Low-maintenance siding: Engineered wood (LP SmartSide)

July 16, 2021

When it comes to siding, there are many options: wood, engineered wood, fiber cement, aluminum, and vinyl.

To help determine which is best for you, consider these three questions:

How long will it last?

How much maintenance will it require?

How much will it cost?

When it comes to longevity, maintenance, and cost, engineered wood siding such as LP SmartSide is a great choice.

What is engineered wood siding?

Engineered wood siding starts with recycled wood strands or fibers, which makes it environmentally friendly. In fact, LP Smartside is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

LP SmartSide is engineered using a proprietary SmartGuard manufacturing process, which includes the following steps:

Adhesive resins are applied to the wood strands or fibers to increase its resistance to impact damage.

Water-resistant waxes then coat the wood strands or fibers to increase its durability against rain, humidity, and moisture.

Zinc borate is applied to protect against termites and fungal decay for decades.

A resin-saturated overlay further protects engineered wood siding from moisture, while improving its appearance and making it easy to paint.

Finally, it is heat pressed to increase structural strength and density.


Engineered wood siding is long lasting, and LP SmartSide is protected by a 30-year transferable warranty, as well as a seven-year 100% labor and replacement warranty.

Engineered wood siding is more affordable than traditional wood siding and fiber cement siding, especially when it comes to the cost of installation. While professionals must install it, LP’s SmartLock self-aligning edge design helps the process go quickly, which saves on the cost.

It is much easier and more affordable to maintain engineered wood siding than traditional wood siding. (More on this later.)

Engineered wood siding is durable in more ways than one. It stands up to the unpredictable Minnesota weather, such as hail and strong winds. It can withstand temperature changes. It’s also resistant to water and moisture damage, as well as termite damage.

LP SmartSide has even been tested in Hilo, Hawaii, where nearly 170 inches of rain falls annually and termite colonies thrive. This durable product remained structurally sound for more than 20 years in this brutal environment.

Unlike other alternatives to traditional wood siding, engineered wood siding does not peel or chip easily.

If variety is important to you, you’ll like the fact that LP SmartSide comes in 19 colors, as well as various textures and finishes. This makes style possibilities endless.

Compared to vinyl and aluminum, engineered wood siding is more natural looking.

Because it comes in 16-foot lengths, there are fewer seams than with other options.


One drawback of engineered wood siding is that colors can fade over time.

The resin in engineered wood siding can crack, and any cracks or damage may let moisture in. These problems can stem from installation errors, underscoring the importance of having it professionally installed.

The finish lacks the natural variations in the grain of real wood.

Maintenance is required to prevent swelling and warping.

Care tips

“Twice a year, walk around your house and carefully examine the exterior from foundation to roof,” said Karen Alves, LP’s Brand Marketing Associate. “Your entire home – from your roof and gutters to siding and foundation – all work together to protect against moisture and pests. If one system fails, you risk damage to another.”

If mildew or dirt appears, use a solution of three parts water and one part white vinegar to clean it away with a wet cloth or sponge, and rinse it off with a garden hose, but never a pressure washer. Never use harsh abrasives.

Spider webs should also be swept away.

If there are any chips or small inflections, they can be repaired with touch-up paint by dabbing it carefully with a cotton swab and letting it dry for 24 hours.

It should also be painted at least every 10 years to keep it looking sharp, and to increase longevity.

The bottom line

Engineered wood siding is a great alternative to traditional wood siding, and has many benefits compared to other options.

To learn more, and to get a quote for installation in the Twin Cities area, contact KeyPrime Roofing and Remodeling today!

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