Vinyl Siding: How Does Vinyl Siding Work?

Your home’s exteriors can take a beating when nature throws a temper tantrum. As such, many homeowners explore various cladding options to protect their dwellings from the elements.

One option that appears to have stood the test of time is vinyl siding. Talking of which, you can score great deals on vinyl siding at Maverick Windows, a provider of premier products and services in the home improvement space.

As you plan to click the ‘Buy Now’ button, it won’t hurt to know what you’re investing in. After all, you wouldn’t want to be stuck with a cringe-worthy exterior, right? But before we get down to brass tacks…

A Trip Down Memory Lane

The use of vinyl siding dates back to the 1950s when the world was pretty much still in black and white. Until then, aluminum was the go-to cladding material, although it was prone to dinging and warping. However, vinyl siding wasn’t an instant hit.

The early versions were as reliable as their wood counterparts, cracking and fading with each change in the weather. It was only in the 70s that vinyl siding began to be used widely as a cladding material of choice- thanks to technological advances.

Today, vinyl siding is the most popular cladding material for single-family residential homes in North America. In fact, it’s estimated to be used in up to 25% of the homes built in the United States.

However, over the last decade or so, vinyl’s market share has dropped as other cladding materials, especially fiber-cement siding, have gained popularity in different market segments.

So, what is it, and how does it work? Keep reading to find out…

Vinyl Siding: The Particulars

Vinyl siding is an extruded plastic panel system, usually composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin mixed with impact modifiers, stabilizers, pigments, and other additives.

You can also find it in various colors and textures to match your taste. The panels are made to fit together like puzzle pieces, with rails that attach them to the wall surface.

How does Vinyl Siding Work?

Vinyl siding provides a barrier against the elements while lending aesthetic appeal. The panels are designed with an overlap interlock system (as mentioned), allowing for expansion during temperature changes.

Consequently, its handles wind, rain, and snow with ease. Basically, the system has a feature allowing a panel to lock onto the top lock of the panel below it or into a start piece. It also uses ‘loose’ nails to secure the panels to the wall surface so it stays firmly in place once installed correctly.

As mentioned, this setup allows the siding to float, meaning it can expand and contract. And when fastened to your wall, vinyl siding creates an airtight seal that can’t be achieved with traditional building materials such as wood, stucco, metal, or concrete.

Some manufacturers also supply vinyl siding capable of withstanding winds up to 240 mph, implying your siding can handle whatever the elements toss at it.

Others incorporate a UV coating to reduce fading or degradation from the sun, while some add anti-microbial agents into the siding material for enhanced durability.

Moreover, vinyl siding owes its excellent insulation capabilities to its cellular structure, giving it a high R-value. Thus, it helps keep your home or building at the desired temperate year-round. For the uninitiated, R-value refers to a material’s ability to resist heat loss and gain.

What Drives Vinyl’s Popularity?

Every captivating narrative needs an all-star cast – and vinyl siding has that in spades. Its leading role? Low maintenance – it needs very little upkeep compared to other materials.

In fact, a quick spray with the hose is generally all it needs. Some of the other supporting characters are outlined hereunder:

  • Durability – it can last up to 40 years or more, although this depends on variables such as exposure to the elements, quality of product used, maintenance, and the installer’s experience.
  • Aesthetics – Vinyl siding comes in various textures, shapes, colors, and designs that can amp up your home’s curb appeal.
  • Low lifecycle cost – Vinyl is a cost-effective cladding solution, and its high R-value helps reduce your energy costs. However, the quality of the vinyl you choose impacts the price, with higher-grade products costing more. The Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) also reports that vinyl has the lowest cost for installation among all home siding types.
  • Easy installation – You don’t have to be a master carpenter to install vinyl siding. Besides, its locking mechanism makes installation a breeze.
  • Environmental friendliness – For the eco-conscious, vinyl siding is a great option as it’s fashioned from recyclable material. Plus, its installation usually results in less wastage, meaning less environmental impact.

Ready to protect your home’s exterior using vinyl siding? Even if you’re not, at least with the knowledge acquired, you can map out your next move.