Vinyl siding is a great material for anyone looking to improve the look of their home. This type of siding can be very durable and resistant to damage, making it a good choice if you have kids or pets who tend to destroy your property.
However, vinyl siding has some disadvantages that you should consider before installing this product in your home. For example, vinyl is not as energy efficient as other siding materials such as wood siding or fiber cement panels. Also, vinyl siding tends to fade over time due to exposure to sunlight and other weather conditions than fiber cement siding and wood siding.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the pros and cons of vinyl house siding to help you make an informed choice. Read on.
What is Vinyl House Siding?
Vinyl siding is a durable form of plastic commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. Vinyl siding comes in a variety of styles, colors, and textures, even imitating the look of wood siding and other siding materials to suit your needs. You should know which one to choose when building your own house so you don’t end up with what you don’t like.
Vinyl siding is also very easy to install, which is why it has become one of the most popular types of exterior siding in the United States.
Pros of Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is made to be easy to install, which means that you can get the job done in less than half a day. That's why most homeowners choose to install it themselves. However, it's always recommended to seek professional help and advice before tackling this project.
The installation process requires the help of a contractor for their expertise. Proper installation means less likelihood that the siding will expand or crack over time, leading to bigger and more expensive maintenance issues. Construction warranties may also be voided by faulty or improper installation, so make sure you do your research and seek professional help if needed.
The material used in vinyl siding is also very durable, meaning it will last for many years. Vinyl doesn't warp, rot, crack, or peel with time, so you don't have to worry about costly replacements down the road as a homeowner.
When installed properly, vinyl also won't shrink, expand or contract over time. This is beneficial to the homeowner who wants a trouble-free product that requires minimal upkeep and maintenance. In case a rock flies from your lawnmower and pierces the siding, you can replace the plank fairly easily and cheaply.
Most manufacturers also boast a lifespan for the vinyl siding of up to 30 years. A properly installed and well-maintained vinyl siding does a good job of protecting a building's exterior surfaces while keeping its interior well insulated.
Relatively Inexpensive Compared to Other Siding Materials
Like stone or brick, vinyl is an investment. For around $1 per square foot installed (the average cost for new home construction), you get long-lasting siding that will protect your home in many climates. It's also relatively inexpensive compared to other popular materials such as wood clapboard siding, wood pulp, fiber cement siding, and aluminum.
Though the prices will vary depending on the manufacturer and the installation process, you can expect vinyl siding to cost between $3.50 and $7 per square foot. Fiber cement siding is double that price. So, if you want the most bang for your buck, you can never go wrong with vinyl flooring.
No Painting Required
One of the biggest benefits of vinyl siding is that it does not require painting. This is because the material, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), has a color built into it that makes it resistant to sun damage and ultraviolet rays. With no need for paint or maintenance, you will save yourself time and money.
Vinyl siding colors cannot be mechanically abraded, scratched off, or stripped. So, if you wish to restore or change the color of your vinyl siding via residential exterior painting, this siding material is highly receptive to paint. With vinyl siding, you can easily outfit your home or business with any color scheme of your choice as long as you know how to choose paint colors.
Vinyl Siding is Low Maintenance
Although vinyl house siding does not require paint, it will wear down over time and need to be replaced. The occasional cobwebs, bugs, mud, and other debris can easily be sprayed down using a garden hose. Never use a power washer on your vinyl siding, as this could cause serious havoc if the water enters your home through cracks around the siding or exacerbate minor tears in the crevices.
Cons of Vinyl Siding
Despite all its benefits, vinyl siding has its setbacks. Here are the cons of vinyl siding:
Vinyl houses siding does not absorb moisture; rather, it creates a waterproof barrier between your home and the outside elements. Vinyl siding is installed over a styrene insulation board which can cause water vapor to become trapped in the wall cavity without an escape route.
Thus, if water seeps into small cracks and holes in the vinyl, this can cause major damage to the wood foundation or create conditions that attract mold, mildew, rot, and termite infestation.
Vinyl Siding is Less Eco-Friendly
Vinyl siding is plastic and is made of polyvinyl chloride, which isn't eco-friendly. The manufacturing process produces greenhouse gasses such as nitrogen oxide and carcinogens, including dioxin. Another by-product of vinyl siding manufacture is sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain and smog.
This process also requires a vast amount of electricity. These gasses and chemicals can contribute to climate change and pollute the air. That's why most recycling plants do not accept PVC products because they're both challenging and expensive to recycle.
Vinyl Siding May Lower Your Home's Value
Although it is cost-effective, vinyl siding still requires a large initial investment. If you're looking to sell your home soon, this may be a deterrent for potential buyers who might not want the inconvenience of dealing with maintenance and replacement costs on their own.
Vinyl siding may decrease your home's value since many homebuyers tend to view it as inferior to real wood, masonry, or other materials. It could potentially result in lower offers if and when you decide to move to your home later.
Even though vinyl siding can withstand harsh conditions such as strong winds and heavy rainfall, it can have some maintenance issues. Vinyl siding is sensitive to extreme heat and cold. If you live in an area with harsh winters or summers, your vinyl siding may warp because of the temperature changes.
Besides irregular coloring, warping can also affect how tightly your panels lock together, leading to water damage if it's not fixed immediately. Siding planks often split or break due to the expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes. If a lawnmower sends a rock flying at your house, it may pierce the siding. Vinyl siding cannot be patched, so the entire plank must be replaced.
Installation is Simple But Not Full Proof
Although vinyl siding is easy to install, it can be expensive to have a professional do the job for you. Vinyl will not bend around corners, so if your house has rounded corners, you'll need someone with experience installing vinyl siding to do this part of the job. And if your siding is nailed too tightly, it will expand, crack, bulge or warp.
Construction warranties often last only one year, and the product warranty may be voided by faulty installation. Not every contractor has invested in proper training and certification, which is loosely regulated and expensive. Whether you're investing in a brand new vinyl siding or seeking a siding replacement, you must do your homework well while hiring contractors for this project.
Many vinyl siding brands have been tested to resist color fading when exposed to UV light from the sun. Inferior materials may fade in just a few months, causing homeowners lots of headaches and expenses. In fact, some contractors refuse to use certain products because they don't hold up well over time.
While there are many vinyl siding manufacturers, not all of them are equal in quality. Indeed, some vinyl house siding brands require homeowners to use specific cleaners and paints. Using the wrong products can destroy your beautiful new siding over time.
FAQS on Vinyl House Siding
What happens if water gets behind vinyl siding?
Rainwater leaking from your gutter ends up behind the siding and causes a wall to rot. However, vinyl is a rare siding product that remains completely unaffected by the water behind it.
What do you put under vinyl siding?
You can install vinyl siding over common wood sheathings such as plywood, oriented strand board, or other materials.
Final Thought on Vinyl House Siding
Whether the pros of vinyl siding outweigh the cons or vice versa, there are many reasons to select vinyl as your siding material or consider other options. But whatever the case, make sure you hire a siding specialist that can install, repair, and replace your property's siding.