High-Performance Vinyl Siding Options

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

When it comes to choosing siding for your home, it can be hard to find the right balance between cost, looks, and durability. There are so many diverse options that many homeowners have trouble making the final decision, but they often find that vinyl siding checks all the boxes. It offers a variety of attractive profiles and colors at an affordable price. It’s the most popular siding choice in the United States and can be engineered to withstand the environmental challenges of different regions—here’s how vinyl siding can perform to meet your expectations!

Ply Gem Mastic Cedar Discovery

Mastic Cedar Discovery® from Ply Gem® offers the look of natural wood shake and shingle siding with the superior durability of vinyl. It’s extra-thick to resist dents and exceeds impact standards, and it comes with a VIP Limited Lifetime Warranty to give you peace of mind.

Impact Resistance

Impact damage could be from anything—a wayward ball, a parking mishap, etc.—but hail is the most common cause for widespread damage. Hail storms can dent, chip, crack, and even punch holes through siding depending on the severity. This natural and unavoidable threat tests all types of siding, and it has given vinyl a bad reputation in particular.

If you’re worried about the impact resistance of vinyl siding, keep in mind that not all vinyl is created equal. Lower quality and aged vinyl products that are thin and brittle can be damaged by storms that today’s more advanced vinyl siding is made to endure. Compare the thickness and flexibility of different products when you shop to find the level of durability you need. If you're particularly concerned, insulated vinyl siding offers even better impact resistance because it benefits from the extra structural support of foam insulation. You’ll pay a little more for the quality, but that investment will pay off in the long term. Even premium vinyl remains a cost-effective choice overall.

Ply Gem Mastic Quest

Mastic Quest® premium vinyl siding is available in extra-long lengths for a more seamless application and is designed to withstand winds of up to 240 mph. This siding provides a stronger anchoring surface to keep it firmly attached to the wall and a patented locking system that tightens under pressure to keep panels in place.

Wind Resistance

Strong winds also cause a lot of exterior damage, whether from thunderstorms, tornadoes, or other high wind events. Siding needs to hold on tight—if a negative wind pressure vacuum gets under a portion of the siding, it can strip the entire wall in seconds.

Wind-resistant vinyl siding overcomes this challenge with stronger nail hems and upper and lower locks that anchor panels more firmly in place and together. The nail hem helps lock one panel of siding to the next so it can be nailed down and increases the resistance of each panel to tearing off. Full roll over nail hems offer the best protection because the doubled thickness of the hem (compared to basic single nail hems) disperses negative wind load pressure all around. Then there are upper and lower locks, which snap together to connect panels. The larger they are, the more area can interlock, and the stronger their connection will be. This allows the siding to withstand high wind pressure, and also makes it easier to keep panels straight on the wall. To the untrained eye, these features might not look like much, but they can keep siding on in EF-5 tornado conditions where winds exceed 200 miles per hour!

Ply Gem Carvedwood44 SolarDefense

Ply Gem’s SolarDefense Reflective Technology™ protects darker hues that are most at risk of sun-related damage. It works by reflecting rather than absorbing UV rays—by scattering light and dispersing heat, it prevents fading and distortion. This technology is available for Mastic Carvedwood•44® (pictured here) and Ovation™ products in a number of colors.

UV Resistance

The sun also wears heavily on siding and has precluded some types from being installed in certain areas. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can fade and weaken materials over time, with higher levels showing damage more quickly. In particularly strong UV conditions, heat can build up enough to distort vinyl, but advances in technology have minimized that risk.

UV-resistant vinyl siding reflects light and disperses heat to reduce the impact of sun exposure. And this doesn’t mean you’re limited to light colors, either! It takes a layered approach to address the various stresses of UV, but that also makes it possible to protect darker colors that would typically absorb a lot of light, retain heat, and show damage very early on. As an added bonus, reflective siding improves a home’s energy efficiency; heat that doesn’t build up on the exterior won’t affect the interior, reducing how much the air conditioning has to run to maintain the desired temperature. If you want siding that maintains its beauty over time and can help cut utilities, be sure to take UV resistance into account.

Ply Gem Structure Home Insulation System Siding

Structure® Home Insulation System™ Siding looks like any other from the outside, but beneath its surface, a layer of polystyrene foam increases the R-value of a home’s exterior walls. That can help reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint, and it even has increased impact resistance compared to standard vinyl.

Extra Insulation

Most people don’t think of insulation when they think of siding, but insulated vinyl siding that increases the R-value of exterior walls can also contribute to a more energy-efficient home. It’s a relatively simple solution that adds a layer of foam to the back of each panel to wrap the house in an extra insulative coating. This doesn’t replace insulation in the walls, but it gives a boost that you may still be able to see in lower utility bills.

Whatever sort of style you have in mind, check out the variety of vinyl siding options available from Ply Gem®. Their high-performance Mastic® products are made to deliver all sorts of looks and withstand environmental challenges to keep looking great long into the future. They come with a VIP Limited Lifetime Warranty to ensure you feel confident in your choice, so contact a local professional to help you find the perfect fit for your home!

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