How Long You Can Expect Your Siding To Last & Our Top Pick

How Long You Can Expect Your Siding To Last & Our Top Pick

The oldest walls in existence are some 11,500 years old, according to the World History online encyclopedia. When you select siding for the exterior walls of your Indianapolis-area home, look for the strongest, longest-lasting products available. So, what siding lasts the longest? 


Many homeowners turn to vinyl siding for its economy. If they only consider installation costs, they are not wrong. Some vinyl siding has a theoretical lifespan of 60 years, but only if it is properly maintained and kept out of direct sunlight. 

Vinyl siding (like most siding products) is not noted for its energy efficiency, earning an R-0.61 rating. Most installers place insulation and building wrap on your home’s sheathing before attaching any type of siding. 

Vinyl siding has a relatively good level of fire resistance. It is plastic, so it essentially melts rather than burns.

Storm-ready vinyl siding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), must withstand 110-mph winds. 

Vinyl siding is available in many colors and several styles. Many prospective homeowners expect to see vinyl in affordable, entry-level homes. 

Though vulnerable to heat and ultraviolet light, vinyl siding is easy to care for with annual cleaning and periodic inspections for dents, cracks, slipped panels, or warping. 

Vinyl siding is available at several price points, with thicker vinyl costing more. 


Though some wood siding can be beautiful, it requires significant upkeep. It is also expensive to install. 

Wood siding typically lasts two to four decades. If wood siding is neglected, it will deteriorate quickly. Mold, mildew, rot, and insect damage will quickly lower curb appeal and home value. 

Wood siding is not known for its energy efficiency. Typical wood clapboard siding only garners an R-0.81 rating, and wood shingles barely improve on that at R-0.87. 

Wood is flammable, so fire resistance is a concern for many homeowners. Wood is also not particularly helpful in shielding your home against high winds. It ranks better than vinyl but not as high as other choices. Wood can be easily splintered and split by windborne debris. 

Wood siding can be painted whatever color you wish. Painting wood siding gives you plenty of color choices and exercise: scraping, cleaning, priming, and painting become annual chores. 

Wood siding is perhaps the most labor-intensive siding product, requiring nearly constant attention to prevent insect damage, gnawing rodents, water infiltration, rot, and decay. 

Natural wood siding is among the costliest materials. Engineered wood siding is a bit less expensive. 

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

When sawmills end the day with piles of chips, those chips form the basis for Oriented Strand Board, or OSB. This versatile product combines glue (or resin) and wood chips squeezed under tremendous pressure into molded sheets with just about any surface texture desired. 

OSB siding lasts between 30 and 60 years, ideally, but it is challenging to paint and difficult to maintain well. Though economical to purchase and install, it is a wood product subject to attack by insects and rodents. 

OSB is not notable for its energy efficiency. Being a wood-based product, it does not perform well in fire tests. It does block wind but must be firmly attached to combat hurricane-force winds. 

As with wood siding, OSB can be painted in whatever color you choose. Sharing the maintenance and upkeep challenges with wood siding, OSB siding requires nearly constant attention to prevent water infiltration, rot, and fading. 

OSB is notable for its low initial cost. It is often perceived as a low-value option, often depressing curb appeal. 

Fiber Cement Siding

If you want a siding product that combines the best traits of the others, choose fiber cement siding. It is durable–lifespans of 100 years are expected—paintable, fireproof, and easily maintained. 

Fiber cement siding is a human-made product whose shape, size, thickness, and density can be controlled. High-quality examples, such as the James Hardie product line, can outlast most other siding products. 

As with all the other options, fiber cement siding does not appreciably impact your home’s energy efficiency, coming in at an R-0.37 rating. It is, however, both fire-resistant and wind-resistant since its Portland cement ingredient is fireproof and can withstand 150 mph winds. 

Though available in a rainbow of colors from the James Hardie factory, fiber cement siding can also be painted far more easily than wood or vinyl. 

One of the advantages of fiber cement siding is its low maintenance. Many Indianapolis-area homeowners perform little or no maintenance on their James Hardie siding, leaving it to their siding contractors to make periodic visits every few years. Please connect with us today at Moss Roofing so your Indianapolis-area home can be fully protected. We can keep your siding, roof, gutters, and insulation working hard for you, so you don’t have to work hard to maintain your home’s beauty and value.

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