- Siding concept
- Vinyl siding: strengths and weaknesses
- Application area
- Assortment and selection features
- Installation: how to make the cladding durable
Of the many options for facade decoration, only a few will be relevant in the realities of a particular project. Today we will talk about the peculiarities of using vinyl siding in exterior decoration, about the changes that the material has undergone over time, and talk about the features of DIY installation.
Modern siding comes from one of the oldest types of façade finishes that used thin wood planks. The overlap of the upper row on the lower one provided good protection against airflow and moisture leakage. Now these qualities have been improved with specially shaped locks..
Siding should not be confused with plastic clapboard or block house, although quite good imitations can be found under the latter. The original siding mimics one of two types of wood sheathing: a ship board or the more popular “herringbone”, modified at the discretion of the manufacturer.
Vinyl siding: strengths and weaknesses
For the most part, siding is made from polyvinyl chloride, which has a number of impurities that give the material special performance and decorative properties. The siding material is two-layer and any violations in the process of its extrusion lead to rapid separation of the fabric.
But there are also more tangible disadvantages. With its low weight, siding has low resistance to wind loads. If the installation technology is violated, the facade will loosen under the gusts of wind, starting with small fluctuations, due to which the attachment points will weaken, and the boards will simply come off over time.
Here lies the main misconception of most developers, who believe that vinyl siding is one of the cheapest and most undemanding materials. Not at all: for long-term use, the siding itself must be of high quality, and the facade cladding should be performed strictly following the technology and manufacturer’s recommendations.
Vinyl siding easily tolerates temperatures from -50 to +60 ° C (the real range is even higher), so the climatic zone of the object will not play a significant role. Much more important is the relevance of this type of finish in relation to the general architecture of the house, the type of windows, drainage system, roofing and other design elements..
The second point is the technical parameters of the finish. Siding is not only a decorative function. In fact, it is one of the types of ventilated facades. It will be rational to veneer with vinyl siding residential and constantly heated premises with insulation taken out.
The third aspect of vinyl siding finishing is its serviceability and fire safety. The siding is easy enough to push or scratch, which will initiate the gradual destruction of the structure. In addition, the siding burns very cheerfully and does not perceive direct heat radiation well, it is simply jarred by local heating. This must be taken into account when facing sections of the facade located close to places where open flames are used, chimney wells, and especially when decorating buildings with increased fire safety requirements..
It should also not be forgotten that ordinary siding is not suitable for finishing the basement, a special kind of material with the same name is needed here..
Assortment and selection features
In the building materials market, siding represents the “golden mean” in terms of price, durability and attractiveness of appearance.
Standard coatings with monochrome herringbone or shipboard colors are outdated and not very popular. However, they are still actively used in the construction and renovation of commercial real estate, urban infrastructure, production and storage facilities..
Slightly more common are products with a textured pattern and texture on the surface. In terms of the durability of the coating and appearance, a high-quality panel of this type is comparable to the average category laminate.
In residential buildings and other original facade design solutions, it is strongly recommended to use only certain types of siding. First of all, this refers to the imitation of a block house: with a thickness of 35–40 mm and a width of 150–180 mm, such siding looks very natural, well imitates a log frame. The impression is disturbed only by a too strict geometry and an overly “correct” pattern of texture, which never occurs in real nature.
This category also includes two traditional profiles with the texture of stone mosaics, exotic woods, brickwork or glossy finishes in bright and rich colors. In general, if desired, the designer always has where to swing, however, the choice should always be made towards a better material, albeit at the expense of the general concept of style.
Installation: how to make the cladding durable
Please note that not all siding is mounted in horizontal rows. Some varieties are mounted vertically, it is better to avoid such solutions if possible. This is not only ugly, but also quite impractical: the joints between the planks prevent water from flowing much worse, moreover, they will be constantly visible. There is also an exception: on parapets, plinths, columns or pilasters, the direction can be changed to diagonal or vertical in order to emphasize (hide) some architectural features.
The second feature of the installation is the correct preparation of the supporting frame. It can be mounted even on an unprepared surface. However, the preparation of the wall and its rough plastering will give several advantages: it will improve thermal insulation, simplify, make the markings and installation of better quality, and will make it possible to timely identify and correct defects in the geometry of the house.
It is also useful to prepare a solid base for siding using moisture resistant sheet materials such as plywood or OSB. Frameless cladding will increase the cost and difficulties with waterproofing, but will give an advantage in improving the properties of the insulation and its protection, will allow to firmly fit the siding, forever avoiding its pushing, like most other technical drawbacks.
The fastening technique also plays an important role. It not only has seasonal installation features, but also requires a special tool for high-quality cutting of the siding, its fastening and the manufacture of cutouts for snapping. It is ridiculously easy to master the installation technique, but all the manufacturer’s recommendations must be strictly observed, for different materials they differ to the point of complete contradiction, but there are general principles:
- self-tapping screws are not tightened tightly, all plastic parts should slide freely;
- the step of the frame racks is not more than 35 cm;
- installation procedure: starting, corner, fastening profiles, N-ki, slopes, siding and finishing extensions;
- gaps for fasteners and auxiliary elements of at least 5 mm, along the edges of the siding 2-5 mm, depending on the length.
After installation, the siding does not require any processing. During operation, it is important to periodically wash off the accumulated dust with water from a hose or car wash. As soon as any defects are found, they must be immediately eliminated, avoiding further deformation..