An oft-overlooked part of most buildings, siding plays an important role in keeping homes beautiful, comfortable, weather-proof and energy-efficient. There are plenty of siding options out on the market today, the most popular of which is vinyl. Vinyl siding in its insulated form has plenty of advantages to offer—a fact homeowners have recognized since it was first introduced commercially in 1997. And yet, surprisingly, it doesn’t get as much buzz as it deserves.
In this three-part blog, we’ll go over what insulated vinyl siding is, why it’s worth the investment, and whether or not it’s the right choice for your home.
Insulated siding is a type of cladding that consists of traditional vinyl siding and a rigid foam backing. Since its invention in 1992 by Progressive Foam Technologies, Inc., it has undergone several changes in design and manufacturing to allow it to better hold its own next to competing materials such as vinyl and fiber cement.
Despite developments in manufacturing, the composition of insulated vinyl siding has remained more or less the same.
The primary component is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which gives the siding its rigidity, strength and impact resistance. Its backing, on the other hand, is made of modified expanded polystyrene (EPS). EPS is what makes insulated siding insulated, but it also adds impact and fire resistance—the latter by dint of its hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) content, which acts as a flame retardant.
Insulated siding comes in different profiles with thicknesses ranging from 75 mm to 200 mm, lengths from 4 feet to 16 feet, and widths from 6 inches to 21 inches. Various molding and cutting techniques are used during production to ensure a proper fit.
Once installed, insulated siding creates straighter sight lines than its EPS-free counterpart, which allows it to resemble wood more closely. This effect is further achieved through the removal of unsightly shrinkage seams. As for color, a wide range of options is available to help you find the best match for your home.
What benefits can you expect to get from having insulated vinyl siding installed? We’ll cover these advantages in Part Two of this blog series.