Siding 101: Vinyl Siding

When it was first invented in the 1960s, vinyl siding had its share of bugaboos. But in the ensuing decades, this low-maintenance home cladding has improved by leaps and bounds, to a point where today’s product boasts a variety of benefits.

Big Upside

Once the cracking/warping issues displayed by the first vinyl siding products were remedied by a thorough reengineering more than 30 years ago, vinyl siding quickly became a favorite choice for homeowners and siding contractors in Buffalo Grove and nationwide. Vinyl siding now has a sterling reputation for being fade-resistant, insect-proof, and more or less indestructible. Case in point: Mastic vinyl siding, which is available through U.S. Exterior by Seidel, is resistant to wind speeds up to 240 mph.

Along with the aforementioned benefits, vinyl siding also looks great. New sizes, colors, and textures are released on a regular basis. Vinyl siding can even be designed to closely mimic the “wood grain” look, which looks terrific whether you’re building a new house, or renovating an old home and want to match the original wood as closely as possible.

Installation

The upside to vinyl siding doesn’t stop with aesthetics and durability. It offers one of the easiest siding installation processes of any product, and can be installed over almost any surface – including stucco and brick – as long as the surface is waterproof and level/straight. The installation process itself is rather unique: vinyl siding isn’t “attached” to a wall; rather, it’s “hung”. The rails typical to many siding types are used, but they’re nailed somewhat loosely so that the rails can move back and forth along the nail slots. This freedom of movement allows the vinyl siding, which is hung from the rails, to change sizes as the seasons pass, expanding in summer and contracting in winter.

Maintenance & Repair

When it comes to maintenance and siding repair, vinyl siding is about as low-key as it gets. What upkeep vinyl siding requires usually comes in the form of periodic cleaning. Depending on your home’s location, you may be more prone to attracting grime and mold on your vinyl siding, but this is easily remedied with a 70 percent water/30 percent vinegar solution applied with a long-handled scrub brush. Another option is to combine one gallon of water and one gallon of laundry beach with 2/3-cup of powdered household cleaner and 1/3-cup powdered laundry detergent.

It’s perfectly acceptable to clean vinyl siding with a power washer. One caveat, though: make sure not to shoot water upwards and behind the siding panels, as you risk drenching the wood behind the siding, which can lead to mold and mildew issues. Over time, and with repeated cleanings, your vinyl siding’s color will fade slightly. If you decide you’d like to reinvigorate your exterior siding and recapture its original brightness, we recommend using a latex outdoor paint. The latex component gives the paint the flexibility to expand and contract with the siding amidst changing temperatures.

 

U.S. Exterior By Seidel | 741 Hastings Lane | Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
847-541-2300

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