Vinyl siding was first introduced in the United States in the 1960s. One of the most popular choices for homes across North America today, itís available in a variety of colors and is impact resistant, solid as well as versatile.
The Green Choice
Vinyl siding is especially ecofriendly, and thatís a big concern for homeowners and contractors alike. The NAHB Model Green Home Guidelines ranks vinyl siding as one of its preferred choices for new home construction or renovation since vinyl siding requires no additional finishing to be applied on site. And the environmental benefits and accolades for vinyl siding donít stop there.
According to the group Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability, a construction watchdog, vinyl siding is more environmentally friendly than brick and stucco when considering factors like fossil fuel depletion.
Engineers have worked for some time to come up with a variety of colors and panel designs that replicate historical building materials like clapboard so closely itís hard to distinguish vinyl siding from real wood. Furthermore, modern vinyl siding comes with accessories like trim to match a variety of historical and contemporary applications.
Vinyl siding is easy to maintain. Starting from the bottom, use a soft bristle brush for surfaces with grooves or a soft cloth for other areas. Remember to rinse the cleaning solution off as you go, and for mold, a solution of 30% vinegar and 70% water works well. Generally itís best to avoid chlorine, liquid grease remover, and the likes of furniture polish as they might tarnish the finish.
Putting vinyl siding up isnít a difficult job, but like most other types of renovation work, it requires some preparation. Basically, itís important to ensure the walls you plan on fixing the siding to are even and flat. For an older home, itís recommended you scrap away any excess materials (like old caulking) and nail down loose boards. In some cases, studs might need to be nailed to the existing exterior wall to provide a framework for the siding to rest on.
When youíre finally ready, make sure to select the right kind of nails to affix the siding. Corrosion resistant nails are best, aluminum or galvanized steel is good although staples or screws can be used provided they donít interfere with general expansion or contraction.
All the panels slide together and should be locked from the bottoms without being forced; donít drive the fasteners in all the way. Enough room should be left to accommodate for normal expansion and contraction. Itís also best to place the first fastener in at the center of the panel and work out.