Into The Darkness
If it hasn’t already, a black exterior might soon be making a debut in a neighborhood near you.
Contributors Katie Ostreko Drew Terwee
Did you know that Quality Edge steel siding contains 85–95% recycled content and is 100% recyclable? It also has a long useful lifespan of 50+ years.
In the 1950’s, manufacturers and homeowners were searching for alternatives to wood, brick or aluminum siding —something with more flexibility, affordability and lower maintenance. Vinyl siding became the answer. Unfortunately for manufacturers, builders, and homeowners especially, the earliest version of vinyl siding would fade, buckle, and crack. This slowed adoption until the 1970’s when the market went through a shift and the demand for affordability increased further.
The industry had found its new darling of home exteriors.
The improved vinyl solution gave homeowners a versatile solution with minimal maintenance and more color options—leading to an estimated market share today of 37%.
Like many new categories and advancements, vinyl or plastic siding came with its fair share of challenges for homeowners. Chemicals threatened to create lasting effects on humans and the environment, including DEHP (listed on the EPA watch list for its connection with fertility issues, liver and kidney disease, carcinogens, and birth defects), butane, hydrochloric acid and chlorine.
In addition to health concerns for people, vinyl siding presents issues for the health of a home.
Based on many factors, including the drastic increase of plastic waste in landfills, the vinyl siding market has continued to decline in popularity as other siding solutions present better overall solutions.
In addition to health concerns for people, vinyl siding presents issues for the health of a home. Due to fading, damaged vinyl siding is often non-replaceable in small sections. This gives the homeowner an ultimatum: live with a two-tone look or re-do the whole exterior. “It took a while, but the perception of vinyl is changing,” said Drew Terwee from Scott Christopher Homes. “The upsides of vinyl don’t seem so appealing the second you realize you can’t replace a small portion.”
Further, vinyl can shrink and expand between 1/2” and 5/8”, exposing the wood underneath and causing severe and costly water damage over time.
Vinyl siding also becomes brittle at freezing temperatures, which can crack on impact.
Did you know that Quality Edge steel siding has a steel core with a unique zinc coating for protection and has the highest rating for wind, fire and hail?
“Color change is another major downside for vinyl,” adds Drew Terwee. “Both dark and light vinyl siding fades in sunlight, a change that can be seen in under 10 years, even with UV protection. And painting vinyl siding to get it back to its prime voids most manufacturer warranties.”
The color isn’t the only thing that can fade. So can the return on investment. With a return value of only 78%, the curb appeal of vinyl probably isn’t worth the cost. In fact, other solutions like steel, fiber cement, brick, and engineered wood provide a larger return on investment for a minimal increase in the overall budget.
“There are lots of alternatives available these days,” says Katie Ostreko, VP of Sales and Marketing at Quality Edge. “Steel is a big one, which is emerging as a superior choice over other siding options when it comes to design, performance and functionality.”
One simple fact remains. From afar, vinyl siding looks outstanding. But up close, it reveals itself for what it truly is—plastic. Overlapping and underwhelming plastic.
Did you know that steel siding doesn’t expand or contract like other materials? Quality Edge uses a Kynar finish to offer lifetime warranties on color fade.
When you’re considering home siding, the desire to find something
readily available and low-cost can be enticing. But is it worth choosing a product that impacts the health of families, negatively impacts the environment, and comes with added maintenance?
There are plenty of appealing alternatives out there,
available at a similar cost—with far fewer perils.
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