After years of wear and tear from the elements—or just the impact of a single catastrophic event like Superstorm Sandy this past fall—the siding on the exterior of a condo, co-op or townhome can start to look a bit under the weather.
Wind, rain, fluctuating temperatures, direct sunlight, salt water, improper maintenance or even poor installation all can contribute to the deterioration of siding. While construction technology has come a long way since the days of plain wooden planks covering homes, prudent board members and other residents will think about the overall care of siding, as well as the proper installation and life expectancies of the varying types available. Having a board with little bit of knowledge in this area can lead to large cash savings in the long run for a building or HOA community. And the savings in lack of hassles, project errors or unnecessary delays on a siding or decking job gone awry can be of inestimable value as well.
When choosing a siding type, a material that may look nice at first glance could actually be a poor match for your building, depending on the weather conditions in your area and other factors. By doing some homework ahead of time, a savvy board can have a good idea of what they're looking for and what their building community needs; they also understand the performance expectations of different products and can choose the best type of material for their building or buildings.
The differences between wood, vinyl, and other composite siding materials are pretty distinct.
Vinyl siding is the least labor-intensive option, requiring minimal maintenance—often just an annual power washing. It is billed as the longest lasting of all types of siding, with some manufacturers giving a 50-year warranty on the product. Practically speaking, vinyl siding should have a usable life of about 30 years or so, according to most contractors.