James Hardie® fiber cement products are renowned for their benefits, like durability, a long service life and low-maintenance requirements. In today’s post, local siding and window contractor Polar Bear discusses another important feature that’s not as often discussed — how siding can help improve your home’s fire resistance.
Fire-Resistance Key Terms
Siding must pass the standards set by building codes and certified laboratories in order to qualify as fire-resistant materials. To understand how fire resistance applies to siding and other building materials, the following are some of the important terms that will be frequently used as you compare siding products and their qualities:
Combustible — A material can be considered combustible if it burns or ignites readily. Building materials like timber and certain types of polymer can be categorized as combustible.
Non-combustible — A material can be considered non-combustible if it does not burn or ignite under tests that simulate conditions like direct exposure to flame and contact with embers.
Ignition-resistant — A material can be considered ignition-resistant if it doesn’t ignite from prolonged exposure to open flame. During tests, exposure can last between 10 to 30 minutes.
Fire-resistant — This term specifically applies to structures and whether they can contain a fire. In comparison, the term “ignition-resistant” applies to materials.
James Hardie Products
As a James Hardie Elite Preferred siding contractor, we at Polar Bear recommend their products to homeowners who are looking to boost their home’s fire-resistance. James Hardie products, including their best-selling HardiePlank®, are made of fiber cement, a combination of cement, wood fibers and fine silica sand. Fiber cement siding has similar characteristics as brick and stone, which is a definite improvement from most other siding products.
It’s important to note that no material stays unaffected by the heat produced by house fires. However, ignition-resistant materials can help slow down the spread of fire, which would buy time for the home’s occupants to make their way to safety and prevent fire from spreading to neighboring properties. James Hardie products have a proven track record for ignition resistance that many insurance providers offer discounts to homeowners who have had such products installed.
Polar Bear windows and siding options can help enhance your home’s exterior. Give us a call at (425) 290-5579 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Seattle and the surrounding communities.