Ottawa Vinyl Siding Installation and Repair
Vinyl siding is plastic exterior siding for houses and small apartment buildings, used for decoration and weatherproofing.
Vinyl siding is plastic exterior siding for houses and small apartment buildings, used for decoration and weatherproofing, imitating wood clapboard, board and batten or shakes, and used instead of other materials such as aluminum or fiber cement siding. It is an engineered product, manufactured primarily from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. In the UK and New Zealand a similar material is known as uPVC weatherboarding.
Approximately 80 percent of its weight is PVC resin, with the remaining 20 percent being ingredients that impart color, opacity, gloss, impact resistance, flexibility, and durability. It is the most commonly installed exterior cladding for residential construction in the United States and Canada.
Vinyl siding can be observed in a wide range of product quality realized in a substantial difference in thickness and lasting durability. Thickness can vary from .035″ in cheaper grade siding products up to .052″ in the highest grade products which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Today, the thinnest vinyl siding commonly used is .040″, and is known as “builder’s grade”. Vinyl product can vary in thickness even within one manufacturer up to .010″ of thickness through varying product lines offered that range from basic to premium-grade products. Thicker vinyl products, usually realized in higher cost, are more rigid which can add to the aesthetic appeal and look of the installed, inherently flexible product and also add to durability and life expectancy. Thicker grades of vinyl siding may, according to some, exhibit more resistance to the most common complaint about vinyl siding – its tendency to crack in very cold weather when it is struck or bumped by a hard object while others feel that a thinner product may allow more ‘flex before cracking’ and is a subject of debate. However, at “This Old House” website, this assertion about thickness and crack resistance is disputed. They claim to know of test results that indicate chemical makeup has a greater influence on impact resistance than does thickness.
Chemical formulas can also vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer which can impact life expectancy as formulas and possibly manufacture process can be one of the most important in terms of product quality and durability. One important advent was a UV “coating”, utilized by some manufacturers that was applied to the surface of the product that filters out UV spectral light from the sun which would otherwise degrade the PVC more quickly.
Vinyl siding is manufactured with its own partial fastening or locking system that is coupled with nails that ‘loose’ fasten the product to the exterior wall. This locking system can be either a rolled or an extruded lock depending on the manufacturing process, either of which has its own design considerations. This locking system, either extruded or rolled has a bottom lock which locks into either a start piece or onto the top lock of the panel below. The top lock is then ‘loose’ nailed to hold the panel to the wall. This ‘loose’ nailing allows for float which is created by expansion and contraction from varying temperature and weather conditions. With well designed siding, and proper ‘loose nailing’ installation, the siding can easily expand up, down, in and out, and left and right without restriction. Vinyl siding, by its nature, will tend to expand and contract more with temperature extremes than any other common type of cladding.