You are building a brand new home, or maybe re-siding your current house, but either way, you need to decide on what siding to use. You are naturally wondering, "How durable is vinyl siding? And how long can I expect it to last?" We have done our research and provide you with answers to both of these questions.
Vinyl siding's strength and flexibility make it the most durable type of common siding. You can expect vinyl siding to last 40 to 100 years. While this is a relatively wide range, most homeowners can expect a good 60 years out of their vinyl siding. Local weather and frequency of care dictate the actual lifespan of your siding.
Read the rest of this post to learn how to maintain vinyl siding and why vinyl siding lasts so long. We will also cover a few related questions to help you make an informed siding decision.
How To Maintain Vinyl Siding
In this section, we provide specific advice on how to clean and repair vinyl siding for maximum life span. While there are several different types of vinyl siding, the process for cleaning them all is the same.
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Cleaning Vinyl Siding
There are several different strategies for cleaning vinyl siding. Most involve a mixture of water, cleaning solution, scrubbing, and water pressure. Cleaning is necessary because dirt, mold, and mildew collect on the grooves and surface of the siding. These unwanted materials are both unsightly and reduce vinyl siding longevity.
To start, choose a warm dry day, and hose your siding off with your garden hose. For minor dust, this strategy should leave your siding clean once again. In fact, if you regularly wash your siding with just water and the pressure from a garden hose, you can reduce the frequency of need for cleaning solutions and higher water pressure.
For more stubborn stains, combine your water with a soft brush or scrubber. Do not use steel or other very stiff materials because this can scratch your siding. The grooves left from scratching gives a place for dirt and mold to collect.
If you find that water and scrubbing are not strong enough for your stain, it is time to bring in some cleaning solution. There is a wide range of solutions and mixes you can use. They include white vinegar, laundry detergent and other household cleaners, landscape friendly vinyl cleaner, and more. The specific type of cleaner you want to use depends on the severity of the mess and your landscaping.
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For the toughest stains, you might have to combine water, cleaner, scrubbing, and water pressure. While using a pressure washer is an easy solution for cleaning vinyl siding, be careful. Too much pressure can actually damage your siding.
Repairing Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is tough, but not indestructible. The siding can crack due to sun exposure, break or become unattached from the house due to wind, or fracture due to impact. Rather than leave these blemishes be, you will get much more time out of your siding if you repair it as soon as possible. The increased lifespan is because cracks and breaks are weak points that lead to more damage and give dirt and mold a home.
To repair siding that has simply peeled off without cracking or breaking, just reattach it to your home using the nail holes in the siding. Do this only if there are enough sound nail holes to reattach your siding well. Remove old nails first as they might get in the way. Don't nail your siding down too snug, as this gives the siding no room to expand and contract with the weather.
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For siding that has broken or cracked you'll need to replace the siding with new. The old siding will be slightly sun-faded. So even if you buy the same color/style, the old and new siding will not match perfectly at first. Do not worry though, after a year or so, the patch will look so similar as to be indistinguishable.
Follow along with this video to learn how to patch and repair your siding:
Why Vinyl Siding Last So Long
You might still be wondering why vinyl siding lasts so long. In this section, we answer that question while touching on how vinyl compares to some other common types of siding.
Vinyl siding is moisture- and temperature-resistant. So when it comes to the impact of climate, vinyl siding has what it takes. These features make it much more difficult for mold and mildew to get a foothold in your siding. Wood, brick, and fiber cement are all more vulnerable to moisture.
Further, vinyl siding is both strong and flexible. These are the characteristics that protect your vinyl siding from the inevitable impact children and life will bring to your siding. This feature makes vinyl preferable to aluminum siding. Aluminum siding easily dents, which is very difficult to repair and is unsightly.
Vinyl is a plastic-based material consisting of mostly PVC, making its durability no surprise. Engineers designed the particular recipe for the siding with toughness and a long lifespan in mind. The plastic nature of vinyl also allows for a wide available range of colors and patterns.
Overall, the durability of vinyl siding makes it much easier to maintain as compared to wood, aluminum, fiber cement, brick, or stucco siding. Install vinyl if you want to do less painting and less repair.
Does Vinyl Siding Decrease Home Value?
Homes with vinyl siding typically have a lower resale value as compared to homes with other types of siding. The degree of this impact depends on the type of home. Generally, more expensive and older homes suffer a greater reduction in home value due to vinyl siding.
That being said, homes with new, neatly done siding have better resale value when compared to homes with old disheveled siding. Whether vinyl siding decreases your home's value depends on the type of home and the previous condition of the siding. Consult an expert in real estate for details on how your home value could be affected if you install vinyl siding.
What Type Of Siding Lasts The Longest?
Of the common siding types that go over standard wood-framed homes, vinyl siding lasts the longest. As discussed above, vinyl siding can last up to a full century. The only types of home cladding that compare to this are brick and stucco, but both these options are much more expensive and only appropriate for certain climates.
What Brand Of Vinyl Siding Is Best?
The type of vinyl siding that is the best depends on your particular need. Some siding has the best patterns, others the best colors, and others still are designed to last the longest. It is hard to recommend a single brand that lasts the longest, especially given the wide range of climates and applications out there.
That being said, high end (more expensive) siding will definitely last much longer than cheaper vinyl siding. For the best options in your area, ask your contractor or local materials warehouse the siding that they recommend. High-end vinyl siding brands include, but are certainly not limited to, Mastic Siding, Alside Siding, CertainTeed Siding, and Crane Siding.
Does Vinyl Siding Fade Over Time?
Vinyl siding will fade over time. The sun's rays are powerful and the UV radiation will slowly break down your siding. This causes the color to fade and will make the vinyl siding more susceptible to breaking. But do not worry, despite a common misconception, vinyl siding can be painted.
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Many believe that vinyl siding cannot be painted. This is because vinyl siding comes already finished and colored, so is rarely painted at the start of a project. While painting vinyl is a bit daunting, it is not particularly difficult to do. All you need is paint formulated for vinyl, recently cleaned siding, and the time to prime and paint your siding properly. Be sure to do your research on this first, or hire a professional to do it for you.
If you're interested in learning more about how to prep your vinyl siding for painting, check out our article Should You Prime Your Vinyl Siding Before Painting?
Vinyl siding is very durable and can easily last up to 60 years. To maximize the longevity of vinyl siding, perform regular cleaning and maintenance, and install a high-end product. The technology and look of vinyl siding seem to be consistently improving, and we are now to a point where vinyl is a very legitimate option. Good luck!
Check out these other articles that may be of interest before you go: