It's easy for homeowners to get excited about vinyl siding. After all, it is the cheapest option, right?
While vinyl prices may seem low initially, vinyl siding can end up costing homeowners much more in the long run (especially if they live in the wrong climate). For this reason, always ask a professional for advice before making an important siding decision!
Problems with Storm Damage
Vinyl is very lightweight…but that quality makes it weak in the wake of damaging weather. Hail in particular is bad news for vinyl boards. Hail can ruin a vinyl wall with chips and pockmarks after just one storm (we've seen it happen, and it's not pretty). Powerful winds and debris are also harmful the fragile material. Heavy rain is less of a problem, but may still be able to rattle the lightweight boards, especially if it has previously been loosened. Hail can also seep behind vinyl siding and linger next to your walls, where it may cause even more damage.
This is closely related to another vinyl issue - installation woes. A poor or DIY installation will often cost more money than it's worth in the long run. This happens because most vinyl material is very sensitive. Nail the boards too firmly, and it will buckle over time and require replacements.
Problems with Temperature Changes
Vinyl is a plastic material made from melting vinyl resin into molds. This fact is actually very important, because it means vinyl responds to changes in temperatures like plastic does. Hot temperatures are notoriously bad for vinyl and can actually cause it to melt and warp. In serious cases, this could mean replacing a whole wall of siding. Meanwhile, cold temperatures can cause vinyl to become more brittle, easier to crack and damage.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to tell how vinyl boards will react to the seasons until after you install it. There are many different vinyl options available today: Some are higher-quality versions built with more resistance, and some are lower-quality options that may not cut it. Because of this, our professional opinion is often, "Why not try a different material instead?"
Fewer Insurance Options
As we've seen, vinyl has its weak points, especially in harsh weather. This means that it's less likely to be covered by insurance policies and warranties. Companies don't want to be on the hook for frequent repairs, so vinyl siding may be disqualified or subject to stringent requirements. Even if you are covered, replacing a whole wall of your house is likely to make your insurance costs rise, since vinyl can be sun-bleached the new wall may not match the rest of your house. This stands in contrast to options like fiber cement, which tends to come with more coverage options because of its high durability.