By Steve Vacha
Vinyl siding is the most commonly installed exterior cladding for residential construction in the United States and Canada. This siding has low maintenance and does not deteriorate like many other types of siding. However, as with any product exposed to our diverse and sometimes harsh weather it will age and take damage in its own unique ways.
Vinyl siding is more susceptible to hail damage than some other types of siding. In the right hail storm siding can crack or holes can be created in the siding. Vinyl siding and its metal trim counterparts can come loose in high winds. After strong winds the siding should be evaluated for any damage that might have occurred.
Vinyl is susceptible to heat damage. Cooking grills placed too close (less than 4-5 ft) to siding will quickly damage and warp the siding. Finding damaged siding due to grills is a rather common thing to find in home inspections. There are other times when we will find warped siding in the middle of a wall, many feet from the ground. The culprit here is usually the neighbor’s windows. Light reflecting off the glass of the neighbor’s window can create enough heat to warp vinyl siding if the positions and angles are just right.
It is important to keep mulch and dirt away from the siding, to keep insects moisture away from the wood behind the siding. Finally, be aware that lawn equipment can damage siding, such as weed whips and mowers.
When replacing siding, remember that if the siding is newer matching will normally not be of concern. Siding older than 10 years old can be difficult to match due to fading of the color or availability.