How to know when to replace vinyl siding?

vinyl siding yellow door

Does vinyl siding make house warmer?

Vinyl siding has been around for decades, since the 1960s in fact. Vinyl siding companies began appearing everywhere for many years, and today, there are companies and independent contractors offering vinyl siding or fiber cement installation, along with energy efficient windows. It would be safe to say that more homes today have either brick façade or vinyl siding. 

Vinyl siding with insulation will improve your home’s curb appeal, make your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. While making your home look good, it is an energy saving measure too, helping your budget and the environment. 

For an existing home that is having new installation of vinyl siding without sheathing, insulating it will be different than a new home with vinyl siding that has installation.  There are two options for insulating  these homes: 

  • OPTION ONE: AIR-PERMEABLE INSULATION

Typical when doing a gut rehab of an old home where the walls are opened up on the interior and new plumbing, new wiring, and new insulation are installed. The use of air-permeable insulation / rigid foam is popular choice that creates the air gap needed for an air barrier. 

  • OPTION TWO: SPRAY-FOAM INSULATION

The use of spray-foam insulation for walls with no sheathing provides added benefits like sealing air leaks. 

Installing vinyl siding on existing walls doesn’t necessarily require sheathing unless  the old siding is being stripped off, then sheathing is required, and insulation can be added then as well. This will provide the energy efficiency desired while keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, along with providing some sound proofing too. 

Does vinyl siding help insulate a house?

Yes, but if your home is a colder climate where the temperatures drop to 40 degrees and colder, vinyl siding may not be the best option for your home.  Chilly weather can be frustrating for installing vinyl siding because it becomes difficult to work with. The colder the temperature gets; the easier vinyl siding will buckle and crack. 

Having vinyl siding installed during warmer temperature and include insulation, then yes, vinyl siding will help keep your home warmer in winter months. However, it still becomes hard and will crack easily if hit with balls (a likelihood when you have children). It is because of these type of issues that most professional contractors experienced with vinyl siding will recommend choosing a different siding material that can withstand colder temperatures. 

Do I need house wrap behind vinyl siding?

Depending on where your home is located, wrapping under vinyl siding may be required, but any contractor will tell you that there isn’t any logical reason not to wrap your home before installing vinyl siding.  Wrapping your home is beneficial as a water repellant, wind barrier, sealing any air gaps, and provides another layer between you and the environment. 

vinyl siding on house

Is thicker vinyl siding worth it?

Vinyl siding thickness is an important factor in how much heat is kept inside during the cold or out during the summer.  There are different grades in siding thicknesses, with the thicker grades being the most durable with a longer lifespan. The different grades of vinyl siding are:  

  • Builder’s grade –  Ideal for the tight budget with a thickness of .40 mm, providing a limited insulating benefit with a low level of protection. 
  • Thin residential – A thickness of approximately .42 mm, an inexpensive choice, making it popular like asphalt shingles, providing adequate insulation and protection. Not a high level of resistance for penetrative heat. 
  • Standard residential – Thickness of .44 mm, a common choice for homeowners that provide a balance of insulation, sturdiness, and cost-effectiveness.
  • Thick residential  – A thickness of .46 mm provides a bit more adequate insulation than the standard residential and still cost-effective.
  • Super thick – At .50 mm thickness, this is more expensive, but the level of protection is more than keeping warm in during cold weather, it is better level of protection from rain and strong wind too. 
  • Premium grade –  Thickness ranges between .52 and .55 mm, this is the most expensive vinyl siding on the market and provide a high level of insulation and protection on all accounts. 

For warmer climates,  a thin vinyl siding is recommended due to heat and moisture retained can overheat a home and leads to mildew and mold. 

A concern for many homeowner is what happens if water gets behind vinyl siding? This is why regular walk around inspections are recommended. You can find possible issues with your vinyl siding and make repairs as needed so that water leaking behind the siding won’t be an issue. 

So, when does vinyl siding need to be replaced? In general, vinyl siding has a lifespan up to twenty years if maintained and cared for. After that 20th year, it has lost its effectiveness so energy saving, and it is better to replace it now or you’ll continue letting money escape as you cool and heat your house. Four indicators that your vinyl siding has retired: 

  1. It has melted in spots. 
  2. It has algae, mildew, and mold growing. 
  3. Structurally damaged, buckling, bulging, etc.
  4. Insect infestation damage.

Thompson Roofing & Reconstruction is your source for quality vinyl siding replacement and installation in Osage Beach and Lake Ozark, MO. Call us today at (844) 877-7663!