For many homeowners, the aspects of the construction materials they choose are important. The variables at which most homeowners choose to look at are typically: the manufacturing and transportation, the toxicity in use, and the disposal of the vinyl siding.
When it comes to the environmental side of the vinyl siding, there are both pros and cons. Yes, the manufacturing process can be toxic, however, this process becomes better with time. With that being said, there is little to no waste in the operation. Many feel as if these two cancel each other out. The decision is ultimately up to the homeowner.
The product is lightweight and easily transportable. Vinyl siding requires long haul transportation for delivery to a store or building site. So, similar to the information above, with everything comes a price. Siding is easy to move, but it must be moved long distances, typically.
One thing everyone can agree on: vinyl siding can be recycled. Vinyl is a polymer, similar to the polymers in carpets, bottles, toys, and paint, and was designed for durability. Vinyl lasts a long time but is not considered to be permanent. Vinyl without additives is less durable than wood or masonry.
Titanium dioxide is often added to the chemical mixture to block the damaging UV rays. This has been a major upgrade to the vinyl sidings of the past.
Like anything else in life, vinyl siding comes in different grades with different thicknesses. The two most common are referred to as recycled vinyl siding and virgin vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding is definitely not considered a ‘do it yourself’ project for most. It is important to note that here, the installation will affect the durability of the vinyl siding. The thicker the vinyl siding that is used, the more durable it is considered to be. However, the thicker the vinyl siding, the more difficult the installation will be. This is why it is more important on projects like these, you choose an installer you trust! You want thick, quality vinyl siding, and you want it installed perfectly!
10 years ago, vinyl siding was considered to be the cheapest option for housing exteriors. This is not the case today, and siding should not be “looked down upon” because simply put, the times have changed, and vinyl is now considered a beautiful, low maintenance option, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.
Liquid vinyl coatings, which are typically sprayed on, can sometimes be a better option and something to look into!
Wood must be painted or stained in order to be maintained. On the flipside, vinyl requires no paint but can be painted, if you prefer. However, vinyl is not maintenance free. Vinyl should be washed every year. This should be done in a warmer time frame, as moisture trapped will accelerate rot.
Because of the moisture factor, it is important to routinely re-caulk joints between vinyl and trim. Also, roof leaks and faulty gutters should be repaired as soon as possible.
Due to mold, vinyl siding may not be good for older homes with a chronically damp cellar.
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