6 Key Siding Terms Every Homeowner Should Know

Technical terms are unavoidable during consultations with home improvement contractors. Take siding, for instance; there are many unique terms that you won’t likely hear in casual conversation. Local siding and roofing contractor Exterior Source shares common siding terms that may become useful during discussions with siding specialists.

  1. Course  — “Course” refers to a row of material that covers the span of a plane or wall. You will hear installers mention “a course of shingles” or “overlapping courses of clapboard siding”. The same term also applies to vertically-oriented materials such as board-and-batten siding.
  2. Flashing — Flashing is the strips of metal that protects joints and seams from water infiltration. While often used on roofing systems, many exterior components, including siding, also utilize flashing. Flashing is also installed in tight corners and areas where trim would be deemed inappropriate.
  3. Gauge — In siding and roofing terms, gauge refers to the thickness of the material. Many homeowners choose siding with thicker gauges for better protection against impact and heat gain.
  4. Lap — This is the part of the siding installation where there is an overlap in the material. Traditional siding features flat boards with a lap starting at about a third of the board, creating the familiar diagonal shape. Dutch lap siding, as another example, features beveled edges where the lap would be, which allows a clean and flat look when installed.
  5. Weep Hole — Weep holes are small holes, usually found at the end of siding boards, that allow moisture under the siding to escape. Trapped moisture usually creates condensation, which, if not released, would cause damage to the substrate and the siding material itself. These small holes appear to be “weeping” when releasing moisture, hence the name.
  6. Wind Load — Wind load refers to the sustained wind speed that installed siding can withstand without breaking or getting torn off. Standard siding products are rated to withstand over 100 miles per hour, the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. Local building codes may require siding with high minimum wind loads, depending on the local climate.

Exterior Source is your leading provider of siding and roof replacement services. Give us a call at (804) 275-5323 () and (757) 464-2060 (Tidewater). You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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