Vinyl has been the standard wall siding for American homes for many years. However, over the years, the shortcomings of vinyl have become quite apparent. In the same period, other materials have emerged, claiming to be favorable alternatives to vinyl. Are these new materials truly better options compared to vinyl, and what shortcomings will homeowners have to contend with?
Any wall siding material worth its salt has to be able to withstand water. Wall cladding is exposed to a lot of water over the course of its life. If the siding doesn't have good water resistance, it may start to decompose or degrade, or it may require applications of coatings to keep out water.
When properly installed, vinyl and steel offer excellent water resistance, and fiber cement is also waterproof. On the other hand, materials such as natural and synthetic wood will eventually start to rot or degrade when exposed to moisture for prolonged periods.
Ease of Installation
One of the factors that increase the price of getting any particular siding is the ease of installation. A material that's difficult to install will require hiring experts who may be difficult to find in some cases.
Once again, vinyl siding comes out on top because it is quite easy to install. In fact, even homeowners can often handle this installation on their own.
Materials such as stucco and fiber cement will require professionals with a lot of experience to get the best results.
Ease of Maintenance
Your siding won't last forever, and if you want it to serve you for a considerable number of years then you may have to spend a lot of time taking care of it.
Vinyl is relatively low maintenance, requiring little more than regular inspection and an annual cleaning using a power washer. You may have to replace or repair loose or damaged sections from time to time. Repainting may or may not be necessary, depending on the quality of the vinyl you use.
Other materials that promise low maintenance include steel, fiber cement, and synthetic stone. Wood doesn't do so well in this regard, and even fiber cement may require the butt joints to be caulked.
Money is an important factor when deciding on the best wall siding. A cheap siding will be easy to install and also to replace. Vinyl is cheap and this is why it's the standard option. All other materials will cost you a little bit more.
For more information about siding installation and siding replacement services, speak with contractors in your area today.