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Siding Replacement

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

November 1, 2023 | 4 min. read

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Replacing your siding may be a financial burden – but it creates an opportunity to give your home a fresh look.

One of the most important decisions you’ll face in the siding process is what material you want. There are many options – vinyl, wood, and hundreds of colors. So how do you choose just one?

One of the most popular siding materials in the U.S. is vinyl siding. It’s durable, comes in various colors, and is inexpensive. However, it does have its faults.

Rescue My Roof understands how stressful siding replacements can be. That’s why we’ve spent over a decade in the roofing industry, guiding homeowners like you through the process.

If you’re considering vinyl, here are some issues you should know about before purchasing.

5 Advantages of Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is one of the most popular options for a reason. Here are the advantages of vinyl siding that homeowners can look forward to. 

1. Cost-Effective

One reason many homeowners choose vinyl siding is that it’s cost-effective.

Not only is installation significantly cheaper than other alternatives, but you also get more for your money in the long term.

For example, wood siding is more prone to damage and requires much more maintenance than vinyl siding, but it also comes with a much higher price tag. While it depends where you live, opting for vinyl siding can save you over $1,000 for every $1,250 square feet.

You also have to factor in the cost of maintenance and repairs. As mentioned above, vinyl siding is remarkably low maintenance, meaning you won’t have to worry about costs that will come up down the road.

2. Low Maintenance

Vinyl siding is the lowest maintenance option out there. There’s barely any regular upkeep required to keep vinyl siding looking brand new.

Once it’s installed, you’re good to go. You’ll get your money’s worth with vinyl siding because you won’t have to budget for any repair or maintenance costs over the years.

3. Durability

Vinyl siding is known for its durability. It is resistant to rot, insect damage, and the effects of weather, including rain and UV rays. 

High-quality vinyl siding can last for decades without showing significant signs of wear. Additionally, it won’t warp or rust. Vinyl siding often comes with a lifetime warranty to back up its claims. That warranty can even be prorated for 50 years for successive owners.

4. Versatility

Vinyl siding comes in a wide variety of colors, textures, and profiles. This versatility allows homeowners to choose a style that complements their home’s architectural design. It can mimic the appearance of wood, stone, or cedar shingles, providing numerous design possibilities.

5. Energy Efficiency

Not only will vinyl siding save you money on the cost of the product itself, but opting to install vinyl siding will save you money on utilities.

Vinyl siding that is insulted prevents heat loss through a process called thermal bridging. What happens is, even if your home has another form of insulation, heat can be lost where wall studs contact exterior siding.

Insulated vinyl siding is like adding a protective blanket over the wall studs. This means your home will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

5 Problems with Vinyl Siding

 Before investing in any shingle options, you should know about the risks. 

 Here are the five most common issues homeowners run into with vinyl siding.

1. Sustainability

Sustainability and environmentally-friendly options are essential to homeowners today. But if you want to ensure that whatever you put in or on your home will be good for the environment, there may be better choices than vinyl siding. 

While some vinyl siding manufacturers use recycled materials, most vinyl siding is not considered green or sustainable. 

Additionally, if you ever need to replace your siding, very few places recycle used vinyl siding. As a result, the plastic will end up in a landfill. 

Check out wood or vinyl siding if you want a more sustainable siding option

2. Warping

Warped tan vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding doesn’t peel or chip, but it can warp in hot temperatures.

If you live in a warm climate, vinyl siding can warp or change shape over time. And while you can replace warped areas, the same issue will happen until you install shade for your home. 

Warping is an issue in desert areas where trees and other cover grow poorly, and high temps can melt your siding. However, even reflected light from a neighbor’s window can cause the siding to warp with constant exposure.

There are alternative siding options for homes at a high risk of warped siding. Check out other siding options, like metal siding, to find the best fit for your home. 

3. Cracking

Cracked vinyl siding on a home's corner.

Unfortunately, vinyl siding faces issues in cold climates, too. 

When vinyl gets cold enough, any impact against it may cause it to fracture or crack. Additionally, even in mild temps, high-speed impacts (like a hail strike or rogue football) can cause the siding to crack. 

Once the siding is cracked, it allows moisture to seep through the siding, leading to issues such as wood rot, mold, and mildew beneath the siding. 

If left untreated, moisture damage can result in costly repairs. If you notice any cracks in your siding, call a professional for repairs ASAP. 

4. Unwanted Moisture

Vinyl siding is water resistant. However, if installed with a foam backing, it can trap moisture behind the siding. This doesn’t impact the siding but will cause mold, mildew, and rot. 

These issues are impossible to spot hidden behind the siding. The best way to avoid unwanted moisture damage is to install siding without backing or to use water-resistant materials. 

5. Color Fading

Restored siding (left) vs. sun-faded siding siding (right).

When exposed to sunlight, over time, the siding will fade. 

What once was a vibrant color can turn dull, negatively impacting your home’s curb appeal. Additionally, constant exposure to sunlight can reduce your siding’s lifespan by 25 percent

Unless your home is in constant shade, there’s no effective way to avoid the sun and faded siding. However, there are fade-resistant siding options available. If you live in a sunny area, it could be a better investment for you. 

Choosing Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has its share of advantages and disadvantages, and the decision to use it on your home will ultimately depend on your preferences and priorities.

Before making a decision, consider your budget, aesthetic preferences, and the climate in your area. If you choose vinyl siding, make sure it is installed by a qualified professional to maximize its benefits and lifespan.

The biggest factor in vinyl siding’s effectiveness is finding a reputable contractor. Many siding issues can be avoided with proper installation. 

Want to learn more about siding? Read “4 Best Vinyl Siding Practices” and “Top 4 Benefits of a Siding Replacement.”Are you looking for a reputable vinyl siding contractor in Southeastern Wisconsin? Rescue My Roof is the contractor for you. Contact us today to get a free estimate.