Selecting Siding for Your Home
For most homeowners, the advantages of one siding material over another are not strong enough to greatly influence your choice. What appears to be more critical in selection is proper installation following the manufacturers specifications.
For re-siding, the three most popular types of materials are galvanized steel, aluminum and vinyl known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC.
Steel siding has been used for over 30 years. It generally comes in a range of thicknesses. It is heavier than aluminum and more resistant to denting. If it is scratched, it should be immediately touched up to avoid rusting. Various coatings are used for this siding, including the PVC finishes.
Galvanized steel nails should be used when installing. The thermal linear expansive factor of this siding is over 2 times greater than wood, thus it requires special fastening attention. Steel siding conducts electricity, thus it should be grounded.
Aluminum siding has been used since the late 40s. It comes in a range of thicknesses. The thicker the better resistance to denting. Various coatings are used including fluorocarbon and polyvinyl chloride or PVC finishes.
Installation considerations for aluminum siding include a rigid backer board to increase denting resistance and to reduce noise transmission. Aluminum nails should be used as steel nails pose a serious risk to corrosion. The thermal linear expansion factor of this type of siding is over 4 times greater than wood, thus special fastening attention is required. Aluminum siding conducts electricity thus it should be properly grounded.
Vinyl(PVC) siding has been used in the last 30 years. Its thickness generally varies. The thicker the siding is the better it will be to resist punctures and tearing. However, the thicker siding is more expensive. Vinyl siding becomes brittle in cold weather and can be shattered by a sharp blow. It will melt when exposed to high temperatures, such as near a grill. The finish permeates the entire thickness of the siding.
The thermal linear expansion factor of vinyl siding is 4 times greater than wood, thus special fastening attention is required. Aluminum nails are generally preferred for installation.