The Freeze-Thaw Cycle: Traditional Wood Siding vs. LP® Smartside®

Oct 30, 2020

Southeastern Wisconsin is no stranger to extreme weather, especially drastically fluctuating temperatures and heavy snow falls during the winter months. Area residents are also familiar with  pesky potholes that litter the streets every winter and spring. These can be blamed on the freeze-thaw cycle, which puts a great deal of stress on any built surface, from roadways to your home’s siding.

For example, when water becomes trapped inside a siding material and the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water freezes and consequently expands. “The expansion weakens the surrounding siding material and when the ice melts as the temperature rises, the siding contracts and leaves gaps, voids, or cracks behind,” said Scott Cline, J&B Construction owner. “The more this process repeats, the worse the damage becomes. Your siding must endure multiple freeze-thaw cycles every year and depending on the material, your siding will react differently to this process.”

Traditional Wood Siding

Traditional wood siding is adored for its beauty; however, it typically has a much shorter life expectancy compared to other siding materials. In addition, it’s a porous material that absorbs moisture like a sponge. It also requires regular maintenance as it must be scraped and painted or stained every three to five years. “Clear sealers should also be applied to help retain the siding’s natural color and must be reapplied every two years,” Scott said. “Moreover, it must be cleaned frequently. If these tasks are neglected, traditional wood siding will be ill-prepared for repeated freeze-thaw cycles, causing it to be susceptible to major damage.”

LP® Smartside®

Conversely, LP Smartside, an engineered wood siding product, is comprised of wood fibers coated with MDI resins and zinc borate. Its unique composition creates a particularly durable product that resembles the look of natural wood. “Resistant to splits, cracks, and warping, LP Smartside will survive countless freeze-thaw cycles because it does not absorb moisture. Not to mention, engineered wood siding requires virtually no maintenance other than the occasional cleaning,” said Scott. “In fact, it is available factory pre-finished, saving the homeowner time and money associated with future maintenance.”

Given its makeup, performance, and longevity, LP Smartside engineered wood siding is a popular choice as one of the best lines of defense against freeze-thaw cycles while being easy to maintain.

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 The only complaint I have is when I have J&B do my roof in another 30 years or so, is Dave their sales man (a great guy) would not guaranty I could get the same great crew I had this time. They did a fantastic job. Much better than the last roofing company did. A nice bunch of guys. Did a very nice job cleaning up. I'd give them 10 stars but 5 is the limit. If you need a roof done this is the company you want to do it. One more point I need to make. The guys that did the chimney flashing are artists. I went up on the roof when they were done and was very pleased with not only the roofing job but the sculptured sheet metal work. It's kind of a shame it's on the roof and not hanging on the family room wall :). You get the point. Hire em. You'll like em. 
 We live in a historic designated neighborhood and recently had our 30 year wood shingle roof replaced with another wood roof and new gutters. From Day 1 of the project to the final day, the entire team was responsive, professional, and very competent. When some minor changes were proposed by us they quickly and effortlessly complied. After going through this experience with J&B, I would highly recommend them to anyone considering a roof and gutter replacement, whether it be a simple or complicated project. 
 J & B did an amazing job from start to finish. The initial meeting at my home took place exactly at the time that was agreed upon and Scott was thorough in his explanations and transparent about costs. When the time came to begin the project, the team that showed up was friendly, professional and timely in getting the project done. The cleanup afterward was such that it looked like they hadn't been there at all. The roof looks great, there were no surprises and Scott came by to inspect the work and explain the warranty upon job completion. I would highly recommend them. 
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W140 N10589 Fond du Lac Ave, Unit C
Germantown, WI 53022
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