The purpose of the Sideco Blog is to provide you with practical information that can help you save money by making well informed decisions in regard to maintaining and improving what is probably your largest investment. We will be adding new topics on a regular basis and archiving each article so you can come back to them at any time. These are not intended to be detailed 'how to' instructions for the do it yourselfer, but rather answers to the questions that the responsible and conscientious homeowner faces every day, month and year.
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While we are committed to using this newsletter to the benefit of our clients, not merely to promote ourselves, this is a topic that comes up more and more with the people we talk to every day. So many people purchased vinyl siding 10 - 20 years ago (or purchased a home that had it installed) and are now facing the dilemma of owning a home that looks dirty, faded and, well, plastic. This two part article will outline some of the problems we regularly encounter and explain just how easy it is to eliminate them. You'll be glad you took the time to read this.
While we hate to admit it, many years ago Sideco sold and installed vinyl siding. We only used the very best siding on the market and we always installed it using the very best practices regardless of cost. We took great pride in knowing that our customers always received the very best quality possible. Then we discovered James Hardie siding products. Our initial research indicated that it was certainly worth a try.
When we did our first project with Hardie products we learned a lot. We learned just how much work was involved in removing all of the previous siding. We learned how much time was involved in completely sealing the structure with a moisture barrier. We also learned just how exacting it was to install the fiber cement siding compared to simply tacking up some vinyl. The biggest thing we learned, however, was that there was no comparison in the end quality of the two products. In an instant, Sideco was out of the vinyl siding business forever. We could not, in good conscience, install a product on a customer's home knowing it was a vastly inferior product, even if it was less expensive. We would install James Hardie or nothing at all.
During the 1970's vinyl siding became popular. During the 80's and 90's it became a housing fad. It did eliminate some of the problems of the old aluminum siding and homeowners rushed out to install the new craze.
Now, however, hundreds of thousands of homeowners are discovering that what was to be a lifetime of maintenance free beauty was falling way short of its promise. They have learned that vinyl attracts dirt and environmental pollutants and must be cleaned frequently or dense layers of mold form. The colors fade and the vinyl becomes brittle and susceptible to cracks and chipping. If a piece cracked or was damaged, it's easy to replace, but the new piece stuck out like a sore thumb because the older siding had faded and it is impossible to match it.
One of the key selling points for vinyl was that it could make a home look 'new' again. It could be installed directly over the old, damaged siding and instantly all the problems were gone. In reality, it was just a quick and easy cover-up of problems that were left to continually worsen. When the underlying siding decayed and shifted, the vinyl exterior shifted too.
Vinyl siding has to be installed loosely to allow for expansion and contraction from temperature changes, it allows for air leaks and excessive moisture to penetrate. The airflow significantly reduces the energy efficiency of the home. Better quality vinyl siding has insulation built in, but it has little real effect since the air moves around it freely. Moisture issues create a nightmare of problems which we will discuss, in detail, in the next installment. The last thing we want to mention in this issue is termites. Termites cause total devastation to wood. It's true that they don't consume vinyl, but the entire layer of old siding provides a dark, moist and hidden source of food.
In our next installment, we will discuss moisture problems and what can be done to correct them. We will also discuss what can be done to circumvent all of the other problems inherent in vinyl siding.
On rare occassion a client feels the need to communicate with us about their active job. We spend most of our time actively participating at each of our sites. If you need us, we plan to be available so just give us a call.
We are very aware of the importance of energy savings for many reasons. Our products are designed to give you the very best energy ratings. We will also be happy to evaluate your home to help you make it more efficient.
We are honored that you trust us with your home and your personal information. We will never betray that trust. Your personal information, such as name, address, phone number and email address will never be shared or sold to anyone for any reason except to complete the tasks you have requested. For example, if your job requires an electrician, we will provide them with your contact information so they can arrange services. You can request information from us and feel secure that we will contact you to provide the information you requested, including home evaluations, and follow up in an appropriate manner to insure your need have been met, however, you will not be subject to constant contacts from our sales department (we don't have one).
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