Vinyl siding is a type of exterior building covering that provides protection for homes and is meant to imitate the look of wood. It is popular due to the ease of installation, maintenance, flexibility, cost effectiveness, and durability. Vinyl siding is available in various styles and colors to give the finished home a unique look.
How is Vinyl Siding Made?
Vinyl siding is made when polyvinyl chloride is heated until molten and then shaped into sheets. The sheets are embossed with a wood-grain or a brushed pattern to give it an interesting texture. To prevent color fading and to improve impact resistance, additives are added to the sheets during the manufacturing process.
How Long Does Vinyl Siding Last?
Generally, vinyl siding will last for many years, but the life expectancy is subject to variation depending on the thickness of the material, weather conditions, and general care.
Common Problems with Vinyl Siding
Some vinyl can be less durable in extreme weather. Thinner sheets, for example, can loosen in violent winds. Or, if vinyl siding is damaged in a small area by hail or windblown objects, the entire sheet may need to be replaced because it is impossible to patch just one spot. It is also true that vinyl sheets can break, if struck with large objects in storms.
The PVC used to make the siding has environmental and health concerns, although there are arguments both for and against each concern.
Vinyl Siding Ratings
Common vinyl siding ratings include:
- ASTM E119, which indicates that the material is not a fire accelerant.
- ASTM D3679, which indicates the siding has met the requirements for the testing methods.
Tests are done on the dimensions, appearance, material, and windload resistance.
Popular Vinyl Siding Brands
The major brands on the market are:
- Charter Oak
- Harbour Crest
- LP (SmartSiding)