How to know when to replace vinyl siding

vinyl siding on a townhouse

Quality siding for your home

In the 1960s when aluminum siding was introduced, it was the be all to end all in homeownership. Nothing could be any better other than brick, until vinyl siding came along. Vinyl siding companies promised it meant no more painting every few years, your home would look good forever! 

Until it got hit by a football a few times, or hail stones played racquet ball on your house during a spring storm. For the first few years, the hailstones and footballs didn’t do any damage, but as the sun baked the vinyl siding, it became brittle. It would dent pretty easy, then it would actually break, and all of the sudden your vinyl siding doesn’t look so good anymore. 

Now it’s time to get new siding, but things have changed over he past 50 years or so with vinyl siding. First of all, there are different grades of vinyl siding, some are thicker than others and it is all made to be more durable and longer lasting. 

Or maybe you’ve purchased an older frame home recently and you’re not sure if you want to have it painted or have vinyl siding or fiber cement installed instead? Either way, there is an investment to be made, but which is the better option for you and your home? Read on as we answer some common questions about vinyl siding and hopefully it is information that will help you make your decision. 

Does vinyl siding help insulate a house?

Vinyl siding with insulation will not only give your home’s appearance a new look, but yes, the insulation added to it will help with your utility bills too. Vinyl siding today is installed with a foam board type insulation that provides a home with three things: 

  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Insulation

Does vinyl siding make house warmer?

It is almost summer here in Georgia, but before we know it, Fall will be here again with winter right behind it, and after the winter of 2020/2021, we know we need to be ready early!  So, before the days and nights start getting cold again, and that heating bills goes on the rise, maybe getting new vinyl siding is something to consider. 

Yes, vinyl siding will make your home warmer in the winter which will improve the energy efficiency because vinyl siding with insulation increases the R-factor. Less heat is escaping through the walls with foam board insulation and the cold air that normally comes in around the wall studs is stopped. 

Another bonus to having vinyl siding installed before winter, your home will be better protected against the cold, harsh winds, and hailstorms that often comes with those cold fronts. Vinyl siding is damage resistant against ice too! 

Is thicker vinyl siding worth it?

Vinyl siding thickness is an important factor to consider when you decide to go that route. The thickness dictates how heat is retained and kept away from the interior of your home. Unintentionally, installing vinyl siding improperly with the wrong thickness can cause insulation problems. 

Siding is divided by thickness with the thicker it is, the more durable it is and the longer it lasts. However, the climate where you live is a factor to consider too like the precipitation. The grades of vinyl siding are as follows:

  • Builder’s  –  This is the siding for a tight budget at .40 mm thickness, only provides a limited insulation and protection. Easily breaks, cracks, and doesn’t weather well. This is not the grade of vinyl siding without sheathing you want. It definitely needs sheathing installed before the siding. 
  • Thin Residential – This grade measures at .42 mm and is an inexpensive option that provides some insulation and protection, but heat still penetrates this vinyl siding. 
  • Standard Residential  – A thickness of .44 mm and is a commonly used siding that offers some balance with the insulation factor and sturdiness yet stays cost-effective.
  • Thick Residential  – This vinyl siding is .46 mm thick offering an adequate insulation at a cost-effective price level.
  • Super Thick  – At .50 mm thickness, this is a more expensive line of vinyl siding, but the cost is ROI with the savings in energy and a better level of weather protection. 
  • Premium – At a thickness between .52 – .55 mm, this is the most expensive grade, offering a high level of insulation and protection with a high resistance penetrative heat and low temperatures.  

Georgia homes are for the most part in a warmer climate. The thinner siding is often recommended because of the possibility of overheating that will create moisture, leading to mold and rot. 

Do I need house wrap behind vinyl siding?

Contractors and homeowners that are working on a tight budget will often take a shortcut and skip the house wrap, but experts will tell you that isn’t a good reason. In some areas, it may be mandatory in fact, depending on the climate. Insurance companies may require it as well. 

Yes, the vinyl siding is waterproof for itself, but there are several gaps and many seams where air and moisture can get through. So, while the vinyl siding is the outer layer of protection, the house wrap is a second line of defense.

blue vinyl siding

What happens if water gets behind vinyl siding?

Moisture is a home’s number one enemy and if it gets behind your vinyl siding, the following possibilities are going to create costly damage. Moisture behind vinyl siding isn’t noticed right away, which means these thing will be happening and getting worse by the day:

  • Sheathing Begins to Rot
  • Mildew Forms
  • Mold Begins Growing 
  • Foundation and Walls Are Damaged
  • Insect and Rodent Infestations Form

As you gather quotes for vinyl siding, make sure house wrapping is listed and if not, request it. The price difference isn’t worth the future cost you’ll face with these things happen, and no, your homeowner’s insurance most likely won’t pay for repairs and replacement needed. Call (706) 814-3207 today for your vinyl siding replacement needs in Augusta, GA.