Home Improvement--General/Vinyl Siding

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QUESTION: Can you tell me which lines of vinyl siding would be best in a cold climate (northernmost NYS)for a small one story home in a very modest neighborhood?
    Consumer Reports rates only two as average for a cold climate (the rest are below average)- both are insulated, Mastic Structure and Heartland CedarMaxx, but the cost may not be wise for the neighborhood.  Best buys: Heartland Heart Tech and Revere Sovereign (both . Of course, they don't rate all.
   Assume big box stores are not the best?  Local lumberyard carries Georgia Pacific, also not good?
   Assume rigidity important in this climate?
Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Ann,

The choice of the best siding for your home is dependent upon what your real objectives are.  If adding insulation value to your home is your primary objective, one of the insulated siding lines may well be your best bet.  If however, you are simply trying to protect your home from the elements and make it as low maintenance as possible the extra expense of insulated siding may not be justified.

All vinyl siding is susceptible to cracking from sudden sharp impact, such as a rock thrown from a lawn mower or being struck by a base ball or golf ball. Cold temperatures do increase the likelihood of cracks from impacts although the same examples listed above will often result in vinyl siding cracking in 80 or 90 degree temperatures as well. Cold weather alone does not harm vinyl siding.  I am sure the consumer report statistics are accurate but unless your home is often struck by foreign objects this criteria is not paramount.

Ultraviolet rays from the sun are more likely to cause damage to vinyl siding than cold weather.  Over time vinyl siding may fade, chalk, or deform from exposure to sunlight.  Some brands of siding resist these effects better than others.  I have had good results with Mastic siding as well as Napco and Certainteed.  If consumer reports rate the UV resistance of the various brands I would give this more consideration than cold resistance.

Regardless of the brand chosen it would be prudent to purchase several extra pieces of siding and store them under the house or in the attic or utility building.  If any of the siding ever does become damaged you wont have to worry about matching the color or profile or if it has been discontinued.

In my experience you are more likely to have problems with your siding due to poor installation practices than from faulty siding.  Choose your installer carefully as this is just as, if not more important than the siding itself. Read the post Installing vinyl siding properly for insight on some of the more common installation problems.

I hope I have been of some help in this matter.

Tony

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes, thank you.  

I appreciate knowing which siding you've had good results with.  Could you tell specifically what lines?  For example, I see that Mastic Quest rates much higher than some other Mastic lines.

I misstated the rating as being for cold climate, rather than cold impact, which is what was measured. As you point out, the likelihood of my siding being struck in cold weather is likely small. UV light was one aspect of the fading testing they did.  

My installer is an experienced general contractor. I hope his credentials get me good results.

The reminder to purchase extra will be heeded.

Ann

Answer
I like the entire line of Mastic siding.  Quest is a good product for high wind areas, Barkwood and Brentwood are also good siding lines.  I have installed hundreds of squares of various mastic products over the last 20 years or so and have had almost no call backs on any of it.  

I have been called to replace or repair siding on dozens of homes with vinyl siding installed by other companies but the problem was almost always a result of poor installation practices not bad siding.  

There was one home I did years ago with Mastic, Brentwood siding in a blueish color that underwent excessive fading on one end of the house, until it was grey .  Mastic replaced the siding and the problem did not repeat, so I think it was a defective lot of siding.  All siding will fade a little over time but it has never presented much of a problem with my clients, many of which I still do work for.

Best regards,

Tony

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Tony Wood

Expertise

I can answer a wide range of home improvement and maintenance questions. My expertise is in carpentry, painting, framing, siding/boxing, doors, windows, decks and screen and glass enclosures. Wood's Home Maintenance Service

Experience

I am a life time resident of North Carolina with over 30 years experience in multiple facets of the industrial, commercial and residential construction industry. For the past 23 years I have owned and operated Wood's Home Maintenance Service , providing services primarily in Johnston, Wake and Sampson Counties of North Carolina.

Organizations
NFIB

Publications
Several Home improvement articles published on Angie's List and other online forums.

Education/Credentials
High School graduate ~ proficient in CAD (computer aided design), Open Office program suite.

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