One of the biggest benefits that homeowners see in choosing vinyl siding as an exterior cladding material is its reputation as being maintenance free. Unlike wood cladding materials, vinyl doesn't need to be painted on a regular basis in order to remain looking good and to freshen it up. Since painting is a time consuming task if you undertake it yourself -- and it can be costly if you hire professional exterior painters -- this gives you the opportunity to spend more time doing what you love.
1. Quality Construction Counts
Another difference between wood and vinyl siding is that wood can be nailed tightly to the home. Vinyl siding needs room enough to either expand or contract due to changes in the temperature. Because it can expand as much as 5/8 of an inch when the temperatures soar, it can buckle if it is nailed tightly.
2. Repairing a Damaged Vinyl Siding Panel
This requirement to nail siding so that it doesn't butt up against the house means that sometimes pieces can be damaged. The fix is relatively simple and doesn't require very much time -- if you have the right tools and you know what you're doing. Professionals use a zip tool to unhook the panel from the ones below and above it before removing the nails. Snapping the new panel into place before nailing and rehooking it completes the repair job. To avoid the telltale signs that it is a new piece of vinyl siding, contractors often take a piece of siding from a more inconspicuous area of the house to replace the damaged one. The new -- and less faded piece -- is then installed in that less noticeable place.
3. Cleaning Tips
You probably already guessed it but vinyl siding is not entirely maintenance free. In order to make it look its best over the years, you should wash it regularly. Doing so will help remove the mildew, dirt, mold and other debris that can build up on its surface. This includes the chalky oxidation that you might begin to see and that is perfectly normal. Instead of springing for a pressure washer -- which could push water behind the vinyl panels -- stick with a mild solution of 30 percent vinegar and 70 percent water and use a brush with soft bristles.
Need more tips on how to care for your siding? Contact C & T Siding today!