What Is Vinyl Siding?

What is vinyl siding? The performance of vinyl siding is talked about in three areas: beauty, performance and durability. Vinyl siding is a product that is made of polyvinyl chloride and requires minimal...

Vinyl siding is a product that is made of polyvinyl chloride and requires minimal maintenance. Vinyl siding will last a long time, but is not safely or easily disposed of. One thing about this type of siding is that in extreme weather vinyl siding is less durable than wood and masonry, says Jackie Craven at Architecture.About.com.

There are many different shapes, colors, and textures of vinyl siding. "Vinyl is the number one choice in building materials for either new construction or remodeling in the United States today," says Walt Hoyt who is the director of marketing and communications for CertainTeed Siding Products. CertainTeed is the number one manufacturer of building materials from a brand awareness and usage standpoint. Hoyt says vinyl siding is the preferred choice in remodeling homes when the homeowner is the significant driver in the selection of the material for residing their house. With vinyl, there is virtually no maintenance. Once it is installed, there is no required painting for the life of the product. If one does paint vinyl, more than likely the warranty will be eliminated.

In order to clean the product, hose it off with a garden hose or a power washer. One can rent a power washer from a local home improvement store for $50 to $75 per day. When using the power washer, hold it straight at eye level and use both hands. Don't use pressure washers when standing on a ladder and wear safety goggles because the water comes out very rough. According to Vinylsiding.org, do not aim it upward, as the water may collect behind the siding, leak later, and produce streaks or could remain and cause decay. Vinyl siding can be washed with a soft cloth or long-handled, soft bristle brush. The website states, "If the vinyl is textured, use only a soft bristle brush to avoid smearing stains into the grooves of the texture. In order to prevent streaking, start at the bottom of the house and work your way up."

Cleaning solutions that are commonly used are Simple Green, Nice and Easy, and Armor All. Rinse off the cleaning solution with water before it dries. If there are stains that need to be removed, use a specific cleaner. "Do not use cleaners containing organic solvents, undiluted bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover, or furniture cleaner," says the website. To clean mildew use Fantastik or Windex, rinse off and the mildew will be gone. According to Owenscorning.com, the solution to use is 1/3 cup powdered detergent (Fab, Tide or another powdered detergent), 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner (Spic and Span or equivalent household cleaner), and one gallon of water.

One thing about vinyl siding is it has to be cleaned annually if the homeowner wants the color to shine through. "Keeping it clean regularly will make it easier to clean in the future," says Hoyt. Also, keep hot items away from vinyl siding because it can melt the siding. Hot items consist of grills, smokers, patio torches, and lighters.

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