Creating a beautiful home became easier with the creation of vinyl siding. Homeowners no longer had to worry about repeated painting and expensive upkeep of their homes. Dad’s siding is different than what one might find when looking for siding for houses in the present market. Through the years, vinyl siding has changed and siding now has new and improved features. Some of the improved features of modern vinyl siding include less chemicals, green or earth-friendly siding, more options, durability, and ease of application.
When vinyl was first introduced to the cladded home exterior market in the 1950s, siding chemical makeup was different than what is found today. Siding of the past contained many chemicals required in the process of making the fiber. Siding often broke down with heat and extremes of weather, thus emitting chemicals into the surrounding environment. Newer siding is created with 10% titanium dioxide pigment, which provides resistance to the natural breakdown of ultraviolet light or extremes of weather. Generally, vinyl siding is sold with a grade, which represents its resistance to fading in sunlight. The higher the grade, the more resistant it is to fading and weather effects. In addition, some vinyl siding included asbestos used for backing and insulation, and new siding of course does not use asbestos.
Green and Earth-Friendly
Although one can argue about the amount of carbon dioxide released as vinyl siding deteriorates, manufacturers realized homeowners were looking for home siding options that did not harm the environment in addition to proving healthier siding options for their families. Siding in recent years has been formulated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The addition of PVC to vinyl siding results in 20 percent less breakdown and emission of carbon dioxide into the environment. In addition, many companies offer green siding, stating that their siding contains more natural ingredients such as ground up stone, and that colors are added with natural pigments. The only drawback to using natural paints is the fact that this type of paint often does not hold up to the elements and time as well as more traditional paint coating methods do. Greener vinyl siding offers another siding option for homeowners concerned about the effects of their home’s exterior on the environment and planet.
With the advent of stronger siding due to the addition of stone components, homeowners discovered that they had more options. Vinyl siding now comes in many different varieties and styles. Options include vertical siding, horizontal siding, shingle, overlap siding, as well as countless colors. Vinyl is available in more colors than could be found in years past. Homeowners find that siding color does not fade as quickly as it used to with older vinyl. Now, pigmentation is baked onto siding surfaces, resulting in longer-lasting colors and almost scratch-proof color surfaces. However, no vinyl is fade-proof in sunshine, so homeowners should not be surprised that even newer siding begins to lose some of its luster and color in five or more years.
In addition to buying siding already painted, many homeowners still opt for gray or standard colors and then decide to paint the siding themselves. But with more colors than ever due to new color technologies, color options are basically endless. However, styles and color options do vary depending on the company making and selling the vinyl, so it is still advisable to contact a local contractor to verify the options available in one’s area.
Today’s vinyl siding is more durable than ever. Siding of old was created with one layer and often included materials for durability that proved not to be safe, such as asbestos. Today, vinyl siding is created with a process called co-extrusion. With co-extrusion, two layers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are applied to the surface. The top layer is capstocked or, as mentioned previously, strengthened with material such as titanium dioxide. This strengthened outer layer provides less breakdown over time as well as longer durability, thus resulting in less frequent replacement. Less frequent replacement then leads to saved money for homeowners.
Creating a stronger outer finish also increases the wind resistance of vinyl siding. In the past, vinyl siding was not an option for homes located in high storm or wind-prone areas. Now, with increased outer layer strength, vinyl siding withstands strong winds and object impact damage. Homeowners need to check with the manufacturer and seller of their vinyl siding choice to ensure the siding’s wind strength and impact capability.
Last but not least, another feature of new vinyl siding is its excellent insulation advantage. Vinyl siding is often sold with insulation that increases a home’s cooling and heating efficiency. Newer insulation materials guarantee better insulation advantage, resulting in reduced electric, cooling, and heating bills for homeowners.
Ease of Application
Newer manufacturing methods and lighter materials make for vinyl siding that is easier to apply. In days of old, vinyl siding was often heavy and took several people to apply. Adding exterior siding to a home’s surface required an extended period of time and often was not an easy process. With lighter siding, application time is drastically reduced, and many homeowners find that they can apply the siding with very little training and few additional supplies.
Another added benefit to modern siding proves to be the soffit and corner pieces that are offered as additions to siding purchases. Cutting siding to fit corners or around windows and roof used to take time. Corner pieces and roof overhangs are easy to install and can be bought to blend in the same color as the rest of the vinyl siding. Many homeowners still opt to purchase soffit or roof eave siding materials in gray to match gutters and drainpipes.
Easy application means less costs, as labor is nonexistent. However, many homeowners still opt to have a contractor apply their siding since they themselves may lack experience or time. Companies who apply siding often guarantee the siding and labor.
With scientific advances, improvements continue to occur to many products the world uses on a daily basis. It is nice to know that the same improvements are being made and will continue to be made for home vinyl siding. While present-day siding is vastly improved over Dad’s vinyl siding, Junior’s siding will also be vastly different. With homeowners looking for easier and greener home exterior options, it is nice to know that today’s modern vinyl siding fits the bill!