We’ve all heard the expression about the importance of “putting your best face forward.” It holds true for the building industry as well—though in that case, “putting your best façade forward” might be more accurate.
All puns aside, the façade of your building is one component of the structure that must be well cared for. Whether the building is old or new, built of stone or wood with vinyl siding, damage to its façade can cause substantial damage to the look and feel of your building. It’s also unintentionally advertising to potential residents that the building isn’t being maintained. Anyone who can see warped, stained siding, discolored brick, or other deterioration on the exterior will rightfully wonder how well the interior of the building is being cared for.
What’s it Made Of?
How a façade is maintained or repaired depends on the material it’s made of. In New Jersey, the most common material on condominiums and townhomes is vinyl siding—especially in the more suburban areas. Less common, particularly in newer developments, is brick and stone. Sometimes buildings combine both higher- and lower-end materials and incorporate both vinyl and stone and/or brick.
According to the Vinyl Siding Institute in Washington D.C., vinyl siding was first introduced to the exterior cladding market in the early 1960s and steadily grew in popularity over the next four decades because of its durability, versatility and ease of maintenance.
“The estimate in our market is that 90 percent of our market is vinyl,” says Mark Gluhosky, regional manager of Kamco Supply Corporation of New Jersey, an exterior maintenance and supply company based in Paterson. “Vinyl is the most predominate exterior surface in the northeast. Typically, the side and the rear of a townhome or condominium building will be vinyl, while the front may have brick, stone or even wood.”