Three Reasons To Use Vinyl Siding For The Environmentally Conscious Homeowner

Posted on: 2 December 2014

You may not have heard great things about the environmental impact of vinyl siding. Some environmental advocates say that because it is manufactured from plastic and challenging to recycle, that it is a poor choice for homeowners who are concerned about being "green."

But vinyl siding gets a bad rap in this department. Many of its benefits make it a great choice for the eco-conscious consumer. Especially if you currently have vinyl siding, it's well worthwhile to make repairs than to replace it with another material. Here are some of the reasons why vinyl siding can be an environmentally good option.

1. Remains durable and long-lasting.

Vinyl siding outlasts almost every kind of siding material on the market. Especially under more extreme climate conditions—cold weather or a lot of sun—vinyl will stand up to the stress. Vinyl siding repair is relatively easy if you do need to patch or replace small portions.

It also requires almost no maintenance during its long life. You may have to wash it down from time to time to keep it clean.

Because of the way it is made, vinyl siding comes pre-colored and does not fade over time. It doesn't need to be repainted, refinished or maintained with any type of chemical, meaning that over time it has a smaller environmental footprint than other types of siding materials.

2. Is chemically stable after manufacture.

Here's where vinyl siding gets a bad rap: It's made of PVC plastic, and during the manufacturing process small amounts of dioxin, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide are released. The good news is that vinyl manufacturers are doing what they can to minimize and treat these. And, after the siding is manufactured, it doesn't give off any types of emissions. You can poke holes in it, saw it or break it and it won't do damage to your health or the environment. (Don't, however, burn it on purpose.)

In contrast, cement board produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and requires a lot of water to make. It also releases silica dust when cut, which can lead to respiratory problems if not properly managed.

3. Consumes less energy to transport.

Vinyl is the lightest weight siding material on the market, and as such, it can be transported by train or truck much less expensively and with lower fuel costs than other materials.

The bottom line: Each type of material is going to have its pros and cons. As a homeowner, you'll need to research and consult with your contractor about the best option for you, your house and the environment.

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