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    Vinyl Siding FAQ

    Vinyl Siding | FAQ

    Vinyl siding is an affordable and popular option for improving the appearance of your home without painting. The main characteristics that attract homeowners and builders to it are its long lifespan, durability, low cost and relative ease of installation.

    Best Exteriors compiled the most common questions about vinyl siding to help San Francisco homeowners make an informed decision when planning on such project.



    Q: What is vinyl siding?

    A: The vinyl siding is a type of exterior plastic wrap that mimics the appearance of cedar shake, clapboard, and other types of wood siding. Decorative as well as practical, it is used to weatherproof houses, apartments and some commercial buildings. It is very durable and inexpensive compared to other siding options. A vinyl siding provides a real wood appearance without the need for maintenance. To achieve a more natural appearance, this siding is pressed/molded against actual wood.


    Q: What types of vinyl siding are available?

    A: Horizontal siding, vertical siding, shake siding, and shingle siding are the most popular types.


    Q: What is the life expectancy of vinyl siding?

    A: Vinyl siding can last a lifetime if it is installed properly. If your vinyl siding was installed improperly and starts to fade after fifty years, it will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty (warranties vary by brand). Finding the right installation company is the key. Installation defects are not covered by manufacturers.


    Q: Is it possible to install vinyl siding directly over old siding?

    A: vinyl siding can be installed over wood siding (as long as it is not rotten), or directly over furring strips installed on stucco or block walls. It is not recommended to install vinyl siding over brick, cement board, or an old vinyl siding. These will need to be removed from the house prior to vinyl siding installation.


     Q: How much maintenance does vinyl siding require?

    A: It’s mostly just a matter of cleaning it. Give your vinyl siding a light wash with a scrub brush or a gentle pressure wash. Generally, cleaning should be performed every year or two, although some homes may need even more frequent cleaning, depending on where you live (near a road or forest?) and what debris is around (if a truck stop is nearby). You can prevent gunk from building up on your vinyl siding if you clean it more frequently. Again, it’s important to treat vinyl siding gently since you don’t want to damage it.


    Q: Does vinyl siding have a high energy efficiency?

    A: When looking to make your San Francisco home more energy-efficient, vinyl siding is a great choice, as it can be combined with insulated siding – a layer of foam that contributes to your home’s insulation. Installing house wraps on a home will also prevent wind from making its way through the nooks and crannies of the house and reduce the chances of water infiltration.


    Q: What is the insulated siding?

    A: Insulated siding consists of standard vinyl siding backed with rigid foam. It is important to note that one insulation type drops behind the siding while the other is actually fused behind.

    Generally, the studs of an exterior wall are insulated, but the studs themselves allow for significant energy loss. Heat can pass through the wall studs, whether they are wood or metal. In a typical home, approximately 25% of the wall surface consists of studs, which is like having a blank wall without any insulation at all! Investing in insulated siding is a wise decision to make your San Francisco home more energy efficient.


    A: What are the benefits of vinyl siding?

    Q: Vinyl siding has lots of benefits. This includes:


    Sound proofing

    Sound is deadened by vinyl siding, which is extremely important if you live on a busy street or near a highway.

    Impact resistance

    The hollow space behind the siding is filled in thus providing cushioning against impacts. You may find it more valuable if you have active children, if you use lawn equipment extensively, or if you live near a golf course.

    Pest deterrent

    Snakes and rodents can be seen scurrying up walls behind siding in some homes. Insulation helps fill these gaps.



    Q: How to know if my siding needs replacement?

    A: There are several signs that indicate vinyl siding needs replacement, such as:



    Your siding cannot perform its vital role if it has begun to rot or crumble. You might be able to repair just the area that was damaged, in cases of circumscribed damage. If the rot spreads to the exterior, there is no choice but to replace it.


    Cracks and Gaps

    A home with holes and cracks may seem unsightly, but those defects are more dangerous than they appear. They can compromise the home’s structural integrity. Exterior claddings that have gaps admit moisture, which causes wood to deteriorate. Furthermore, anywhere water enters a house so do pests and rodents. Even though some pests are relatively benign, others (such as termites) can cause substantial damage.


    Skyrocketing Bills

    A new siding and additional insulation may help eliminate drafts near walls and windows and save you money on heating and cooling, especially if you feel drafts near switches and electrical receptacles.


    Moisture and Mold

    Whenever you discover moisture buildup inside your San Francisco home – whether it’s rot, mold, or mildew – investigate the exterior of the home at the same time. If damaged siding appears it’s crucial to replace it and prevent more expensive repairs in future.


    Hidden Hazards

    As with the tip of an iceberg, bulging or warped siding panels can indicate hidden dangers. If you suspect there may be significant damage underneath your siding, don’t hesitate to consult an expert.


    Q: What is the duration of the vinyl siding installation?

    A: Generally, we estimate two weeks for most projects, but the length of time depends on the size of the house and the amount of detailed work.


    Interested in vinyl siding in San Francisco? Call us 888-853-6277 or contact Best Exteriors for a consultation or request a quote online!


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