4 Things You Might Not Know About Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is popular among homeowners because it's attractive and easy to maintain. If you need new siding, vinyl is worth considering even if you prefer the look of wood, because you can buy vinyl siding that looks just like wood. Here are four other things to know about this type of siding.

1. You Can Buy Vertical Or Horizontal Panels

In addition to coming in several colors, vinyl panels come in different styles. You can have the panels installed vertically if you want. This is often a good look when you put the panels above another type of siding, such as stone. However, you'll need to buy the right kind of siding since you can't have horizontal panels installed vertically.

You can also buy panels made to look like wood shakes or log home siding. Since vinyl is manufactured, the manufacturer can make it any color and shape they want. Plus, they can texture the siding so it looks like it has wood grain.

2. Vinyl Siding Can Be Installed On Nearly Any Surface

It might be possible to have your new vinyl siding installed on top of your old siding, even if you have brick siding. To do this, the old siding has to be in good shape and there can be no moisture problems. Also, the surface has to be smooth and level. If these conditions aren't met, it's probably better to remove the old siding first, but your siding installation contractor can discuss your options.

3. There Are Choices For Insulation

If home insulation is a concern for you, then you may want to buy vinyl panels that have insulation already on the backs. This insulation helps with the energy efficiency of your home and also helps with sound control. An alternative is to have insulation boards installed over the OSB or plywood walls.

The insulation boards provide the benefits of insulation along with protection from rain. At the very least, the installer will probably cover the bare walls with housewrap that can provide some insulation and act as a water barrier.

4. The Siding Can Be Pressure Washed

Rather than having to paint your new siding every few years, you can just pressure wash it occasionally to keep it looking fresh and clean. However, it's important to use proper technique when washing siding. Vinyl itself is waterproof, but the siding panels aren't flat against the wall — instead, they overlap. If you point the stream of water so water goes under the panel, water might get behind the siding.

Use a hose or pressure washer so water runs down the panels in the same way rain drains. However, if you get water behind the panels, that isn't always a disaster since there are weep holes that let the moisture dry out.