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Beat the Cold with Insulated Vinyl Siding

Although Winter Solstice has just passed, it is safe to say it has felt like winter for a while now! With snow, high winds and chilling temperatures, everyone is cranking the heat up this season. If you are considering replacing your siding, a material we recommend is insulated vinyl. It is an upgrade from conventional siding because of all the benefits it will have on your home – and your pocket!

WHAT IS INSULATED VINYL SIDING?

For those worried about regulating the temperature in your homes during the winter season, insulated vinyl might be something you want to consider. Insulated vinyl siding is standard vinyl siding that has a solid foam backer for insulation. By filling the voids behind the siding’s stepped profile, the insulation makes the complete material stiffer and more resistant to warping and movement than conventional vinyl siding. There is a lot more value in insulated vinyl siding opposed to the regular vinyl siding, but it does come at a premium price. We will lay out everything you need to know while weighing out these options for your home and family.

INSULATED VINYL SIDING VS. CONVENTIONAL VINYL SIDING

 

Adding new siding to your home is a big investment most people will only have to do once or twice in their lifetime. Because of this, it’s important be well-informed so you are able to decide if an upgraded product, such as insulated vinyl, would be worth it!

 

R-VALUE
When reading more into the benefits of insulated vinyl siding, a term that is most frequently used to prove it’s benefits is R-Value, an objective measure of insulation’s performance. The term R-value was developed to represent the ability of an insulation material to restrict heat flow. The R-factor of a material is determined in a laboratory by placing a test specimen of the material between two plates and measuring the heat flow through it. Typically, the sample consists of one square foot of material and has a thickness of exactly 1 inch, and its two surfaces have a temperature difference of 1 degree F. During this test, the thermal conductivity of the material is determined, which is expressed as the rate of heat flow in British thermal units (BTUs) per hour. The product’s R-value, then, is determined by multiplying its R-factor by the thickness of the product used. The higher the R-value of the product, the better the insulation.

Understanding R-Value is another tool in helping to decide if insulation vinyl siding will be best for you.

Let’s break down the comparison between insulated vinyl and conventional vinyl siding based on durability, energy efficiency, and cost.

 

DURABILITY

Conventional vinyl has a reputation for not being the most durable siding option. The main difference between the two types of vinyl is the foam backer on the insulated siding. Conventional vinyl siding is hollow, making it more susceptible to damage. Things such as warping, cracking and fading are common issues with conventional vinyl’s durability. It is also easily damaged due to impact- if you look around your neighborhood you will see this among regular vinyl. However there are some benefits, conventional vinyl is low maintenance and has a long-lasting life for the price point which is an appealing point while making the choice of which siding is right for your home.

Insulated vinyl, however, was made to fix these kinks. As mentioned before, where the conventional vinyl is hollow, the insulated vinyl has a foam backing contoured into the panel. This improves it’s durability and it’s impact resistance. Another important feature is the foam component of insulated vinyl siding features a built-in insecticide which is safe for people and pets, but protects the foam from termite damage. If your home has any termites burrowing into the foam looking for shelter, they will be killed by trying to bite the foam. The foam insulation and vinyl siding are permanently adhered together, creating one complete, durable panel.

WINNER: INSULATED VINYL

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

One of the main reasons to install insulated vinyl siding over conventional vinyl siding is for energy efficiency. The insulation is designed for this purpose: to regulate the temperature inside your house and to help reduce the cost of utility bills. Adding insulated vinyl will provide monetary savings and overall make your home more comfortable. In the winter, it will keep the heat inside the home and in the summer it keeps the heat outside- it is a layer of protection that will save you money no matter what the season!

WINNER: INSULATED VINYL

COST

Cost of siding can depend on many factors, such as the size and location of your house and the appearance choices you decide on. Insulated vinyl is more expensive than conventional vinyl for many reasons. The materials in insulated vinyl are bulkier and provide extra steps during installation. They also offer more of a variety of premium colors and profiles, which makes the exterior of your home beautiful, but will come out to a higher price point. Both types of vinyl are the most low maintenance siding products on the market, opposed to wood and cement which require more upkeep during it’s lifetime. Insulated vinyl costs more than non-insulated for initial costs, however over time will save you money in other ways such as your energy bills and cost of repair for impact damages.

WINNER: CONVENTIONAL VINYL (INITIALLY), INSULATED VINYL (LIFETIME)

 

If you are interested in insulated vinyl siding, let us help! As an A+ BBB Accredited Business with a 4.9 Star Google Rating, we take immense pride in the quality of our work and relationships with our customers. We would be happy to serve you and your family!

5 Exterior Home Projects That Reduce Energy Bills

Do you feel like you are throwing money out the window every time you pay your energy bill? You are not alone! Many people are overpaying for energy bills each month, without considering why that might be. Time and time again people will complain about the cost of their energy bills, without fixing the larger issue at hand. We specialize in home exterior projects, and will share with you 5 projects that will significantly decrease your energy bills.

Poorly Insulated Roof

A word that instantly comes to mind when talking about energy efficiency is insulation. Insulation acts as a barrier between the outside elements and the inside of your home. This makes the first culprit of increased energy bills a poorly insulated roof. Lack of insulation drastically affects the temperature regulation in your home. We are proud to work with Owens Corning because of the variety of products they carry including thermal insulation used for attics.

Siding

The second culprit of higher energy costs is poorly insulated siding. Even more so than the roof, a lack of insulation in your siding will radically increase your heating system’s workload and energy consumption. While a poorly insulated roof will leave your upstairs or attic feeling like the North Pole, poorly insulated siding affects the whole house. If you are planning on replacing your siding, a material we recommend is insulated vinyl. It comes with a foam backing, increasing the barrier between your siding and the walls of your home.

Windows & Doors

Finally, like poorly insulated roofing and siding, older windows and doors can majorly affect the temperature in your home. Older windows and doors typically have air leaks and become an entrance for cold air drafts in your home. If you find this is the case for your home, this is something that should be put on the top of your project list. If your windows were manufactured with aluminum or steel frames or are the single-pane, it is most likely time for an upgrade.

If any of these home projects are on your list for 2021, give us a call! We have completed thousands of installations in the DMV area, and now NJ, and would be honored to help you with your next home project.

10 Siding Colors With The Best Curb Appeal

Siding is essential to the integrity of your home’s structure in protecting your home from the elements and keeping your home properly insulated. It is the barrier between the inside of your house and outside elements including inclement weather, insects and the temperature outside. These are all necessary functions of siding- a benefit of siding, however, is it’s ability to add beauty to the outside of your home. Siding has the ability to instantly add curb appeal! Below are our 10 favorite siding colors that we believe to have the best curb appeal.

#1 Royal Building in color Midnight Surf

Darker exterior combinations have increased in popularity in the last year and you can see why! The pairing of two darker toned colors is beautiful and will complement any home.

 

#2 KP Siding in Heritage Gray

A gray toned siding is classic. It will stand the test of time, and will always look beautiful. Because of it’s neutrality, you are able to get crazy on other aspects of the exterior of your home.

 

#3 James Hardie Siding in Navajo Beige

James Hardie is the leading manufacturer of fiber cement siding. It is thicker than vinyl siding, which allows for deeper grooves and authentic wood-grain effect. The color Navajo beige is a classic neutral that works well with almost any stonework, creating a handsome combination that will fit into any neighborhood, or with any architectural style.

 

#4 James Hardie Siding in Arctic White

Continuing on with another James Hardie option, one of their most popular products is their Hardieplank lap siding, specifically in the color Arctic White. Many people love the classic look of white for their home. It gives you that crisp, clean color that pairs so well with other classic shades like gray, black, and red.

 

#5 Royal Building in Harvard Slate

The Harvard Slate color siding was voted one of Royal Buildings best sellers. People that want a more neutral siding lean more toward a shade of grey or beige, and Harvard Slate is a combination of the two. It’s ability to look warm or cool depending on the accents is a versatility many are looking for when choosing a color of siding.

 

#6 KP Siding in Urban Blue

For those homeowners that have always gone off the beaten path, you may lean toward Urban Blue. As said before, darker colors are increasing in popularity and when paired with the right accent colors, will really make your home stand out amongst the rest!

 

#7 KP Siding in Sandstone

Studies have shown houses that have the most resale success have had a light and neutral siding color similar to KP’s sandstone. Like a few mentioned before, this is a shade you can’t go wrong with! It will easily match any color and accents you have on your home.

 

#8 Royal Building in Shamrock

Part of Royal Building’s ‘Woodland’ collection is the color Shamrock. Along with darker colors, green is also a siding that has become more popular in the past few years. Green is actually considered a ‘colorful neutral’, because it’s more exciting than beige or gray but has the versatility to match with most other colors.

 

#9 James Hardie Siding in Evening Blue

Blue siding is something that has become popular because it is a color that still feels calming and neutral. This cool toned shade is perfect with white trim and a darker roof!

 

#10 Royal Building in Linen

Lastly, but certainly not least is a classic. The shade Linen will fit into any style and any neighborhood. It is a beautiful option that will enhance curb appeal and be loved by all!

 

That concludes our list of the 10 siding colors with the best curb appeal. We hope you enjoyed seeing these different shades and colors on different styles of homes.
If you are looking to replace your siding, we carry all of these brands and would love to help you create your dream home! Make sure your property looks as wonderful outside as it is on the inside with the comprehensive siding services of MLM Home Improvement. Get in touch with us to schedule your complimentary consultation with a siding expert. We’ll also provide a free written cost estimate that is valid for up to one year. If you are interested, give us a call or fill out our online quote form right away.

How To: Keep Your Siding Mold-Free

One of the first things people notice when they look at the exterior of your home is your siding. Keeping a clean, well-maintained exterior adds to the curb appeal of your home, increases the property value, and also allows the materials to last longer. It’s a win – win – win!
Mold is the bane to your siding’s existence. Mold and mildew thrive in warm, damp, moist environments. An example of a perfect environment for mold is your vinyl siding on a summer night after a storm. Mold is dangerous to the exterior of your home because it grows quickly and eats away at the materials. Keep your Northern Virginia, Maryland or New Jersey home mold-free with these helpful tips!
Allow for Sunlight
Mold quickly produces in environments where it is dark and moist. Cut  those two factors out by exposing your home to direct sunlight. This may mean you need to trim branches or remove shrubbery that is casting shade. Sunlight will kill mold, and also allow your siding to dry faster after a storm hits.
Regular Cleanings + Mold Resistant Cleanings
Once mold attaches to an ideal surface, it grows quickly. It is possible to stop or slow down growth by completing regular cleanings using a garden hose and a soft bristle brush. There are a handful of different cleaning products you could use that are made to eliminate mold specifically. This will mitigate moss build up and keep your home exterior crisp and clean. As a note, be sure to spray the hose in a downward direction to prevent a water build up underneath your siding panels.
Eliminate Vines + Moss
Climbing vines can be absolutely beautiful and add charm to a country inspired home, but are not charming when it comes to mold! Vines cover your siding, allowing moisture in and completely blocking sunlight. This dark, damp environment is perfect for mold build up. Moss also serves as a mask to the exterior home, fostering that wet and dark atmosphere. We recommend eliminating vines and moss completely, and allowing your siding to breath!
We hope these tips help you keep your Northern Virginia, Maryland or New Jersey home mold-free. If you notice any damage or areas of concern while cleaning your siding, give us a call. We provide a free inspection and give you all the information you need to move forward. Schedule your appointment today by calling 844-MLM-ROOF!