Frequently Asked Questions
Many homeowners have the same questions and concerns when it comes time for a remodel or when building a new home. Browse questions by category or just click on a question to view its answer below.
Didn't find your question? Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have that are not listed below.
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- Can vinyl siding be painted?
While vinyl siding was designed to do away with painting and costly maintenance, there are those rare occasions where painting is the only viable option available – especially when matching the existing color to an older panel as a last resort. The key to getting good results when painting vinyl is all in the prep work. Roughing all surfaces and making sure they are clean and free of dirt, dust or moisture is key to insuring that the paint will coat evenly, provide good adhesion and will bond with the panel surface.
Norandex/Reynolds recommends that you use a high-quality exterior paint and apply with professional-grade painting tools under ideal weather conditions for best results. We also suggest that you check with your local painting store, hardware store or homecenter for professional advice on which type of paint – oil, latex or acrylic is best suited for coating a prepared vinyl surface in your particular climate.
- Is vinyl siding waterproof?
Vinyl siding is not waterproof, despite common misconceptions. Thanks to its overlapping profile, a standard interlocking wall of horizontal vinyl panels will effectively shed most rain and water away, providing superior water resistance. However, no vinyl siding is completely impervious to outside moisture from dampness rain or snow. For that reason, Norandex/Reynolds siding panels are manufactured with "weep holes" located at the bottom of each panel projection edge. These small but important outlets help channel away water that might find its way inside the siding wall through the panel seams and around moldings, windows, door and fixtures.
Weep holes also allow the infiltration of air, which also helps to dry out the inner surface of the siding while promoting evaporation of any remaining moisture. The application of house wrap and or insulation board also provides for a secondary defense against outside moisture that might penetrate the siding and come in contact with the original sheathing.
- What are the advantages of vinyl siding over other types of siding products?
Among all the siding products available to today's builders and remodelers, none compares with vinyl siding for its lightweight yet durable, maintenance-free features. Thanks to its solid composition, vinyl won't rot, chip, flake or blister the way wood siding can and often does. And thanks to new manufacturing innovations and technological advancements, vinyl grains, colors and capstocks are truer, richer and more authentic than ever before. When it comes to installation, vinyl is still the overwhelming choice of today's builders and remodelers thanks to its ease of handling, availability, durability and lasting good looks. To homeowners, vinyl is the sensible, good-looking alternative to the expense, labor and aggravation associated with whole house painting and yearly exterior maintenance.
Vinyl adds to the resale value of most any home, and no exterior cladding offers such a wide array of grains, finishes, embossing patterns or color combinations. More than ever, vinyl is the sensible choice that will add value to and beautify any home and make life easier for any homeowner.
- Does "thicker" siding mean "better" siding?
The thickness of a vinyl siding panel is important because it can add to the panel's overall rigidity, but thickness in and of itself does not assure quality, durability, performance or value.
Even more important than thickness are such features as nailing hem design, panel architecture and projection, locking mechanism, embossing grain, capstock formulations, chemical consistency, and UV inhibitors. All of these important features can help provide increased benefits, like wind and fade resistance, panel rigidity and tensile strength---and so ALL of them, in addition to thickness, are important to consider and ask about when choosing a quality panel.
- Why does some siding have a gray back?
Most of today's vinyl siding is manufactured using a "co-extrusion" manufacturing process. Two layers (the backing or "substrate" and the front surface or "capstock") are co-extruded to form a single panel. As mentioned previously, the capstock – or the surface layer where all the important weather-resistant chemicals are located – is considered the business end of a siding panel. That is where the manufacturer concentrates the all-important micro-ingredients that ultimately determine the panel's quality, color retention and durability.
For this reason some manufacturers will cut costs by fusing their capstock layer with a cheaper, gray-colored backing or substrate material. Conversely, high-end manufacturers prefer to use a matched substrate that not only provides a better quality backing, but also gives our panels an "all-the-way-through" color consistency from capstock through substrate.
- Can siding panels made for horizontal installation be applied vertically?
No. Those siding panels specifically manufactured for horizontal installation cannot be hung in any other manner other than horizontally. Installing panels in a way for which they were not designed will negate their effectiveness and performance, and doing so will serve to void any and all warranty protection offered with the purchase.
Panels intended for horizontal application are designed so that the nailing hem, locking mechanism, profile functionality and water shedding features will provide optimum performance when installed properly.
- Can vinyl siding withstand hot and cold weather extremes?
Absolutely! Excellent 'weatherability' is just one of the many reasons vinyl siding is the choice of professional builders, architects and homeowners alike. Technically advanced vinyl siding formulated of quality ingredients and manufactured within close tolerances within state-of-the-art, quality-controlled facilities will withstand virtually any and all kinds of harsh weather or seasonal extremes.
Unlike other weather-sensitive claddings that can and do slowly deteriorate and wear from year after year of seasonal changes and temperature fluctuations, vinyl siding reacts and adjusts to thermal extremes by expanding and contracting as the temperature rises or falls. Whether your home is subject to a moderate climate, an unusually wet environment, frigid winds or hot, humid conditions, properly hung vinyl siding will continue to maintain its good looks and handsome design no matter what the weather.
- My siding was not firmly attached to the wall, why?
Vinyl siding is never "attached to the wall," rather it is "hung on the wall." The difference is what separates a professional installation from a problematic one. One of the inherent properties of Poly Vinyl Chloride(or PVC as it is more commonly referred to) is its thermal expansion properties. PVC expands as temperatures rise and contracts as temperatures fall. If you measure the expansion from one extreme to the other, you'll find that a typical siding panel expands/contracts at a rate of approximately ¼ inch for every 12-foot vinyl panel.
For that reason, expert installers will always hang siding in such a manner that allows for just the right amount of "looseness" or "play" to accommodate movement of the siding during thermal expansion. It is crucial that vinyl siding be cut, lapped and attached with fasteners at just the right depth and with the proper spacing and layout to insure the installation will look its best regardless of the outside temperature. Your home deserves no less than a quality product and a professional installation.
- What weather related issues would I have to worry about with vinyl siding?
Hail and wind if the siding is improperly installed.
- What kind of maintenance is involved with vinyl siding?
A yearly washing with a non-detergent soap and water with a soft bristled brush.
- Why spend a little more for steel shingles?
Ordinary roofing materials have shorter life spans than steel shingles and need to be replaced regularly. With constantly increasing material and labor costs, that could mean a significant expense over the life of your home. A steel shingle roof virtually never needs to be replaced, saving you money while adding value to your home.
- How can a steel shingle roof save money on energy bills?
Metal reflects the majority of the sun's rays, so it doesn't retain as much heat as wood, asphalt shingles, tile or cement. This means steel shingles could help your attic stay cooler longer – leading to significant reduction in energy bills.
- Is the roof noisy when it rains?
Steel shingles will not create additional noise. The 400 ton forming process, four way interlocking design and tight fastening system all contribute to a quiet roof system by eliminating opportunities for reverberation. Your roof sheeting, along with attic space and insulation, also deaden noise usually heard in a metal building.
- Can I walk on my steel shingle roof?
Yes, but since steel shingles require virtually no maintenance, there should be no reason to do so. Like any roof, care should be exercised. You can discuss specific details about walking on your roof with your installer.
- Does my home's present roof have to be removed before steel shingles are installed?
In most applications over asphalt, steel shingles can be applied directly over the old roof, saving money and eliminating a great deal of mess. In addition, because there is no old roof to dispose of, landfill space is spared, helping to protect our environment.
- How much do steel shingles weigh in comparison to other types of roofing?
Steel shingles weigh one-fifth the weight of asphalt, one-twentieth the weight of concrete, and add less than 10% to the weight of the existing roof materials.
- How long will a steel shingle roof last?
Made from steel, a stable, inorganic material, steel shingles won't dry out, split, curl, peel or flake like conventional roofing products. Steel combines zinc, aluminum and carbon steel for an unequaled barrier and sacrificial protection from the elements. This substrate has been protecting many of the world's monumental buildings for decades, and has been in use for over 100 years.
- How good is the paint finish on a steel shingle roof?
Our steel shingles use Valspar's exclusive Fluropan coating, a two coat, high-performance Fluropolymer with exceptional weathering characteristics. Its durability and color retention characteristics are the result of the high molecular weight of its formulation. During its application, the molecules in the paint chemically bond to form a durable, long-lasting finish that resists breakdown by ultraviolet rays and provides the most durable, long-lasting finish available today.
- Do you have to worry about fading with a steel roof?
It depends on the product used, but you will still have some fading as with all products.
- Will steel roofing improve the look of my home?
It may. It depends on your home. It is best to consult somebody who is knowledgeable about design structures and steel roofing.
- Would a metal roof be too heavy for certain types of homes, or for smaller structures like a detached garage or porch?
Usually not. Steel Shingles are 1/3 less in weight than the average fiberglass/asphalt shingles. Keep in mind most codes only alter up to three layers of shingles before having to tear them off. This will usually prevent metal roofing form being too heavy.
- Will hail damage a metal roof?
Yes. The severity will depend on the product used, coil strength, material thickness & if it is wind-driven hail. Typically hail just falling with no wind will not damage a roof.
- What weather related issues would I have to worry about with metal roofing?
If insulated properly, the only concern is wind-driven hail.
- Do metal roofs attract lightening?
Yes; however, your home should be grounded.
- How long does it take to install a steel roof?
It depends on the size of the home, difficulty and pitch of the roof, along with hips and valleys.
- How can I save money by replacing my old windows?
No maintenance such as scraping and painting and less air infiltration, which will save you money on heating and cooling.
- What are the warning signs that my windows should be replaced?
Rotting, air leaks, peeling and deterioration, cracked paint or broken parts all indicate that your windows should be replaced.
- Can I match the new window styles to my existing windows?
Most likely, as there are many styles and options available.
- Can windows be repaired rather than replaced?
- How long do windows typically last?
Typically windows can last forever if maintained properly; however, with new technology, more efficiency can be gained with newer windows.
- How long do asphalt roofs typically last?
It will vary with the product and warranty. It can range from 15 years to a lifetime. It also depends on the climate and weather conditions.
- What are the advantages of asphalt roofs?
Asphalt roofs are typically more cost efficient than other roofing options.
- Can you match the existing roof shingles to new shingles if only part of the roof needs to be replaced?
Sometimes; it depends on the age, loss of granules, color retention and mold and mildew.
- How do asphalt shingles hold up in severe weather?
Overall very well if properly installed. Wind-driven hail is the biggest issue.
- Are asphalt shingles environmentally friendly?
- How do asphalt shingle roofs compare in cost to other types of roofing materials?
They can be the most cost efficient.
- What is the purpose of gutters/why are they important?
The purpose of gutters is to protect your foundation and the surrounding area from becoming saturated with water, which in turn keeps the water out of the basement. It prevents damage to landscaping in the form of erosion. It can also redirect water off of driveways and sidewalks, controlling ice problems in the winter.
- How often should gutters be cleaned?
They should be inspected yearly for debris build up and cleaned if necessary. This might vary depending on how many trees are in your area.
- How long do gutters last?
It will vary by product and warranty.
- Do I need leaf guards if I don't have trees in my yard?
- Do awnings work in the rain?
- Can severe weather damage awnings?
Yes. A retractable awning should not be out in any wind or storm
- Does the awning fabric fade in the sunlight?
- What sizes to awnings come in?
They are custom made to almost any size.
We would like to thank Liberty Exteriors for the installation of our steel roof. We are extremely pleased with the outcome. Please feel free to use us as a reference or in your promotional material. Come take a picture – we…
Debbie & Charlie
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