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Is Vinyl Siding Environmentally Friendly?

Vinyl is the most popular siding material, but many homeowners wonder whether it is eco-friendly. There exists varying factors or parameters that can be employed to determine the eco-friendliness of any siding such as; durability of the material, whether it can be recycled and whether it is biodegradable. In addition to this, you need to evaluate whether it can pose any health hazards and the amount of maintenance it requires after installation.

Vinyl siding ought to be relatively compared to other types of sidings in order to effectively determine whether it is very eco-friendly. This article looks at several factors that you should look at to determine the eco-friendliness of vinyl siding.

Is Vinyl Siding Eco-Friendly?

Vinyl is comprised of Polyvinyl chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is not suitable for the environment but surprisingly, upon the manufacture of the vinyl siding, it becomes environmentally friendly. When compared to fiber cement, it is succinctly clear that the cement has more than three times impact on the environment than vinyl siding. On the other hand, brick has more than five times the environmental impact of vinyl siding.

Vinyl siding is therefore better than brick and fiber cement with regard to all life cycle stages pertaining to economic and environmental performance. Vinyl siding therefore contributes to very little global warming when compared to something like fiber cement, which contributes almost twice as much. On the other hand, brick contributes nearly seven times more than vinyl siding.

Vinyl Siding’s Energy Efficiency

With regard to efficiency, predicated on the data and ratings emanating from the National Institute of Standards and Technology abbreviated as NIST, Vinyl was rated as the least efficient alongside metal. The ratings from NIST  clearly depict that vinyl is tied with the best rating with regard to the local sourcing hence resulting to very little carbon footprint and waste as compared to other materials such as stucco.

When it comes to the energy used to manufacture vinyl siding, it consumes much more energy compared to other forms of sidings such as wood, metal, brick, stone or fiber cement. This is according to a research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In addition to this, vinyl siding is lightweight, ensuring that its transport is ultimately very energy efficient.

Vinyl Siding’s Maintenance in Relation to Eco-Friendliness

Vinyl siding entails no need of painting or sealing, making it cheap to maintain after installation. Since it does not require painting, it never ruins the environment. Very few resources are therefore required in order to maintain vinyl’s beauty. The low maintenance costs mean very little and insignificant release of harmful solvents into the eco system. Simply put, vinyl sidings release very little toxic chemicals over their lifecycle when compared to other sidings.

Vinyl Siding’s Manufacturing Waste

The production of vinyl siding does not result to a lot of manufacturing waste in comparison to many other siding options. There is also very little waste during the installation of vinyl siding. However, it cannot be compared to some sidings such as adobe and earth products, which have the least manufacturing waste. Stone sidings also have very minute manufacturing waste, making them more environmentally friendly than vinyl.

Other Factors that Affect Vinyl Siding’s Eco-Friendliness

Vinyl requires the least labor to install according to the ratings from NIST when compared to all other sidings. As a result, it requires the least energy to install. In addition to this, vinyl siding is quite durable, which ensures that it is perpetually installed in your house and never disposed in a landfill.

The eco-friendliness of vinyl has been subject to long and debates and there lacks a clear and definite answer as to where it ranks in comparison to other forms of sidings. Varying statistics indicate and result to different conclusions.  This subject therefore has to be addressed from the premise that all sidings have their pros and cons and they all outweigh each other on the various accounts and parameters used to compare the eco friendliness of the sidings.

As aforementioned in this article, vinyl sidings have their advantages and disadvantages, however subtle or fundamental. The only guiding ratings and statistics are the ones from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They have given and shed some much needed light as to which siding outweighs all the others. This is based on the previously highlighted factors and upon their holistic consideration; vinyl is ranked lowest pertaining to eco-friendliness. Therefore, if you are very conscious about the environment, consider using vinyl siding.

Posted in Siding

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