Feb 13, 2019

How the Freeze/Thaw Cycle Impacts Your Home’s Siding

The extreme temperature swings of the Twin Cities make it imperative that the building materials used on homes can withstand both excessive warmth and cold.  One material where this is particularly important is house siding which is especially vulnerable to the freeze/thaw cycle which puts stress on outdoor surfaces.

As temperatures drop, water freezes and thaws repeatedly, expanding by as much as 10%.  If the water can penetrate the siding and temperatures fall below freezing, siding experiences significant pressure as the water’s footprint swells. Here’s a rundown of how popular siding materials fare during the freeze thaw cycle.Gray siding on a home in winter


Wood siding is lauded for its natural beauty.  However, the material has a shorter lifespan than many other siding types.  In addition, wood siding needs frequent painting in order to protect it from Mother Nature.  The freeze/thaw cycle is particularly unkind to wood siding and often leads to the material splitting and distorting.


Due to its non-porous properties steel siding holds up well during the freeze/thaw cycle.  This means that the finish will resist peeling and the material itself will not crack or deform.

Get a Behind the Scenes Look at a Steel Siding Installation Project: 


A common complaint of homeowners with vinyl siding is that the material is prone to loud cracking noises in the winter.  The material can become brittle in chilly temperatures, and cracked boards are possible.  Because the material can expand by over half an inch, it’s vital to partner with a siding contractor that understands proper gapping.  A siding panel installed during the summer months with too tightly of driven nails will split when colder weather makes the panel contract.

 Siding on a home in summer

Fiber Cement

One of the biggest household names that fits into this category is James Hardie® siding.  Comprised of cement reinforced with cellulose fibers, the material is more prone to fissures when water permeates the siding layers and spreads during colder temperatures.   Continuous freeze/thaw cycles will cause preexisting cracks to spread.

Engineered Wood Siding

LP® SmartSide® is the most popular siding material in this category.  It’s composed primarily of strands of wood that have been treated with a combination of water-resistant wax, resins, binders, and zinc borate.  The material wins favor with contractors and homeowners for its ability to withstand moisture penetration.  This makes it the ideal material to hold up during freeze/thaw cycles.  In addition, the material stands up to fungal decay, termites, and above average levels of humidity.

If you want a more weather-resistant siding for your Minnesota home contact Lindus Construction.

Browse Our Siding Installation Projects:

Siding Installation Reviews:

"We had a very good experience with Lindus Construction from the very beginning with Lucas Trickle. Lucas explained all the products for the siding and gutters. And he answered any questions that we had. The work was done two months before we expected. The workers worked hard and cleaned up everything before leaving our property. We are very satisfied with the finished product."

Mary D.
St. Paul, MN
June 29, 2023

"Very pleased with work completed by Lindus. Lucas was very thorough in pulling together the estimate and siding/roofing work met our expectations. The crews also did a good job cleaning up the work site once their work was done. Would definitely recommend them."

Mary M.
Woodbury, MN
June 25, 2023

"We had Lindus install new LP SmartSide® and SeasonGuard Windows.  A great installation by professional crews. We could not be happier. Sure glad we went with Lindus!"

Mark S.
Brooklyn Park, MN
June 20, 2023

"I really appreciated all the help from Lindus through this work and the quality of workers that you have on your crews.  I really appreciated the work and cooperation!"

Marsha T.
New Prague, MN
June 7, 2023

"Lindus Construction was great to work with. We had hail damage to our roof, siding and windows. They really went to bat for us with the insurance company which was greatly appreciated.  The crews that did the work were friendly and very professional. They really know what they are doing and work together extremely well. We are so very happy with the results. We will have no hesitation to use this company in the future."

David L.
Baldwin, WI
April 5, 2023

I was extremely pleased with the quality of work done by Lindus. They installed six large picture windows, replaced all my old siding with new LP® Smartside®, replaced the soffit and fascia, and installed their LeafGuard® Gutters. I highly recommend checking them out.  Their responsiveness, ability to make suggestions that met my needs, and professionalism were top notch. Pricewise, they were in the ballpark with competitors, maybe slightly more, but they're worth it." 

Ryan C.
Webster, WI
August 23, 2022
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