For homeowners seeking to repair, replace, or install new vinyl siding, the process -- and decisions -- may initially seem overwhelming. Vinyl siding is an excellent home improvement investment, with less lifetime maintenance than other siding materials. It also creates a durable, weather-proof barrier around your home, and prevents decay, mold, or rot from setting into your home.
Aging vinyl siding will ultimately need replacing. Normal wear-and-tear can cause cracks, erosion, and UV-damage over time -- or homeowners may simply want to upgrade to better quality, a different color, or a different style altogether.
What is the best Vinyl Siding?
Quality vinyl siding comes in a range of different weights, depending on the panel’s thickness. Thicker siding weighs more, is more durable, and thus lasts longer than thinner ‘builder’s grade’ vinyl. The thinnest vinyl on the market is about 0.035”, and the thickest is about .055”.
Selecting the right weight for your home depends on a variety of factors, including existing siding material, regional climate cycles / typical weather conditions, and budget. A thicker, heavier vinyl, though pricier, lasts longer and is more resistant to daily exposure.
How long does vinyl siding last?
Vinyl siding was introduced in the 1950s as a lower-cost way to improve a home’s aesthetic, lower maintenance requirements, and achieve a desired style. Because vinyl siding could be installed over virtually any type of existing siding, midcentury homeowners were excited by the possibilities. A brick exterior could be transformed into a clapboard-style home in a matter of days, for example, which was a novel concept in 1950s America.
Decades later, vinyl siding has evolved into an incredibly dynamic material. Advancements in plastics have produced more durable, weather-resistant vinyl panels, which are less susceptible to cracking and chipping. Earlier vinyl siding was known to crack in cold weather, or even if impacted by falling branches, hail, even errant baseballs. Today’s vinyl siding is more impact-resistant, has improved seams, and is less affected by temperature swings. Current vinyl siding, with expert installation and proper maintenance, has an estimated lifespan of around 30 years.