Our wonderful sun is a nuclear furnace. From 93 million miles away, we are mostly safe from nuclear radiation. Yet we benefit from solar radiation that includes visible light, ultraviolet light, infrared, radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays. Unfortunately, our homes’ vinyl siding does not benefit from ultraviolet light. That is part of the answer to the question, “Why does vinyl siding fade?”
Ultraviolet light is invisible but powerful. It attacks chemicals in anything exposed to it, making those chemicals break down. If your Twin Cities home has a lot of sun exposure, you can expect some fading of the color in vinyl siding.
If your home has exterior walls in partial shade and partial sunlight, that fading can be uneven. If you have widely overhanging eaves, the upper parts of your siding may retain their true color while the lower parts fade.
What you see as fading on your vinyl siding could be oxidation, or a breakdown of the surface due to exposure to oxygen in the air. Oxidation can leave a white, powdery substance on the vinyl surface.
Solving Fading of Vinyl Siding
To prevent, stall, or reverse fading of your home’s vinyl siding, you need a multi-prong approach:
- If you are having your siding replaced and know your home is exposed to a lot of sunlight, consider choosing a light vinyl siding color; lighter colors hide fading better than intense or dark colors
- Clean your siding frequently; never use a pressure washer (it can drive water behind the vinyl panels and cause mold, mildew, and rot) but do use a soft brush, regular dish detergent diluted in water, or even a vinegar wash (the mild acid in vinegar breaks down the oxidation); rinse with a gentle wash from your garden hose
- Plant shade trees close enough to your home to give shade, but not so close as to overhang your roof; trees also help lower energy bills
- Having your vinyl siding professionally painted is one economical answer to sun fading
All vinyl siding fades, but you will probably not detect much difference for the first 10 to 15 years. Manufacturers’ warranties seldom cover natural fading from sunlight. Talk to your local siding contractor about solutions such as vinyl siding replacement.
Siding is in our name and in our hearts at Midwest Roofing Siding & Windows. Contact us today to learn all that we can do to help your Twin Cities home look its best.