Vinyl siding was introduced in the 1960s as a substitute for aluminum siding, and around one-third of American homeowners now use it. One of its big benefits is low maintenance, and in theory it shouldn’t scratch or require painting because of the color built into the material. However, there may come a time when you want a change of color, so do you paint your vinyl siding or try to replace it? Read on to find out more.
Painting Vinyl Siding
In order to ensure your vinyl siding remains in peak condition, it is necessary to wash it periodically to get rid of mildew, mold, dirt, and the chalky oxidation that builds up on the surface over the course of time. If you intend on painting your vinyl siding, you need to keep up with your maintenance chores. In most cases, a 30:70 mix of vinegar and water brushed onto the siding should work wonders.
Yet vinyl siding will eventually fade no matter how well you take care of it. The change can really become noticeable after 10 years, so at this stage you can either paint it or replace it. Painting is a relatively simple process: Wash the siding first and use latex paint to flex with the vinyl siding’s movement.
The plus side is that you get to enjoy your vinyl siding for a few more years until you have to repeat the feat. However, you can’t dramatically change the color; if you have a light color, you can only replace with a light color. Dark colors absorb more heat than light colors, which can cause your vinyl siding to buckle!
Replacing Vinyl Siding
Most people elect to simply replace the siding and install brand new material. You can actually replace individual panels without ripping up the whole thing. However, adding a new panel can create an odd look since all the other panels will have undoubtedly faded. Another option is to replace damaged siding with vinyl siding from a less conspicuous part of the house.
If you live in an old historic home, adding new vinyl siding is not recommended, as it doesn’t look good. In many cases, the siding is poorly installed with vinyl hurriedly placed over existing shingles, which can transform handsome façades into plain and aesthetically displeasing messes. If you go down this route, hire a contractor that specializes in the repair of old houses and not just someone with expertise in vinyl siding.
Which One to Choose?
Replacing vinyl siding is likely to cost you in the region of $1.60 per square foot to install, and this does not include the price of trim pieces. It is much cheaper than cedar clapboard, which is around $4 per square foot, and vinyl siding should last you up to 10 years before it fades significantly.
Painting your vinyl siding is, of course, much cheaper than the average $11,000 per replacement siding job but there is a chance your paint could damage the material. In most cases, we recommend replacing the vinyl siding, as it gives you guaranteed performance for a number of years.