventilation for the siding. This allows the house to stay drier, keeping mold and rot from forming on the home's structure.
Going Eco Friendly
Nobody is going to stop using wood for their building projects anytime soon. It is a beautiful, durable and versatile product that works well in countless applications, after all. But, knowing where the wood you use comes from and how it was sourced is crucial.
Because of this, you’ll want to research the company you are working with to ensure they are selling eco friendly siding materials that have been responsibly sourced. That way, you can rest assured that the company is obtaining their products both safely and legally, without harming the environment.