Even if you’ve never owned any, you’ve probably heard of “records” – those discs of grooved, black, plastic-like material, read by a sensitive needle that magically creates music as it glides over the spinning records surface.
Did you know, the stuff used to make your favourite Rolling Stones album is the same stuff used on the side of your house? Vinyl.
What Is Vinyl?
Synthesized in 1872 by German chemist Eugen Baumann, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), aka: vinyl, is the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer. About 40 million tons are produced each year.
PVC comes in two basic forms: rigid and flexible.
Rigid: Used primarily for pipes, doors, windows, bottles, non-food packaging, food-covering sheets, and cards.
Flexible: Made softer with the addition of plasticizers (phthalates), it is used in plumbing, electrical cable insulation, imitation leather, flooring, signage, phonograph records, and inflatable products.
Now that we know what vinyl is, let’s find out why vinyl siding is an appealing and durable option, with loads of great benefits for homeowners. It comes in many colors, styles, and enjoys a good reputation of longevity, and more. To celebrate it’s versatility, here are 4 Bouquets For Vinyl Siding.
Vinyl Siding Is Good Bang For Buck
There are few materials used for siding that are less expensive than vinyl and insulated vinyl siding. On average, you’ll find it between $4.00 – $9/ sq. ft. Vinyl siding is typically among the top ROI (return on investment) materials for home improvement projects. According to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value 2020 US analysis, a vinyl siding replacement offers an ROI of 74.7%.
Bouquet # 2
Vinyl Siding Is Low Maintenance
Because there is no paint that will peel off your vinyl siding, you’ll never have to scrape, sand, fix, prime, and re-paint your home’s exterior. Also, vinyl siding’s surface does not allow much dust, dirt or other debris to collect, and it is simply and easily cleaned just by spraying it down with a hose. Add a little mild soap and elbow grease for stubborn stains.
Bouquet # 3
Vinyl Siding Is Tough
Strong, durable, and dent-resistant (but not indestructible), vinyl siding is virtually unaffected by wind, heat, cold, and other harsh weather conditions. It won’t rust, conduct electricity, rot, and is not affected by pollution. In fact, vinyl siding is so long-lasting, it can typically retain its qualities for up to 40 years. Off-the-record, it actually lasts much longer than expected, with siding reported to remain effective for up to 60 or more years.
The PVC production process consists of 5 steps:
The raw materials for PVC are derived from salt and oil. The electrolysis of salt water produces chlorine, which is combined with ethylene (obtained from oil) to form vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). The molecules of VCM are then polymerised to form PVC resin, which is mixed with additives to make a customised PVC compound.
Bouquet # 4
Vinyl Siding Is A Sustainable Choice
Vinyl siding is highly recyclable because it is made from PVC, a thermoplastic that can be repeatedly ground up, re-melted and reformed into a variety of new products. How can vinyl siding be recycled?
- Post-Consumer Recycling
Vinyl siding scrap generated by contractors, builders and remodelers, and old vinyl siding torn off of homes or apartments (end-of-life scrap) in remodeling can be recycled.
- Post-Industrial Recycling
Scrap vinyl is diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process, collected, and sent for reprocessing.
- Closed-Loop Recycling
In-house scrap, trimmings, shavings, off-colours, and rejected vinyl from the manufacturing process are simply ground up and used again to create new siding or other products. This is an excellent practice that makes vinyl siding manufacturing highly material-efficient.
Although recycling is an important component of sustainability, vinyl siding’s long life means that it does not make it into the waste stream for a long time. Warranties of 40+ years, or for the life of the structure are not uncommon. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, vinyl siding and insulated vinyl siding have a useful life of at least 50 years.
Vinyl siding is inexpensive, easy to obtain, popular, quick to install, and simple to maintain. These strong features support vinyl siding as one of the best cladding solutions for your home, and an excellent choice for homeowners looking to improve their home’s exterior.