When vinyl siding first appeared in the 1960s, it replaced aluminum as the most popular siding material. Today, it is still one of the most commonly used materials for siding because it is very economical, durable and can complement most residential and many commercial building styles.
Vinyl is an ideal siding material since it can be molded into a variety of shapes to accommodate any number of window/door configurations a building may have. For the do-it-yourselfer, vinyl siding is easy to install and for any homeowner, it is easy to keep clean. But in order for it to optimally protect your home, it must be installed over a water-tight lining material; otherwise moisture might buildup behind the vinyl siding panels and cause problems that include leaks (either interior, exterior or both) and mold.
Vinyl siding is one of the cheapest types of siding available. Vinyl siding panels come in a variety of colors and textures that can have the appearance of wood, stone or brick. Due to scientific advances, the colour of vinyl siding is less prone to fading than when it was first introduced on the market. Siding panels are available in two main orientations – horizontal and vertical.
As with any other type of siding material, vinyl siding does have its cons. While it is durable, it does expand and contract. In certain climatic regions, expansion can cause the vinyl to split in extreme heat or crack in extreme cold. To allow for the expansion of vinyl, siding panels cannot be sealed around doors and windows. Essentially this means that specific weather conditions such as heavy winds or rain can cause vinyl siding to lift away from the building or for moisture to collect in behind the panels. Even though vinyl siding is cheap when first installed, it can be difficult to repair if damaged, because you might not be able to exactly match to colour.
In general though, vinyl siding looks good when installed and stays looking good for many years. For the average homeowner, it is the most cost effective siding material on the market and is relatively easy to maintain.