Friday, September 30, 2016

Exterior Finishes for Your Home: Part 4

To finish up our series of exterior finishes, we’ll be taking a look at one of the most popular choices on the market, vinyl and aluminum siding. Its popularity is not matched to its price tag which is the lowest of all the cladding options discussed before.   

Vinyl Siding
Pros:  Vinyl’s durability and cost make this type of siding the most popular choice in the United States. Vinyl siding is constructed with PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a substantial material that is resistant to rotting, warping, rust, pests, and termites. Climate has almost no impact at all to it. It comes in various colors and textures, such as wood grain, and it’s installation is a breeze.

Cons:  Vinyl’s appearance from afar does have a wood-look, but up close it’s much more obvious that it’s not actual wood. Homeowners need to be careful using any lawn and garden equipment too close to the siding. A lawn mower or other equipment with blades can crack the vinyl if you’re not careful. Repairing pieces of vinyl is not an option, it would need to be replaced. If any moisture would happen to get behind the vinyl, rot can occur. This would be a result of poor installation. Heavy hail storms could also dent vinyl siding. And because it’s man-made, disposal of vinyl is not environmentally friendly.

Cost: As the least expensive material, vinyl siding costs $2-3 per square foot.

Durability: The minimum timeframe of vinyl is 20 years, and sometimes the life of the house. Vinyl is super durable and can withstand a variety of potential damage.

Maintenance: An ordinary garden hose can easily wash off areas that become soiled. Periodically checking for damaged panels will prevent rotting beneath the cladding. And it does not ever need to be painted.

Aluminum Siding
Pros: Aluminum siding is a low maintenance material. It is durable and resistant to fire, water, rusting, and termites. It’s lightweight, making installation easy. It can also shaped into different looks due to it’s enamel coating. Painting on aluminum allows you to match any look or style.

Disadvantage: Aluminum dents easily when it’s bumped or hit by an object and replacement of aluminum can be difficult. As years pass, aluminum shows scratching, denting, and cracking. Color is added after aluminium siding is manufactured, any existing flaws in the siding can be detected easily. Climate temperatures will cause aluminum expand and contract, this is especially important to be aware of during installation.

Cost: Similar to wood, aluminum siding costs $3-5 per square foot.

Durability: If well maintained, this siding option can last for 40 years. It can withstand weather elements but should be checked on a regular basis in the case of dents and cracks.
Maintenance: Cleaning should be done using water and a mild soap. A soft bristled brush should be used and do not use a pressure washer, as it can dent under the force of the water. To keep your aluminum siding fresh, it should be painted every 5-10 years - if not oxidation can occur and will give the siding a powdery or chalky appearance. Oxidation can be removed using sandpaper or a cleaner, and should be done prior to painting for better adhesion.

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