Many homeowners choose vinyl siding for their home's exterior veneer because they want to enhance the looks of their property without having to paint. Vinyl siding is an economical choice for a home exterior, and it is also very durable. There are both pros and cons with vinyl siding, and all factors should be considered before choosing to have vinyl siding installed on your home.
Vinyl Siding Benefits:
There are a variety of choices in vinyl siding as it comes in many different thicknesses, colors, and grains. Some other benefits include easy maintenance, affordability, and durability.
Durability - A primary reason why vinyl siding is popular with homeowners is that it is so long lasting. It is very durable under most weather conditions without the fear of it being damaged. The newer vinyl siding has improved over the older varieties and is less likely to become brittle and crack. An added benefit is that vinyl siding can endure the sun's UV rays without the color fading.
Cost Effectiveness - Vinyl siding is very cost effective over the long term. It does not require repainting and other maintenance like wood does. Obviously the cost of siding depends on the size of the application and the quality of the siding selected. The thickness and the grain are two factors that will affect the overall cost. Some homeowners also consider siding as an added layer of insulation, which helps to lower utility bills.
Maintenance - The maintenance required for vinyl siding is minimal. It doesn't fade from weather or sunlight and never has to be painted. All that is required to keep vinyl looking great is an annual or semi-annual pressure washing. Over time, moisture can become an issue, but that is easily remedied by re-caulking the joints between the trim and the vinyl siding.
Appearance - There are many varieties of colors and grains to choose from. The color of the siding is actually baked into the vinyl instead of being merely surface applied. This is why the color stays looking new for many years and shows no surface flaws or scratches.
Vinyl Siding Precautions
While vinyl siding is a very popular choice among homeowners, there are some mistaken beliefs about it. Two misconceptions are that siding is totally maintenance free and that it is indestructible.
Severe Weather - Most vinyl siding products can endure the majority of weather conditions, but there is a possibility of damage in extremely severe weather. In severe weather conditions, wood is sometimes more durable than vinyl. Heavy winds can dislodge panels from their surface. Debris from the wind can also cause punctures. When a siding panel is damaged, it cannot be repaired and requires replacement.
Oxidation – After many years siding will oxidize and fade. This will take longer than if the home had simply been painted and there is a way to prolong the process. Clean the siding once every few years and cut back any trees or bushes that would rub against the home. You can do this yourself and it does not take much time. Whether you select vinyl siding for durability, appearance, or both, it is essential to perform thorough research before installing it on your home. Vinyl siding can be an excellent choice for homeowners who want a maintenance free and durable way to improve their property.
Another important thing to check if you live in a neighborhood that has a homeowner's association or protective covenants is if vinyl siding is allowed. Sometimes it is not or is permitted in certain areas only, such as on gables or on any side of the house except the front elevation.