By Tom Lopatosky
A good number of people that own their own home (…and/or commercial property for that matter…) would very much prefer absolutely NO maintenance whatsoever to its exterior.
They could care less of the potential aesthetic beauty that often comes along with painted surfaces, they care more about the almost certain hassle of having to keep up with it any time the paint starts to fail. For these types of individuals, vinyl siding is a solution that is strongly attractive.
The age-old adage, “Vinyl is Final!” had to come from somewhere. Right??
After all, vinyl will not peel or chip like paint, there will be no need to spend thousands of dollars every so often to completely re-work the exterior as one has to plan on doing with paint if they truly are going to stay on top of their property.
Vinyl has definitely come a long away in terms of its appearance. In many instances, it has cosmetically grown to look more and more like real wood siding, it is not as susceptible to fading as it has been in the past, and the raw material it is made out of has seemingly grown increasingly durable over time as well.
So is vinyl REALLY “final”?…my stance is that it depends what one means by “final”.
Vinyl will definitely not rot or peel or anything close to these worrisome phenomena. It will “technically” last forever without having to touch it.
But…there are some things to take into consideration if one is on the fence about installing vinyl on their home or commercial property, here are a few key focus points:
Vinyl is still prone to mold & mildew growth, particularly as time goes on after it is installed, to remove this growth, it would have to be washed as necessary.
If the color that is chosen loses favor of the owner of the property over time, with today’s technology, vinyl can be painted (we get several calls a year about this), but the question arises, if you are going to possibly want to change the color of your exterior at some point in the future, why vinyl in the first place?
If the vinyl ever gets damaged (think hockey puck/baseball hitting the siding or perhaps accidentally bumping it with a vehicle, etc.), specifically a long period of time after it is installed, it is very likely going to be impossible to get the color of the replacement pieces needed for the repair to match the existing color exactly (even if drawn from a leftover stockpile that may be kicking around the basement or garage).
I would never try to talk someone out of putting vinyl on the exterior of their home or commercial property.
I would however ask the individual whom is contemplating installing it to think long and hard about the cons of installing the vinyl before going all in on it.
So is vinyl REALLY final? My answer is “Sort of…”
Tom Lopatosky has run his own carpentry and painting business in Providence since 1995; LOPCO Contracting – the “Personable, Particular Professionals” – specializes in carpentry and exterior & interior painting. Recently LOPCO Contracting was named ‘RI’s Finest Painting Contracting Company’ by ShopInRI Magazine. In 2013, Tom was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) and a “40 Under 40” award winner by Providence Business News. He is a member of both the PDCA and RIBA (Rhode Island Builders Association). Tom has weekly ‘Home Improvement Tips’ that air on the radio on 630 WPRO AM (during the weekday morning news) and on television on WPRI 12 (during the Saturday morning news).