Why Doesn’t Vinyl Siding Last Forever?

Vinyl is a durable and long-lasting material. However, vinyl siding lifespans can vary. Factors such as panel thickness, installation method, and even panel length can affect how long your siding will last. As a result, you'll often find many different numbers for vinyl siding lifespans online. Still, you can expect most vinyl to last at least several decades.

Of course, it may be surprising that you need to replace your siding at all. Vinyl cleans relatively easily, and the material won't meaningfully degrade over its typical lifespan, so why do you need to replace your siding? Ultimately, there are several reasons why your vinyl may require replacement after decades of service, including these three common causes.

1. Color Fading

Like most plastic materials, vinyl is vulnerable to damage from ultraviolet light. The colorfastness of your vinyl will depend on numerous factors, although more premium brands tend to hold their color for longer. All vinyl will fade as it ages, but the overall change in appearance may not be particularly drastic until the siding is fairly old.

Surprisingly, repainting your vinyl siding is an option. Repainting may be worth considering if you're looking to save money, but it's a relatively laborious job that isn't cheap. More importantly, it won't solve other underlying issues with your siding. While it's worth keeping your options open, replacing your vinyl is often a better long-term solution than repainting very old siding.

2. Weather Damage

Weather damage is undoubtedly one of the most dramatic reasons for siding failure. The weather can affect your siding in numerous ways, including damage from hail and wind-driven debris. However, gusty winds can damage your siding even if they don't cause any physical impacts. Heavy winds can become "caught" under the siding, separating its joints or pulling it away from its nail.

You can often repair these problems, but you may not always notice them when they occur. Weather damage can accumulate over time, with relatively minor wind damage loosening or damaging panels across your home. Give enough time, replacing your old and worn-out vinyl siding is often more cost-effective than conducting numerous spot repairs across your home.

 3. Water Infiltration

Like the shingles on your roof, your home's siding is a barrier against water infiltration. However, like your roofing shingles, your vinyl siding isn't watertight. Instead, it forms an outer layer that directs water away from the underlayment and sheathing. Problems with your vinyl, such as loose panels, cracks, or other damage, can allow water to infiltrate these lower layers and cause damage.

While one or two areas may be repairable, widespread water infiltration is a good sign that your siding is old enough to require replacement. Since the cost of dealing with water damage to your home can be so high, replacing your siding is often a much more cost-effective option than risking further water infiltration.

For more information, contact a company such as FB Roofing & Siding, Inc.