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Incredible Exterior Home Transformations
Insulated Vinyl Siding By Empire Window Company
Insulated vinyl siding, an innovative building material, offers superior protection, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal to any home. Vinyl siding became a popular building material due to its relatively lower cost, ease of maintenance, and resilience. As the demand for more energy-efficient homes grew, insulated siding emerged, melding the benefits of traditional vinyl with improved thermal efficiency. Insulated vinyl siding is a perfect energy efficient solution for the variable weather conditions we have in Cleveland and throughout N.E. Ohio. What this means for Cleveland homeowners are lower energy bills throughout the year!
Composition and Manufacturing Process of Insulated Siding Material
At its core, insulated vinyl siding is a type of exterior cladding that consists of two major components: a vinyl exterior layer and an underlying layer of insulation, typically made from expanded polystyrene (EPS). The outer vinyl layer provides resilience and a pleasing aesthetic, while the insulation layer enhances energy efficiency and durability.
The process begins with the creation of the vinyl layer, composed predominantly of two materials: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin and various additives, including color pigments, impact modifiers, and UV inhibitors to boost durability, colorfastness, and weather resistance. After mixing, the vinyl is heated and extruded into sheets, which are then cooled, cut to standard lengths, and embossed with textures that mirror natural materials like wood.
For the insulation, EPS beads are expanded under steam, aged, and then molded into the desired shape. The molded insulation is then adhered to the back of the vinyl sheets. Some use a method called ‘co-extrusion,’ where the vinyl layer and insulation are produced and fused together in a single process.
Benefits of Insulated Vinyl Siding
The major advantage of insulated vinyl siding lies in its thermal efficiency. The insulating layer reduces thermal bridging – the process where heat escapes through the less insulated parts of a wall, like studs. By providing continuous insulation along the exterior of the home, it reduces energy loss and may lower heating and cooling utility bills.
Additionally, this siding offers enhanced durability. The foam core backing makes the vinyl layer more rigid and impact-resistant, protecting the home from hail, debris, and minor bumps that could otherwise cause damage. It also helps with noise reduction, making for a quieter indoor environment.
Aesthetically, insulated vinyl siding provides a more substantial and realistic appearance. The foam backing gives it the solid feel and sound of real wood when knocked. Furthermore, insulated siding comes in a wide array of colors, textures and styles, enabling homeowners to customize their home’s exterior to their personal taste. The final product is amazing curb appeal!
Installation and Maintenance
Installation of insulated vinyl siding is similar to traditional vinyl siding, though it requires a bit more care due to the added insulation layer. Proper installation is key to maximizing the benefits of insulated vinyl siding. Empire Window Company’s siding professionals are highly experienced in the installation of insulated siding.
Maintenance for insulated vinyl siding is generally simple and straightforward. It doesn’t require painting or staining like wood siding, and cleaning involves just soap and water. However, it’s important to inspect for any damage, after severe weather events such as hail or extremely high winds.
As to be expected, an insulated vinyl siding project will be a bit more expensive than traditional siding due to the added insulation layer and the more complex manufacturing process. However, energy savings can offset this cost.
While the vinyl layer is extremely durable, and far better than aluminum siding, it isn’t immune to potential damage from severe weather events. Vinyl siding also a far better solution than wood since it is resistant to common rot and insect damage.
Insulated vinyl siding improves a home’s energy efficiency, however energy efficiency is best when insulated siding is combined with a broader energy-efficiency plan that includes proper insulation in the attic, walls, and floors, and energy-efficient windows and doors.
Insulated Vinyl Siding Offers a Compelling Combination of Energy Efficiency, Durability, Aesthetic Versatility and Low Maintenance Requirements.
The Evolution of Insulated Vinyl Siding
Since the inception of insulated vinyl siding, this product has been on a consistent path of evolution. Technological advancements have led to significant improvements in both the manufacturing process and the end product. For instance, contemporary insulated vinyl siding is being designed with ‘permeable’ foam, allowing the material to ‘breathe,’ reducing the risk of trapped moisture which can lead to issues like mold and mildew. Innovations in color technology have also resulted in more vibrant, long-lasting colors that resist fading even under harsh weather conditions.
As with any building material, the quality of insulated vinyl siding can vary significantly. You can rest assured knowing Empire Window Company’s insulated siding it constructed of high quality material. Key quality indicators include the thickness of the vinyl layer, the density of the insulation, and the quality of the color pigments. More durable sidings typically have a thicker vinyl layer and denser insulation.
Certifications and Energy Efficiency Ratings
For homeowners keen on maximizing the energy efficiency of their homes, it’s worth looking for products with energy efficiency certifications or ratings. One such certification is the Energy Star, a U.S. government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. Insulated vinyl siding products with an Energy Star label meet stringent energy efficiency criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
There’s also the R-value, a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation provided by the material. The R-value of insulated vinyl siding can range from R-2 to R-5, offering a substantial improvement over traditional vinyl siding, which typically has an R-value less than 1.
Empire Window Company’s insulated siding is Energy Star Rated and has a high R-values!
Looking forward, it’s likely we’ll continue to see innovations in insulated vinyl siding. More sustainable manufacturing processes, advanced insulating materials, and improved recycling methods are areas of potential advancement. Additionally, the growing trend toward smart homes may lead to the integration of technology within siding products. We may see siding that can monitor its own condition, signaling when it’s time for maintenance or replacement.
Insulated vinyl siding has emerged as a popular choice for homeowners seeking a blend of durability, energy efficiency, style and aesthetic appeal. Its evolution, driven by technological advancements, indicates a promising future, and it’s likely to continue to meet the changing demands of homeowners.
From a market perspective, the rising demand for energy-efficient and aesthetically pleasing home solutions places insulated vinyl siding in a promising position for future growth. As manufacturers continue to innovate, offering more durable, sustainable, and visually appealing products, it’s anticipated that the market for insulated vinyl siding will continue to expand. Consequently, homeowners who choose this siding can expect to enjoy the multifaceted benefits it offers while also investing in a product that is on-trend in the home building and remodeling markets.