Home siding is the exterior look of a home, and it adds both appeal and value to the property. But besides the obvious cosmetic appeal, the siding’s true purpose is to protect from the elements and defend the house from intrusion from insects, fungus, and other infestations seeking to enter the home.
While today’s materials are more durable and longer lasting than ever, there will still come a time when the siding will need to be replaced. Disregarding this can lead to negative results in the upkeep of the home, and in some cases, physical damage that will cost many tens of thousands of dollars to repair. But there is no hard and fast rule for knowing when to replace the siding — because there are a variety of materials that can be used for the siding. One must first delineate the type of siding that is used and then search out its particular characteristics in order to see if damage is occurring — or warning signs are in evident that indicate the siding is ripe for replacement.
Vinyl siding has seen much play due to its relatively low cost and wide assortment of choices in color and design. To the eye, the vinyl can appear to be another material altogether, like wood shingles, while not giving up on the ease of use in positioning the siding on the home. Additionally, vinyl siding is extremely low maintenance, as no painting is required. But vinyl is quite susceptible to changes in the weather; for example, extremely cold weather can cause the vinyl to crack if it is impacted by a heavy object. Also, this cracking can occur if the siding has not been properly installed, with the ends of the siding moving outward from its configured position. All of this can be compounded if the vinyl has been installed over an existing siding, such as wood siding. This is a commonplace use for vinyl siding, but it does increase the risk of an improper installation that can be impacted by the weather and result in the vinyl being damaged. Typically a damaged vinyl siding must be replaced — it cannot be repaired, as the cost of new vinyl siding is significantly less than that of repair work.