Both vinyl and steel siding are very popular materials in the building industry today. However, both materials have unique features that could make them more appropriate in different applications. Here are a few things to consider about vinyl and steel siding.
Both vinyl and steel are considered to be very durable siding materials. Under normal conditions, both of them will last for many years. However, between the two options, steel is going to be the most durable choice. Most steel siding will last between 30 and 40 years before it needs to be repainted. After you paint it, it could last another 30 years in some cases. This gives you up to 70 years of use out of your steel siding. Vinyl siding typically does not last that long. In some cases, it can last between 30 and 40 years.
Steel siding is going to be more resistant to damage than vinyl. Steel is typically not affected by extreme temperatures like vinyl can be. Vinyl siding has been known to chip and crack because of the expansion and contraction that it goes through. If the vinyl is not installed with the proper expansion gap around it, it can cause serious damage.
Steel siding is also more resistant to being dented by heart objects. For example, if you are mowing the yard and a rock shoots out of the lawnmower, it will typically not do any damage to the steel. However, with vinyl, you may run into some damage problems in this situation.
When steel is damaged by hail or some other hard object, you do not necessarily have to repair it right away. Repairs on steel siding are more of a cosmetic issue. With vinyl siding, you cannot put off the repairs. When vinyl is damaged, it could allow water into the side of the house. Therefore, this will force you to repair the vinyl siding right away. When you do not have the money to do a repair, this can be a burden.
One area that these two types of siding differ in is the cost. Typically, steel siding is going to be more expensive to get installed. Vinyl is typically a cheaper material to manufacture. The exception to this rule is when oil prices are high. Vinyl production is directly linked to this price. When this happens, you may be able to find vinyl siding that is roughly the same price as steel siding.
If the siding is damaged, it will usually be less expensive and easier to repair vinyl siding. Replacing steel siding can be very costly and this makes the ongoing costs associated with steel siding higher in most cases.
Both of these siding materials also impact the environment differently. Steel siding is completely recyclable and therefore has a minimum impact on the environment. Vinyl siding is not as environmentally friendly. Vinyl does not biodegrade easily and can cause problems for future generations.