Vinyl siding was first invented by scientists at DuPont during World War II. They were investigating ways to use leftover plastic scrap, and developed a plastic that was lightweight, waterproof, and durable.
In the postwar suburban boom, vinyl siding became increasingly popular both in new home construction and old home renovation, due to the ease by which it could be installed over existing wood siding. It quickly became the siding of choice for new homes and remains popular to this day.
Vinyl siding is a durable, energy-efficient material that continues to be the most popular siding option in the United States. Homeowners prefer its durability and its wide variety of color and styles.
Vinyl siding has an approximate lifespan of ten to twenty years, depending on the conditions where you live, but can last even longer when properly maintained. Here are the signals to look for when you’re trying to decide if it’s time to replace your vinyl siding.
Holes in the Siding
Siding damage can have a multitude of causes.
Birds and squirrels can damage it looking for food. Hail damage in areas prone to harsh weather can also take its toll. But it’s not just animals and adverse weather conditions that damage vinyl siding.
Snowblowers, grills, garden equipment, and toys can also be the cause of their fair share of damage. Regardless of where the damage originated, any openings in the siding can let in opportunistic insects, such as termites and carpenter ants. If those intruders weren’t enough, excess moisture can also creep in, which can lead to decay underneath.
Mold and Mildew
While we’re on the subject of excess moisture, if you notice a damp or musty smell in your home, you may already have mold or mildew intrusion inside your walls. If you spot cracking or peeling paint on your interior walls, this is another sure sign of water damage that you should get checked as soon as possible.
If your vinyl siding is covered in mold or mildew, you can clean it using a mild household soap, but using a power washer is not recommended. The pressure can force water underneath the siding, leading to more moisture problems. Even small areas of chipping can eventually lead to worse damage.
Warping or Sagging
If you notice siding panels that are starting to sag or bulge, it can indicate one of two things:
One, your siding has experienced heat damage. This could come from something as simple as placing an outdoor grill too close to your siding. It’s recommended that a grill be placed no closer than 10 feet from your home.
Two, sagging siding can be an indication of your home’s foundation settling unevenly, leading to structural damage. If structural damage is the culprit, it’s best to consult with a contractor or structural engineer.
High Energy Bills
Bills are an inescapable part of life. But that doesn’t mean that you should be overpaying. If you’ve noticed a steady climb in your energy bills in recent months, and you’ve done everything possible to make your home more energy efficient, then new siding may be needed.
When your home’s siding is lets in warm or cold air, your furnace or air conditioner have to work harder than they need to. The end result is higher bills for you. If you’ve tried everything else but your heating and cooling bills are still higher than they should be, it’s time to think about new vinyl siding.
Incorrect Siding Installation
Vinyl siding, when installed properly, has room to move as the home itself expands and contracts with ambient temperature changes. If it’s nailed on too tightly, or if it isn’t straight, exterior siding can buckle or warp. The siding can also pop nails out as it shifts, leading to buckling or unsightly bulges. Vinyl siding should have about half an inch of horizontal movement on its fasteners.
Even if your siding seems to be perfect, time is always working against you. The typical lifespan of vinyl siding is anywhere from ten to twenty years. So, if your siding is getting to that thirty year point, it’s time to start considering replacement.
Constant exposure to the sun, wind, and precipitation weakens the vinyl siding material and makes it less effective at holding out the elements. Weak siding can eventually lead to one or more of the problems we’ve talked about already.
Siding Replacement with Vinyl Shake Siding
If you want to emulate the look and feel of old-fashioned cedar shake siding but without all of the hassle of maintaining wood siding, consider the look of vinyl shake siding. It has all the charm of traditional cedar, but all of the durability of vinyl. At Factory Direct Siding, we can even manufacture custom colors for you!
Time to Replace House Siding? Get the Best for the Exterior of Your Home!
When your vinyl siding is too damaged or has come to the end of its useful life, it’s time to contact the professionals. We can provide the highest quality vinyl shake siding to replace your old vinyl siding (and not only add to curb appeal, but increase the value of your home). Contact us today!