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The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 by Sydney Speaks


Vinyl siding has undergone vast improvements since it was first introduced to the market in the late 1950s. With today’s manufacturing and installation standards, vinyl siding ranks highly for its excellent value. Burr Roofing, Siding & Windows offers CertainTeed Cedar Impressions vinyl siding, providing a 10-year warranty after installation. CertainTeed produces vinyl of various colors, textures, and profiles catering to any design aesthetic, at a low cost. Pictured below is a great before and after shot of a past vinyl job in Ridgefield, CT. This homeowner chose to replace their old siding with Cedar Impressions vinyl siding in Terra Cotta. In addition, Burr replaced their old, worn roof with Landmark Woodscape shingle in Weathered Wood, adding seamless white gutters to finish the job.

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So why doesn’t every homeowner choose vinyl siding for their “Life Improving Home Improvement”?

Vinyl is primarily made from polyvinyl chloride resins. Manufacturers, like CertainTeed, combine this plastic polymer with additional components to add color, strength, and flexibility, resulting in a light weight material. The weight of vinyl requires less diesel during distribution, and as a result the industry often advertises environmental efficiency. However, this is a common misconception. In truth, the manufacturing process requires polyethylene and polypropylene; both extremely flammable compounds. In layman’s terms, vinyl siding production is petroleum-based, consequently emitting multiple greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. According to the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI), the chemical composition of vinyl becomes problematic under extreme heat once installed. As a leader within the remodeling industry, we have seen hundreds of homeowners face this problem head on.

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Here, you can truly see the risk that comes with the low price of vinyl installation. Overtime, high-performance windows have gotten better at reflecting the sun’s rays. Although this sounds positive, many homeowners with vinyl siding have faced the consequences. Often, sunlight is reflected from windows on to the house next door, causing the melting and warping of vinyl boards. This happens because of vinyl’s low melting point (160-165° Fahrenheit), compared to the temperature of sunlight reflected from neighboring windows, which can easily exceed 200° Fahrenheit. Even on a 40°-day, direct heat from the sun rays can far exceed the outside temperature. It has also been found that darker shades of vinyl siding absorb even more heat; this is something to consider if you choose vinyl siding for your exterior remodel.

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When Burr Roofing, Siding & Windows first arrived at this home, our crew was shocked. We soon found out that the homeowner’s boat caught on fire, causing major damage to the home’s vinyl exterior, feet away. Past studies have shown that if your vinyl sided house catches fire, the siding will release high levels of dangerous chemical vapors into the air. As we know, vinyl siding is petroleum-based, causing the material to burn quickly in a fire. In this instance, the heat given off by the boat fire, rather than the fire itself caused the damage to the home. Notice how dramatically the vinyl is melted, while the underlying plywood is unscathed by the heat. Thankfully, the flames were contained before further damage was done.

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This homeowner works in the local school district. Each day, she would arrive home around 3:15 pm, parking her car in the same spot in the driveway. The sun’s positioning at this hour would cause heat to reflect from her car’s windshield and onto the vinyl siding over the garage doors. Over time, this homeowner noticed that her siding was warped and starting to melt. She called on Burr Roofing, Siding & Windows to assess the problem and propose the best solution. Soon enough, our expert team went to work giving this Fairfield home a complete exterior makeover. Burr installed Heathered Moss James HardiePlank and Shingle, Anderson windows and doors with transom lights, panel and rail styling, and a whole bunch of round field stone! After the job was done the homeowners had a new piece of mind, no longer worrying about the chance of melted vinyl.

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These adjacent homes are beautiful from a distance but get any closer and you will begin to see the melted vinyl on the side of the home. The home on the right recently had new, high-performance windows installed. Although this investment was great for those homeowners, their neighbors were forced to deal with the consequences. Sunlight would reflect off the windows, redirecting heat onto the vinyl siding of the left home, causing the vinyl siding to warp like we have seen in so many cases before. Luckily, Burr Roofing, Siding & Windows was there to help.

 

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Burr Roofing, Siding, & Windows
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