Designing up a storm:

Choosing building products to withstand extreme weather

Stormy Weather Ahead Caution Sign With Storm Cloud Background

Written by Steve Booz, Vice President of Marketing at Royal Building Products, A Westlake Company

It’s no secret that extreme weather is impacting homeowners and builders across North America. With climate change continuing to affect weather patterns, extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves and floods are becoming more commonplace. Wind, rain, snow, cold, drought, heat and sun all affect the condition of a build, and extreme weather can have a severe impact on its structure. Builders must be knowledgeable about the climate and weather conditions in their region in order to build homes with materials that are best suited to the environment. Now more than ever, an important consideration for homeowners and builders is how the exterior of their home will perform under extreme conditions.

Royal® Building Products offers innovative siding and decking products that are designed to stand up to extreme weather conditions: Celect® Cellular Composite PVC Siding, Haven® Insulated Siding and Zuri® Premium Decking.

Siding

Siding needs to be ready to withstand anything from wind, rain, extreme heat and cold to fire and even pests. Siding is known to blow off buildings during hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, so when choosing siding, it’s important that the supplier can provide specific information on product performance, especially in coastal or high-wind environments. Vinyl siding can be used successfully in a coastal environment if properly designed and installed (see below for valuable installation tips). Celect Cellular Composite Siding, a premium PVC siding product from Royal Building Products, was designed for use in coastal climates due to its durability and weather-resistant features. Royal encourages the use of Celect in coastal environments as it can go to grade, and can withstand salt spray and other coastal conditions. Celect has even been known to withstand hurricane-force winds. Additional features include: 

  • Celect has a patented interlocking joint system that keeps boards straight and true through a home’s expansion and contraction, eliminates caulked seams and energy loss, and as a result, there are no gaps, buckling or wavy lines. The interlocking joint system also make for a stronger wall and tighter seams, which lock out moisture. 
  • Celect is backed by a 25-year finish warranty, and due to our Kynar Aquatec® coating, does not require painting. It is cellular PVC, so there is no need for caulking.
  • Celect can be installed in any temperature and has no climate restrictions—including heat, cold or humidity. The wind rating exceeds 210 mph.

Insulated Siding

While summers bring hurricanes and tornadoes, winters have been bringing heavy snow, polar vortex cold and high winds. Builders in northern parts of the country may want to consider using insulated siding on their home and light commercial builds. Haven insulated siding combines the beautiful look of real wood and the energy efficiency of industry-leading insulation technology. EPS insulation reduces the flow of hot and cold air through wall cavities. For farmhouse and cottage-style homes, Haven Board & Batten alternating wide and narrow panels makes a great addition without compromising on style. As an added benefit, it also reduces noise by 45%. Additional features include: 

  • Insulated with stronger, more durable graphite infused foam—enhanced with Neopor® from BASF SE
  • Reduces thermal bridging
  • Moisture protection and permeability. Allows water vapour from inside the home to escape
  • Enhances sound deadening and impact resistance, quiet and beautiful, for the life of the home
  • TXL™ Lamination Technology provides 200 per cent stronger bond between siding and foam
  • Low maintenance, easy clean-up with a garden hose means a practically maintenance-free lifestyle
  • Double lifetime warranty, non-prorated, includes color and hail protection

Decking 

Today’s composite decking not only requires less maintenance, it also withstands extreme weather conditions like heat and sun much better than traditional lumber. To preserve the beauty of your deck in any type of climate, without the time and cost of maintenance, invest in a premium cellular composite (PVC) deck that echoes the same warmth and appearance of natural wood, such as Zuri Premium Decking.

Zuri decking combines the natural beauty of exotic hardwood with the unsurpassed durability and exceptionally low maintenance requirements of PVC. Unlike competing composite decking products that do not look like wood, Zuri’s PVC substrate is capped with a photo-realistic wood grain print and a clear acrylic that resists stains, scratches, fading and moisture. Benefits of Zuri decking include:

  • Zuri’s topcoat provides exceptional resistance to UV light and color fade.
  • Each decking shade will retain its just-installed look with minimal color shifting; we back it with our 25-year Color Fastness Warranty.
  • Zuri is engineered to be resistant to stains from food, household products and organic debris, as well as scratches, color fading, slips and moisture.
  • Zuri has lower maintenance requirements than wood decking, meaning lower costs over the lifetime of the deck.

Tips on Installing Siding in Storm Prone Areas

  • Use a moisture barrier (house wrap or building paper) to avoid wind-driven rain penetration into wall cavities. The moisture barrier occurs between the wall sheathing and the siding. 
  • Use stainless steel fasteners for buildings located within 3,000 feet of the ocean line. 
  • When choosing siding in a hurricane-prone area, choose products where the supplier can provide specific information on product performance in coastal or high-wind environments. Vinyl siding can be used successfully in a coastal environment if properly designed and installed.
  • It is important to install proper detailing around windows and other obstacles. Use utility trim, punch snap-locks into siding, and don’t overlap directly beneath a window.
Steve Booz)

About the Author

Steve Booz is the Vice President, Marketing & Product Development at Royal Building Products, Exteriors Division which comprises siding, exterior and interior trim and decking products.
For more than 40 years, Royal® Building Products’ commitment to quality, innovation and customer relationships has attracted the loyalty of a growing number of building professionals, architects, engineers and distributors to its products.