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5 Durable Materials for a Weather Resistant Custom House

August 24, 2022

With the country facing an unprecedented barrage of severe weather events in recent years, homeowners are on the lookout for the highest quality building materials to help protect their homes when the forces of nature strike. Fortunately, there are a number of innovative products on the contemporary market that get high marks for insulation, fire protection, and water resistance. Keep reading to find out more about 5 durable materials for a weather-resistant custom home. 

1. Inorganic Siding Products

In order to achieve a weather-resistant custom home, it is critical that the building envelope be completely sealed from air and moisture transfer. To this effect,  low maintenance siding options, such as fiber cement and steel log, provide a major leg up over traditional wood plank and masonry options, which have to be regularly painted and sealed to maintain their insulative properties.

Thanks to their inorganic composition, siding products such as fiber cement and steel log do not absorb water, which helps stifle mold buildup. They are also completely resistant to fire and have the highest impact rating on the market. As a result, these siding choices can keep your custom home airtight and looking new for a minimum of 50 years with little maintenance required, regardless of how severe the weather conditions get. 

2. Storm Windows

Although  historic storm windows are a popular choice for renovations, retrofits, and restorations, many new builds are turning to heavy-duty storm windows to help protect the house from the myriad severe weather events that are occurring throughout the country.

Capable of withstanding winds in excess of 250 MPH and projectile impact of up to 100 MPH, storm windows are not only a great choice in coastal areas at risk of hurricanes, but in any region in which tempestuous winds are a threat to the property. Although most storm windows feature a heavy-duty steel frame and pane, they are far from a utilitarian choice and can be fabricated in a wide range of styles to match the design scheme of any type of custom home. 

3. Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Framing

icf house plans

A weather-resistant home begins with the framing choice, and no product on the contemporary market can match the prowess of ICF. This innovative framing solution builds on concrete’s natural durability by adding steel rebar and a layer of insulation to further fortify the frame. 

These precast insulated panels are locked together at the construction site and joined together by adding concrete, giving the home a solid, one-piece frame that has no cracks, crevices, or other imperfections that will allow air or moisture to transfer into the home. In addition, ICF framing is completely resistant to fire, mold, and pest damage--something that cannot be said for traditional wood-frame homes.

4. Composite Roofing Shingles

Like siding, inorganic roofing solutions are the best choice for custom homes, as they are not as susceptible to impact or UV damage as products such as asphalt shingles or wood shakes. Therefore, look for composite roofing products fabricated from a combination of asphalt, fiberglass, and recycled paper to provide the greatest level of protection to your home. 

Before applying the roof, it is also important to look at installing support products, such as  roof coverboard and step flashing to make it as insulative and water resistant as possible. The roof cover board is a substrate layer that attaches to the roof membrane to help prolong the life of the roof. It adds insulation and prevents moisture from reaching the roof’s base substrate and leaking into the home.

What is step flashing? Step flashing is a piece of metal, bent at 90 degrees, that is used to fortify the transitions between the roof shingles and the sidewall, chimney, or dormer. It prevents water from rolling down vertical walls and getting beneath the shingles, directing the water to the top of the shingles and rolling it off the roof. 

5. Polished Concrete Floors

There is no area of the home’s interior that gets put to the test quite like the floors, which must be able to withstand a barrage of foot traffic, moisture accumulation, and errant debris. As a result, lower-quality products, such as carpet and vinyl tile, are often damaged and destroyed in as little as a few years.

Therefore, modern homes are turning to more durable options, such as polished concrete, to withstand the myriad challenges floors must face. While usually thought of as a commercial flooring solution, polished concrete can be fabricated into a wide range of designs to enhance a number of interior design schemes while providing elite protection against foot traffic, sliding furniture, and everyday spills. 

Choose the Most Durable Materials

With the pressures inflicted on modern homes as a result of climate change and severe weather events, builders and homeowners alike are constantly on the lookout for innovative materials that can help protect their homes from the elements. With this in mind, inorganic siding products, storm windows, ICF framing, composite roofing shingles, and polished concrete floors are 5 of the most durable building materials for a weather-resistant custom home. 

Roger Marx is a contributor to the  Innovative Building Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and home renovation. Roger is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value and improve sustainability.

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