How Long Does Vinyl Siding Last?

Kelly Weimert
Written by Kelly Weimert
Updated July 2, 2021
House with vinyl siding
JamesBrey via Getty Images

Learn about the lifespan of vinyl siding and what you can do to prolong it

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Vinyl siding is relatively inexpensive, durable, and low-maintenance compared to many other options, like wood siding. But like most construction materials, it doesn't last forever. This guide covers everything you need to know about the lifespan of vinyl siding, including maintenance steps you can take to prolong it.

What Is the Lifespan of Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl siding can last anywhere from 20 to 60 years or more. The lifespan depends on several factors, including your climate and how well you maintain it. For instance, vinyl siding in areas with blizzards or blistering sun typically won't last as long as it would in a more temperate climate.

What Is Vinyl Siding, and What are its Benefits?

Your home's siding can boost its curb appeal, protect it from the weather elements, and help maintain its interior temperatures, so choosing the right siding is essential. Homeowners can choose from several different types of siding, including wood, aluminum, composite, and vinyl

Vinyl siding is often more durable and easier to maintain than alternatives. Unlike wood, vinyl doesn't rot with prolonged exposure to moisture. It's also more resistant to scratches and dents than aluminum. Plus, you can paint vinyl siding and it can remain colorfast for decades, so it often won't fade despite being exposed to UV rays for many years. Even better, the cost to install vinyl siding is typically lower than it is for many other options. 

Combined with an appearance that can mimic other popular siding options, like wood, these benefits make vinyl siding an excellent choice for homeowners. While vinyl siding has a certain lifespan, you can take several simple steps to help prolong it.

Signs That Vinyl Siding Needs Maintenance or Replacement

Not sure whether your vinyl siding needs to be maintained or replaced? Here are some signs to look for. 

Evidence of Rot

Vinyl itself doesn't rot, but some vinyl siding has wood siding underneath it, which can decay if water seeps into cracks around the siding. When your siding rots, it can be easily pulled apart and result in serious damage to your home's exterior and interior. Signs of water leaks and rot include mold; warped, cracked, or loose exterior boards; and peeling interior paint.

Holes in the Vinyl Siding

Even though vinyl siding is quite durable, it's still susceptible to damage from animals. Insects seeking food, like carpenter ants, beetles, and termites, may view your siding as lunch, leaving holes. Rodents, such as mice and squirrels, can also chew through your siding in search of food and shelter. That's why it's important to regularly inspect your siding for holes so you can address problems before they get too challenging.

Increased Utility Bills

If you haven't changed anything about your daily energy usage but your utility bills have gone up, it may be due to your siding. Look for any loose boards and cracks in your siding, which can cause outdoor air to make its way into your home, ultimately raising your energy bills.

Warping and Buckling

Most houses experience some form of settling in the few years after they're built. Settling can occur when the soil or clay beneath the home shifts and moves under the house's weight. This process is normal, and siding is typically nailed on loosely so that it can safely expand or contract as the house settles. However, if the vinyl siding was nailed on too tightly, then when the house settles, the siding can warp or buckle.

How to Prolong Vinyl Siding's Lifespan

The best way to prolong vinyl siding's lifespan is to monitor it for any of the signs mentioned above and perform maintenance as needed.

Vinyl Siding Maintenance

Because vinyl is scratch-resistant, remains colorfast over time, and doesn't rot, it's very easy to maintain. Typically, all you need to do to keep vinyl siding looking great is wash it once or twice per year. You can clean it by applying a solution of water and mild detergent and rinsing it with a garden hose. If that process doesn't remove all of the stains, then giving it a once-over with a pressure washer will usually do the trick. 

In addition to cleaning your vinyl siding, you should regularly inspect it for holes, warping, and any other signs of damage or wear. Addressing these issues early on can save you from more costly repairs down the line.

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