If you were looking to replace your siding and found yourself reading this, then I would assume you are considering getting vinyl. You might have wondered why many of your neighbors installed vinyl on their homes or why many people talk about it. So, first things first: what is vinyl siding and why you should choose it for your own home?
Vinyl siding is made up of long strips of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Designed to be a home’s second skin, it is typically fashioned to look like traditional wood siding, mimicking its texture and finish. You can also choose from different colors, from the simple beige and pastels to richer, deeper hues. Furthermore, here are a few more reasons to choose it for your home:
- Affordable -Vinyl is generally the least expensive siding option around, making it popular among many homeowners.
- Durable -Most vinyl siding can withstand winds of up to 110 mph. It is also decayand pest-resistant.
- Sustainable -As it does not decay or rot, it can be recycled and made into other products should homeowners decide to replace their vinyl siding.
- Versatile -Because of the wide range of colors, textures, and finishes available, vinyl can suit any home style.
- Easy to maintain -Because it does not rot, maintenance only entails cleaning, which you can do with just a garden hose, soft-bristled brush, and basic cleaning solutions.
Now that you have a general idea of what vinyl siding is, let me give you some of the most basic and essential tips that will help you take further advantage of its benefits.
Installation Preparation Tips
Once you’ve finally decided to get vinyl siding, found a contractor to provide the product and service, and got the installation schedule, the next thing to do is prepare for the job. You can help make the construction and completion more efficient and effective by doing the following:
- Prep the walls -Read: repair. If vinyl siding is installed over rotten wood, it will only cover the problem and let it get worse. Installing vinyl siding over a wavy wall will give you, well, a newly sided wavy wall. If you’re unsure how to prepare the wall properly, you can always ask your contractor for help.
- Remove obstructions -When we say obstructions, we talk not only about hanging or attached items on the wall but also things that can get in the way of the contractors such as bushes and plants near the wall. Give your contractors a clear path.
- Prepare yourself and your household -Even though vinyl siding installation is generally easy and simple, you must also let your family prepare for the scheduled job. Do not let children and pets hang around where the contractors are working, for instance.
Care and Maintenance
As I have briefly mentioned above, vinyl siding does not take much to maintain. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- DO wash it -Mostly, rain is enough to wash away dirt on vinyl siding. At least once a year, take the time to wash it using a garden hose (do NOT use pressure washer as water can get into the gaps!). If you think water alone cannot remove stubborn dirt, use a gentle cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
- DO inspect it – While vinyl siding itself does not rot, it may hide moisture-related issues caused by other factors. Also, check for cracks and scars that can be mended early on.
- DON’T bash it – Be careful when you place heavy things or equipment near or against vinyl siding. It can become brittle when exposed to cold weather and might crack when hit by hard objects.
- DON’T melt it – Vinyl has a very low melting point but in time, it can also melt when constantly exposed to extreme heat. Keep patio torches and barbecue grills a good distance from your vinyl siding.
How about painting it? Some may tell you that vinyl siding can’t be painted because it has a special coat or finish. While the general rule is to avoid painting vinyl, you can actually do so by using good quality exterior latex paint. However, DO NOT go for dark, heat-absorbing colors to prevent sagging and warping due to too much sunlight absorption.
Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
Here are things you should consider and remember:
- Add insulation for better energy efficiency.
- Before you do anything to your vinyl siding (such as painting), double-check the warranty.
- If you feel unsure about something, do not attempt to take matters into your own hands. Call your contractor!
Todd Wenberg is Southard Corporation/Renewal by Andersen’s Vice President. Specializing in sales management, he knows what their client homeowners are looking for and thus, aside from striving to provide them with products and services of superior quality, he works to share what he learns in the field by writing blog and guest posts.