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Hemlock Siding: Pros And Cons

If you're looking to update your home's exterior siding, you might wonder if hemlock is a good choice. We've researched hemlock siding's pros and cons, addressing all of the considerations, to help you with this decision.

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Here are the notable pros and cons of hemlock siding:

Pros: 

  1. Naturally Rot-Resistant
  2. Low Maintenance
  3. Easy Installation
  4. Beauty
  5. Eco-friendly
  6. Adds Value to Your Home
  7. Easy to Find

Cons:

  1. Not Fire-proof
  2. Not Pest-proof
  3. Prone to Dents and Scratches
  4. Costly

Continue reading for more detailed information to help you determine if hemlock siding is right for your home exterior.

Durable, Beautiful Hemlock: A Versatile Wood

Hemlock or Tsuga is an evergreen tree native to North America and parts of Asia. The wood from these trees has a reddish-brown hue and is naturally rot-resistant, making it an ideal siding material.

In addition, hemlock is lightweight and easy to work with, meaning that you can use it in a variety of applications. For example, hemlock siding is often used on barns, sheds, and other outbuildings.

Hemlock is a sturdy tree, growing 10 to 60 meters tall and 2 to 3 feet in diameter. It is also considered an attractive wood that is perfect for new construction and remodeling projects. You can also use it to create beautiful accent walls inside homes.

Men build siding hemlock wood on wall exterior

Types of Hemlock Siding

There are many different types of hemlock siding. The three most popular are: unfinished, dressed, or half-round. All three have their own unique advantages that make them well suited for different applications.

Unfinished hemlock, which is typically used for construction purposes, has a rough surface and a more natural look.

Dressed or surfaced hemlock is finished hemlock that has been sanded smooth and is ready to be painted or stained.

Half-round or batten hemlock siding is a popular choice for rustic or country homes. Board and batten hemlock siding, which consists of wide boards with narrow strips of wood called battens covering the seams, is another type of rustic siding.

The Pros of Using Hemlock Siding

Modern house exterior design with wood siding. Hemlock Siding Pros And Cons

1. Naturally Rot-Resistant

Hemlock is a tough wood that stands up well to the elements.

2. Low Maintenance

Once it's installed, hemlock siding requires very little care.

3. Easy Installation

Hemlock siding can be easily cut and nailed into place, making it a good choice for DIYers.

4. Beauty

The natural grain of hemlock wood gives it a rustic charm that adds curb appeal to any home, and it can be stained or painted to match any home exterior color scheme. 

5. Eco-friendly

Hemlock is a sustainable resource typically harvested without harming the environment. Also, it is one of the most efficient types of wood when it comes to absorbing and reflecting heat, which can help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in winter.

6. Adds Value to Your Home

Hemlock is an attractive wood that is commonly used for siding, decks, and other exterior applications. It can be finished in a variety of ways, including painting, staining, and natural weathering. 

This kind of siding is also available in many different styles, such as shingles, shakes, and boards. So, installing hemlock siding can increase the resale value of your property.

7. Easy to Find

Hemlock trees are plentiful in North America, making the wood readily available for use in construction and home improvement projects.

The Cons of Using Hemlock Siding

While hemlock siding can give your home that classic "log cabin" look, there are some drawbacks to using this type of wood.

Before and after of redwood siding on home. Home repair. Hemlock Siding Pros And Cons

1. Not Fire-proof

Although hemlock is a natural material and doesn't have any added fire retardants, it still has some flame-resistant properties. Hemlock siding will char rather than ignite and would slow the spread of fire.

But then, it's not as resistant to fire as other materials like fiber cement or metal, so it's important to use hemlock in conjunction with other materials that can offer additional fire protection.

Hemlock siding doesn't hold up well to fire, so it's not the best choice if you live in an area prone to wildfires.

2. Not Pest-proof

Hemlock doesn't stand up well to termites, so it's not ideal in an area prone to infestations.

It is also known as "weeping" siding because of the way the sap seeps out of the wood. This sap can attract bees and other insects to your home.

The main reason hemlock siding is not pest-proof is that it is a softwood. Termites, carpenter ants, and other pests are attracted to softwoods because they are easier to chew through than hardwoods.

Unfortunately, hemlock siding is not a common type of wood used for pressure-treating. In addition, hemlock lumber is also susceptible to rot and decay, which makes it an attractive target for pests.

3. Prone to Dents and Scratches

Another downside to hemlock siding is that it tends to warp and crack over time. And because it's not as strong as other kinds of wood, it's more likely to get dented or scratched.

4. Costly

Finally, hemlock siding is one of the most expensive types of wood siding on the market, so it may not be the best choice if you're on a tight budget. It could range from $15 to $16 per square foot

What Are the Things to Consider in Purchasing Hemlock Siding?

If you're thinking about adding hemlock siding to your home, there are a few things to consider.

First, hemlock is a softwood, so it's not as durable as some other options. It also doesn't hold up well in wet or humid conditions. That said, hemlock is a beautiful wood with a tight grain that can give your home a classic look.

It's also relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. When choosing hemlock siding, be sure to select boards that are straight and free of knots.

You'll also want to have the boards primed and sealed before installation to help protect them from the elements. With a little care, hemlock siding can add beauty and value to your home.

man painting wood house exterior siding with brown protective paint

How to Maintain Hemlock Siding?

Hemlock siding is a beautiful and durable option for your home. While it is low-maintenance, there are a few things you can do to keep it looking its best.

First, hemlock siding should be cleaned periodically with a mild soap and water solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washers, as these can damage the wood.

Then, hemlock siding can still benefit from a yearly application of sealant or stain. This will help to protect the wood from the elements and keep it looking fresh.

As you try to do these tips, your hemlock siding will continue to look beautiful for years to come.

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What Are the Other Hemlock Siding Installation Tips?

If you're looking for a sturdy and attractive siding option, you can't go wrong with hemlock. This type of siding is made from softwood, so it's easy to work with, but it's still strong enough to stand up to the elements. Plus, its light color gives any home a fresh, clean look.

When installing hemlock siding, it is important to start at the bottom and work your way up. This will ensure that the siding is properly sealed against the elements.

In addition, be sure to use galvanized nails or screws to avoid rusting. To avoid moisture damage, it is also important to caulk all joints and seams.

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Once the siding is in place, it is important to protect it from the elements by painting or staining it. When applying paint or stain, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing hemlock siding:

  1. Start by measuring the area you need to cover and then cutting the boards to size. If you're working with pre-cut boards, you can skip this step.
  2. Once the boards are cut to size, it's time to install them. Begin at the bottom of the wall and work your way up, nailing each board in place. Make sure that the nails are driven into the studs so that they'll be secure.
  3. As you work your way up the wall, overlapping each board as you go, you'll eventually reach the top of the wall. At this point, you'll need to install a piece of trim along the top edge of the siding. This will give the installation a professional-looking finish and help protect the edges of the boards from weather damage.
  4. Once the trim is in place, you're finished! Just sit back and enjoy your new hemlock siding.

By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your hemlock siding will last for many years to come.

Charming newly renovated home exterior, natural wood siding and grey siding. Hemlock Siding Pros And Cons

Final Words

Hemlock siding is a great choice for your home, but there are some things you should consider before making your final decision. We’ve outlined the pros and cons of using hemlock siding so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your home.

If you decide to go with hemlock siding, be sure to follow our installation tips to ensure a beautiful, long-lasting finish. To know more about exterior materials, see the link below:

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