Should Old Siding be Removed Prior to Vinyl Siding?

As the realization of just how high home improvement costs have escalated over the past several years sets in, it is not unusual for a homeowner looking to do a vinyl siding project to approach us with the idea of leaving the previous siding on, instead of stripping it completely, in an effort to save costs, after all (from what is often relayed to us), this is what “others” have suggested :-/

Removing old siding, however, before installing vinyl siding is an essential step for several reasons. While it may be tempting to skip this step to save time and money, doing so can lead to a host of problems and compromise the overall quality and longevity of the vinyl siding installation.

First and foremost, removing old siding allows for a thorough inspection and assessment of the underlying structure. The presence of old siding can mask potential issues such as rot, moisture damage, insect infestations, or other structural problems. By removing the old siding, any underlying damage can be identified and addressed before the installation of the new vinyl siding. This ensures a solid and stable foundation for the new siding and prevents future problems from arising.

Secondly, removing old siding provides an opportunity to improve insulation and energy efficiency. Older siding materials, such as wood or aluminum, may not have the same level of insulation properties as modern vinyl siding. By removing the old siding, it becomes possible to add insulation layers or upgrade the existing insulation, which can result in improved energy efficiency and reduced heating and cooling costs over time. This step is especially important in older homes that may not meet current insulation standards.

Furthermore, removing old siding allows for proper preparation of the exterior surface. Vinyl siding installation requires a smooth and even surface to ensure a tight fit and proper attachment. Old siding may have irregularities, such as warping, bulging, or damage, which can affect the installation process. By removing the old siding, the underlying surface can be inspected and repaired as necessary, ensuring a seamless and professional installation of the vinyl siding.

In addition, removing old siding enables the identification and resolution of any moisture-related issues. If moisture has seeped behind the old siding, it can cause mold, mildew, or rot to develop over time. These issues can compromise the structural integrity of the walls and lead to costly repairs down the line. By removing the old siding, any moisture problems can be detected early on, and appropriate measures can be taken to address them, such as repairing or replacing damaged sheathing or applying a vapor barrier.

Moreover, removing old siding allows for aesthetic improvements and customization options. Vinyl siding comes in a wide range of colors, styles, and finishes, offering homeowners the opportunity to refresh the look of their home and increase its curb appeal. Removing the old siding provides a blank canvas for the installation of the new vinyl siding, allowing for greater design flexibility and customization.

As you can see, removing old siding before installing vinyl siding is crucial for multiple reasons. It ensures a thorough inspection of the underlying structure, allows for the improvement of insulation and energy efficiency, provides proper surface preparation, identifies and resolves moisture-related issues, and enables aesthetic improvements.

Although it may require additional time and cost, removing old siding prior to vinyl siding installation is a wise investment that enhances the overall quality, durability, and appearance of the home.

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