Bringing back the beauty and luster of Vinyl siding
Homeowners who made the leap and opted for vinyl siding generally did so because it was marketed as a maintenance-free solution to conventional wood siding woes. The idea that the owner would never again pay to have the siding on their house prepped is a pretty tempting proposition. The siding was sold in a color of the owner’s choice and promised to never require another thought because the color was mixed in with the plastic and considered more or less permanent.
Odds are, if you recently purchased a home that was previously vinyl sided, the condition of the siding, not to mention color, was not what compelled you to buy the house.
There is no denying that vinyl colors fade over time, and often unevenly on different areas of the house, due to different rates of Ultra Violet light (sun exposure). Whether it’s faded or not, if you weren’t the one to pick the siding in the first place you might not be crazy about the color, particularly if it has faded into an ugly rendition of the original selection.
Due to recent advances in coating technology, you can now refurbish your vinyl siding by simply painting over it. Be aware, however, the re-coated siding will be only as maintenance-free as the prep and paint itself.
Check The Fine-Print on Your Warranty
Before setting your heart on changing the color or refreshing your vinyl siding by applying a new coating, make sure that painting the siding won’t void its warranty if the warranty is still in force. Even if the warranty permits painting, it’s a good idea to make sure you comply with any manufacturer stipulations, such as the type and color of paint to use.
Preparation (always makes the difference)
Homeowners should use soap and water to hand-scrub the old siding to remove all dirt, algae, mold, grease, and chalkiness. Once the siding is clean rinse it thoroughly with plain water. If there are mildewed surfaces, use oxygen bleach cleaner or one of the cleaning solutions recommended by the Vinyl Siding Institute. Burke and Crew Paintwrights typically clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer using proper techniques to prevent water from getting behind the siding where it can wreak havoc (as in, mold and rot) on the wall sheathing and other materials.
Primer Vinyl – Really?
There is a wide range of opinions on the question of whether to prime, or not to prime, before applying a coat of paint to vinyl. Burke and Crew primes vinyl in almost every case (including on aluminum siding, which calls for an oil-based primer). We always recommend a primer if the siding is pitted or shows other signs of deterioration or severe weathering. Keeping in mind that paint sticks to the layer directly beneath it, it’s usually and easy decision to prime rather than to skip the step and apply the paint to untreated siding.
Caveat: Thermal Expansion of the Vinyl
Vinyl siding is designed to be installed purposely so that it can slide back and forth slightly at its overlapping seams as it heats with the sun or cools down in the winter. Movement of the siding is common as the material expands and contracts in different temperatures and can create a visible gap where the paint was actually never applied. Burke and Crew will spot paint those gaps that are particularly large so the seams don’t distract from the overall appearance of the paint project.
Choosing the Color
Every type of vinyl siding is designed for a specific amount of heat absorption. Because dark colors absorb more heat than light colors, you want to be cautious about selecting a paint color that is darker than the original siding color. A darker color may absorb more heat than the vinyl siding was designed to handle, possibly leading to warping or buckling of the siding.
Type of Paint to Use
Benjamin Moore, as a recognized quality paint manufacturer, offer coatings specifically formulated for vinyl siding, and usually specify a variety of “vinyl safe” colors; that is, colors that won’t absorb too much heat. Many paints for vinyl are a blend of urethane and acrylic resins, combining flexibility and excellent adhesion. Once applied to the siding, these paints produce a result that very closely replicates the look of a factory-finished siding – the finished product will make your house look like it was sided yesterday
Applying Paint to Vinyl Siding
For the Do-It-Yourselfers, you’ll be glad to know that there are no special application techniques for applying paint to vinyl siding. You can use a brush or a roller as long as you back-brush the applied paint to ensure full coverage and remove drips and heavy areas. Burke and Crew typically sprays the coating on the house and immediately back-brushing the product to achieve uniform distribution.
The end result of using paint to refresh the color and sheen of your home’s vinyl siding is one of the most dramatic and gratifying renovation projects you can achieve by working with an experienced contractor like Burke & Crew Paintwrights.