5 Important Vinyl Siding Terms Defined

5 Important Vinyl Siding Terms Defined

Shopping for insulated vinyl siding may introduce you to a new realm of home improvement jargon. While first impressions might be confusing, knowing a little bit about various vinyl insulation characteristics can help you to choose the best material for your home upgrade. Here are five buzzwords you should be familiar with when shopping for insulated vinyl siding.

1. Extruded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam
EPS describes the backing material of a new generation of vinyl siding. It's one of four major rigid plastic foam insulations commonly used for residential, commercial and industrial insulation. Extruded polystyrene has earned a well-deserved reputation for durability and resistance to the elements. EPS foam has shown it's superiority for a wide range of engineering projects.

2. R-value
The r-value of a material describes its insulating properties. The higher the r-value, the less likely heat flows through it. R-value depends on the type of material used to insulate and figures in such properties as thickness and density. Your climate, type of heating and cooling system, and the section of the house you plan to insulate also factor into the r-value.

3. Reasonable Life Expectancy
RLE describes the length of time vinyl should remain functional under normal operating conditions. For most vinyl siding types, the reasonable life expectancy is twenty or more years. When compared to a coat of paint--with an RLE of a mere 4 years--you can quickly see why insulated vinyl siding is the material of choice for low-maintenance construction.

4. PATH Attributes
PATH attributes describe the features of vinyl siding brands and models. For example, because vinyl siding adds another layer of protection to residential and commercial structures, edifice protection is a PATH attribute of the material. Another PATH attribute of insulated vinyl siding is its ability to conform to unnatural structure dimensions.

5. ASTM Standard D3679
The Standard D3679 label describes the industry standard for vinyl siding performance. It takes into account four distinct measurements of insulated vinyl siding-- weather resistance, impact resistance, extreme temperature resistance, and product uniformity. Products that meet these industry standards are listed with the Vinyl Siding Institute.

Take this list to your local home improvement store or place it by your computer as you research on the Internet. Toss out the terms to contractors and distributors and gauge their responses. Compile the information and use it to select the right insulated vinyl siding for your home upgrade.

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