May 1

James Hardie Siding vs LP SmartSide

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Hi, this is Steven with Monarch Exteriors shooting another quick video about some of the benefits of James Hardie and how it compares to other types of siding. So this video will be more about wood-based sidings, like a LP SmartSide. 

James Hardie is a cement based product. So 90% of the product is Portland cement. And then the other 10% is a mixture of sand, water and cellulose fiber, which is a type of wood pulp that gives it its flexibility, so that we can actually work with that versus it being a solid block of concrete. 

Whereas LP SmartSide or engineered woods are, kind of similar to like an OSB where it's wood chips that they compress and glue together and then have like a paper face on it, so that it looks like siding and not, chipboard. 

So it's a very common siding… installers like it because it's lighter than a cement product. So it's easier for them to handle all day, but from a homeowner standpoint, since you're typically going to be hiring a contractor, the ease of install and the weight of the product really shouldn't have anything, you shouldn't base your decision on that. We're the ones that are going to be handling it. I wouldn't factor that too much in the decision. 

The biggest things from a homeowner standpoint:

So on those questions, James Hardie definitely outperforms any wood-based siding. So cement based versus wood-based obviously woodpeckers, are not gonna, are not going to be a problem for James Hardie. 

That's a big issue that we're facing in the Midwest. Most of the houses that we see have some sort of woodpecker, or pests, whether it's squirrels, et cetera, type damage, where they're actually getting into the house and, and create an issue there. So fiber cement, you're not going to have that issue would be even LP, has, has that problem - it's wood. Pests are gonna are going to chew on it. Woodpeckers are gonna do their pecking on it. So, Hardie's got it beat there.

Regarding flame resistance. Again, cement does not burn. James Hardie doesn't contribute to flame spread. Wood obviously burns. 

Another area that Hardie does better than wood-based products is on paint adhesion. So paint, once it's on something doesn't like to move. It likes to say put. Hardie is a very dimensionally stable product. So it doesn't expand and contract. Even when we have a big temperature changes like during the spring and fall, Hardie stays the width that it comes out of the manufacturer. There's very little movement. So paint likes that paint stays on it. Paint looks good on Hardie, longer than other products. 

Wood-based products will absorb water. They do expand and contract and paint will typically, when it moves on something that has been painted on is going to crack or peel or flake. So Hardie looks better, longer. 

This is a sample kit that I had from when I worked at James Hardie that kind of showcase some of the benefits and durability of the product. So on this side of the tank, we've got a piece of Hardie and this has been in the tank since August of 2017. 

So you can see that there, so, about five years now, and the Hardie is still the same size that it was when it went in the tank, the water has mostly stayed, at the same level that it was. 

This wood-based product on this side has gotten thicker. You can kind of see there that it's absorbed water. And then obviously the water discoloration on the wood-based siding is actually some of the chemicals that they put into the product to protect it, leach out of it when it gets wet like that. So that the product does absorb water. It will rot, despite kind of some of the misnomers out there that it's a better type of wood. It still performs like wood. Whereas Hardie is cement based that it's going to perform like cement. 

So those are some of the main benefits. From a maintenance standpoint, both products are fairly low maintenance. As far as cleaning, since wood-based products aren't going to hold paint as well you can expect to paint it more frequently, caulking around the windows more frequently since the trim is gonna, on LP is going to expand and contract more than, than a Hardie will. 

Those are some of the main reasons that we recommend and only installed James Hardie  products at Monarch Exteriors. So stay tuned, we'll put out more videos, discussing some of the benefits. Thanks. 


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