Construction Studio Design Tips

When Do You Need To Replace Old Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl is prized for being a long-lasting and low-maintenance material for exterior siding. Unfortunately, it doesn't last forever, and you'll eventually need to replace it. The greatest threat to vinyl is sunlight. Ultraviolet rays cause vinyl to degrade, and the heat from the sun can cause the boards to warp and pull apart from one another. To find out when it's time to replace your home's vinyl siding, read on.

Your Vinyl Siding Is Cracking or Chipping

The most common reason why vinyl siding needs replacement is that it has become brittle. As part of the manufacturing process, vinyl siding has plasticizers added to it that keep it flexible. These plasticizers last for quite a long time, but ultraviolet light from the sun will eventually cause them to degrade. This causes vinyl siding to become quite brittle.

Vinyl siding expands and contracts as it heats up and cools down. When it's brittle, this expansion and contraction will cause cracks and chips to form in the siding. This can allow water behind the siding, and water that seeps behind the siding can cause your home's framing to rot. If your vinyl siding has become brittle due to age, it's time to replace it in order to prevent water intrusion.

Your Vinyl Siding Is Warping, Exposing Your Home's Structure

In addition to ultraviolet rays causing the plasticizers in vinyl siding to degrade, the sun has another negative effect on vinyl — the heat can cause vinyl siding to warp. When vinyl siding starts to warp, cracks will open up between adjacent planks. Cracks can also open up between the vinyl siding and any exterior doors and windows. Unfortunately, this is another way that water can get behind your vinyl siding and cause structural damage to your home. You'll need to replace warped vinyl siding in order to prevent this from happening.

Overall, vinyl siding needs to be replaced when sunlight exposure has caused it to become structurally damaged. Sunlight also causes the color of vinyl siding to fade, but this can be fixed by repainting it. Paint can't restore the flexibility of brittle vinyl siding or restore its form after it has become warped, so replacement is your only option in this case.

Thankfully, you often don't need to replace all the vinyl siding on your home. Since the damage to vinyl siding is driven by sunlight exposure, vinyl siding in shaded areas is usually spared from structural damage. If you think that your vinyl siding needs replacement, call a siding service in your area and have it inspected. A siding service will be able to determine which areas of your siding have started to suffer structural damage due to sunlight exposure and replace only the areas that are affected the most.