Your home’s siding protects the structure from rain, snow, hail, and other weather conditions. It’s an important investment. While wood and aluminum are both great options, vinyl siding has been gaining popularity recently. It is durable, energy-efficient, and inexpensive.
Other siding materials can’t compete with vinyl! Vinyl is resistant to bugs, mold, and temperature changes, among other things. There is very little maintenance involved. It has a longer lifespan than other siding materials too!
So, what is the average life expectancy of vinyl siding?
What is Vinyl Siding?
Image source: Jacobs Ladder Siding, Roofing, Windows & Painting
Vinyl siding was first introduced in Columbus, Ohio, in the 1950s. At the time, everything was done by hand, so the quality wasn’t better than aluminum siding. Machines took over the process in the 70s. That’s when vinyl siding gained higher impact resistance and a whole range of colors.
Vinyl siding features two layers. The top layer, also referred to as capstock, and the bottom layer, which is called the substrate. Both are made from polyvinyl chloride and resin, with some titanium dioxide in the top layer. Titanium dioxide provides the color and UV protection.
Now, you will find vinyl siding in all colors and designs that can mimic those of other materials. Substrate contains limestone, which makes manufacturing easier and cheaper.
You will find that a third of all the houses built today feature vinyl siding. Surely, people like it for a reason! But vinyl siding is not all that, and it has its drawbacks too.
Image source: Homesite Remodeling
Vinyl siding is not usually offered in dark colors, as the color fades over time. That happens because of sunlight. Of course, the top-shelf high-quality vinyl is more fade-resistant. However, it will still fade over time. You can paint your vinyl siding to add a little pop. Make sure to use paint that is specifically made for vinyl siding.
Image source: Michael Herman Aluminum & Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is very easy to damage, more so than other sidings. You will find it’s quite easy to damage the lowest plank with a weed trimmer and other garden tools. You can purchase insulated vinyl siding. That will add energy efficiency to your home and make the vinyl more durable.
Image source: Jacobs Ladder Siding, Roofing, Windows & Painting
The heat from the sun won’t have an effect on the vinyl. However, a grill that’s too close to the siding, or another heat-generating appliance, will melt it. Even reflected heat from a window can cause damage.
As vinyl ages, it will release some harmful chemicals that were used in the production process.
What is the Average Life Expectancy of Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl siding can last between 25 and 45 years with low maintenance. The higher-quality vinyl siding will last you even longer. The brand will give you an idea as to how long the siding will continue to look good for.
Cheap vinyl will crack and fade after a few years only. High-quality vinyl can stand for longer than 50 years.
Vinyl Siding Grades
Image source: Lehman Associates, P.C.
The quality really depends on the thickness of the material. It ranges from 0.35 mm to 0.55 mm. The minimum thickness that builders will use is 0.40 mm. Between 0.40 mm and 0.45 mm is mid-grade. Above 0.45 mm is premium. Manufacturers use the following terms:
- Builder’s grade – 0.40 mm
- Thin residential – 0.42 mm
- Standard residential – 0.44 mm
- Thick residential – 0.46 mm
- Super-thick – 0.50 mm
- High-end – 0.54 mm
High-End vs. Low-End
Image source: Ultimate Remodelers
Cheaper siding will crack and sag after a few years. When it comes to siding, the thicker the better! Manufacturers will often prioritize low-end siding because it’s cheaper. Pay attention to that and don’t let anyone fool you!
Thicker, high-end vinyl siding looks and feels better. It will last you longer. Brands that sell thicker vinyl siding also offer longer warranties.
Why Does Vinyl Siding Last So Long?
There are many reasons why it lasts so long and why people like it so much. Here are some of them:
Image source: Carini Engineering Designs
Vinyl siding is very easy to maintain. It isn’t harmed by weather conditions. It won’t crack because of the sun or fade because of UV radiation. Of course, that will all happen over time, but you have a long way to go. Just wash it once or twice a year to keep it looking brand new.
Image source: 21st Century Building Company
You already know you don’t have to worry about the weather. The surface of vinyl siding is slick, so all the dirt and dust will easily slide off with a wipe or water from a garden hose. There isn’t any paint, so you won’t have to deal with priming, scraping, and re-painting.
It’s not susceptible to moisture or insects
Image source: Tony William Roofing & Exteriors
Moisture is very bad for wood. It will make the wood rot and attract mold and insects. Vinyl is not affected by moisture.
It doesn’t need painting
Image source: Jenkins Construction Ltd.
Most siding materials need a coat of colored paint. The color on vinyl siding is baked in. You cannot scratch the color off or remove it in any way. Put your brushes and your paint away because you’ll never need to paint this siding.
Image source: Peak Roofing Contractors
Vinyl siding is extra durable in combination with insulation. It improves your home’s energy efficiency and absorbs impact from hail and snow. You won’t find any dents in the siding even after the biggest storm.
Does Vinyl Siding Provide Good Value for Money?
Vinyl siding is the most affordable type of siding. Let’s compare it to wood and fiber cement siding to see which is most cost-efficient.
The average price of vinyl and wood is approximately $0.12 a year per square foot. Fiber cement is one cent lower, at $0.11/year/square foot. That is given the fact that vinyl will last you 25 years, fiber cement will last you 40 years, and wood will last you 50 years.
The installation will also affect the lifespan of the siding. If the installation was poor, then the result won’t last you a long time. Vinyl siding needs to be installed professionally.
Siding is meant to keep water out of your house too. Check it for cracks from time to time to make sure everything is in order.
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