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Vinyl Siding FAQ

1. What are the advantages of vinyl siding

Currently there is no better siding available to homeowners. None of the other siding materials can compare with vinyl sidings lightweight, durability, and maintenance free (no painting) characteristics. Because of its proprietary composition for use in homes vinyl won't rot, chip, flake, blister or crack the way other siding, especially wood siding, can.

Let’s face it, if you don’t paint your wood siding at least every year, you will see a noticeable difference in appearance and if you go two years you are likely to see cracking. When it comes to installation, vinyl is still the overwhelming choice of today's discriminating homeowner. No other siding on the market today nothing can compare to the ease of handling, availability, durability and lasting good looks of vinyl. To homeowners, vinyl siding is the only sensible, good-looking alternative to the expense, labor and aggravation associated with house painting and yearly exterior maintenance.

I Have Been Told That Wood Siding is Favorable Because Of The Colors I Can Get It In, Is This True?

No, it is not true. Thanks to improvements in technology and new manufacturing procedures, vinyl grains, colors and cap-stocks are truer, richer and more authentic than ever before. You would be surprised at the number of color choices you now have. In addition to that, you will have to continuously maintain and paint wood siding: not so with vinyl.

Is There Any Monetary Benefit To Installing Siding?

Besides the obvious financial savings found in not having to paint your entire home every year, Vinyl siding, in most instances, adds to the resale value of most any home, and can even save you money on your heating and cooling bills. No exterior siding on the market offers such a wide array of grains, finishes, embossing patterns or color combinations.

How Does Vinyl Siding Stand Up To Weather Extremes?

Being able to sand up to weather extremes is just one of the many reasons why vinyl siding is the choice of professional builders, architects and homeowners alike. Technically advanced vinyl siding formulated of quality ingredients and manufactured within close tolerances, will withstand virtually any type of harsh weather or seasonal extremes.

Unlike other weather-sensitive siding materials, such as wood that can and WILL deteriorate over time, Vinyl siding reacts to seasonal changes and temperature fluctuations by expanding and contracting as the temperature rises or falls. Unlike wood, whose expansion and contraction causes paint to flake off, the color of vinyl is embedded directly into the siding. Your Vinyl siding will continue to maintain its good looks and handsome design no matter what the weather may be.

Does The Thickness Of Siding Have Anything To Do With Its Quality?

The thickness of Vinyl siding, in and of itself, does not assure quality, durability, performance, or value. The only importance placed on the thickness of a vinyl siding panel is simply for its overall rigidity.

What Features Should I look For In Quality Vinyl Siding?

Some of the features you want to look for, and ask about, are the nailing hem design, panel architecture and projection, locking mechanism, embossing grain, capstock formulations, chemical consistency, and UV inhibitors. All of these important features can help provide increased benefits, like wind and fade resistance, panel rigidity, and tensile strength. It’s important to consider and ask about all of these features when choosing the perfect Vinyl siding for your project.

Is Vinyl Siding Waterproof?

This is probably one of the biggest urban legends in home remodeling. Vinyl siding is simply not waterproof, any one who attempts to tell you different is lying to you. Vinyl siding is not waterproof but it does have several unique design features that specifically address moisture problems.

Thanks to its overlapping profile, a standard interlocking wall of horizontal vinyl panels will effectively shed most rain and water away, providing superior water resistance. However, as previously mentioned, no vinyl siding is completely impervious to outside moisture. It is for that reason that vinyl siding panels are manufactured with "weep holes" located at the bottom of each panel projection edge. These small but important outlets help channel away water that might find its way inside the siding wall through the panel seams and around moldings, windows, door and fixtures.

Another important design feature is that "weep holes" allow the circulation of air, which helps to dry out the inner surface of the siding while promoting evaporation of any remaining moisture. Finally, any decent contractor will apply house wrap and/or insulation board in order to provide for a secondary defense against outside moisture that might otherwise penetrate the siding and come in contact with the homes original sheathing.

Should An Installer Use House Wrap or Insulation Board Before Installing My Siding?

Honestly, anyone who tries to tell you not to is setting you up for costly repairs. A whole new house wrap or rigid insulation board should be installed prior to the installation of vinyl siding. Remember, vinyl siding is not waterproof. The installation of a wrap or rigid insulation board, between the existing wall and the vinyl siding, acts as a secondary moisture barrier. Although a wall of interlocked siding will shed most water away, the presence of a secondary moisture barrier between the house and the elements helps prevent any damage that may result from moisture trapped between the vinyl siding and any exposed, "un-wrapped" walls.

There are also financial benefits for using a house wrap or insulation board. In addition to the moisture barrier protection, a layer of weatherproofing such as a house wrap/insulation board will provide additional insulation value reducing your overall heating and cooling bills. It can also act as a sound barrier by suppressing outside noise.

Just remember that while most wraps are compatible in thickness, insulation boards have various thickness ratings and generally, the thicker the material, the more “R-value” the board provides.

lso, many of the newer vinyl siding on the market comes premade with an Insulative barrier. It all depends on your budget and your needs.

Can Vinyl Siding Be Painted?

The short answer is yes, vinyl siding can be painted; however, painting vinyl should only be done as a last resort and only by trained professionals. Vinyl siding was designed to do away with painting and costly maintenance, but there are those rare occasions where painting is the only viable option available and we understand that. But you can’t just do it yourself or hire some painting outfit that does not understand vinyl.

The key to getting good results when painting vinyl is all in the prep work. Roughing all surfaces and making sure they are clean and free of dirt, dust, and moisture is key to insuring that the paint will coat evenly, provide good adhesion and will bond with the panel surface. You are going to want to paint the vinyl with only high-grade exterior paint under controlled conditions if possible. If not then you will need to apply the paint with professional-grade painting tools under ideal weather conditions.

As an added precaution make sure you only use the type of paint that is best suited for your weather conditions. Also, you need to be aware that in some instances painting vinyl siding could void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Why Was My Siding Not Attached Directly To My House?

Vinyl siding is never directly "attached” to the home," rather it is "hung.” One of the inherent characteristics of Poly Vinyl Chloride (or PVC) is its thermal expansion properties. PVC expands as temperatures rise and contracts as temperatures fall.

If you measure the expansion from one extreme to the other, you'll find that a typical siding panel expands/contracts at a rate of approximately ¼ inch for every 12-foot vinyl panel.

For that reason, expert installers will always hang siding in order to allow the siding to adequately expand and contract. It is crucial that vinyl siding be cut, lapped and attached with fasteners at just the right depth and with the proper spacing and layout to ensure the installation will look its best regardless of the outside temperature. This is what separates a professional installer from a problematic one.

That is precisely why Energy Wizard will only allow vinyl siding installations to be performed by professionals specifically trained to do so.