Vinyl: Vinyl siding is plastic exterior siding for houses and small apartment buildings, used for decoration and weatherproofing, imitating wood clapboard, board and batten or shakes, and used instead of other materials such as aluminum or fiber cement siding. It is an engineered product, manufactured primarily from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. In the UK and New Zealand a similar material is known as uPVC weatherboarding.
Approximately 80 percent of its weight is PVC resin, with the remaining 20 percent being ingredients that impart color, opacity, gloss, impact resistance, flexibility, and durability. It is the most commonly installed exterior cladding for residential construction in the United States and Canada.
Vinyl siding can be observed in a wide range of product quality realized in a substantial difference in thickness and lasting durability. Thickness can vary from .035" in cheaper grade siding products up to .052" in the highest grade products which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Today, the thinnest vinyl siding commonly used is .040", and is known as "builder's grade". Vinyl product can vary in thickness even within one manufacturer up to .010" of thickness through varying product lines offered that range from basic to premium-grade products. Thicker vinyl products, usually realized in higher cost, are more rigid which can add to the aesthetic appeal and look of the installed, inherently flexible product and also add to durability and life expectancy. Thicker grades of vinyl siding may, according to some, exhibit more resistance to the most common complaint about vinyl siding – its tendency to crack in very cold weather when it is struck or bumped by a hard object while others feel that a thinner product may allow more 'flex before cracking' and is a subject of debate.
Vinyl siding features a chlorine base, making it inherently slow to ignite and flame retardant. All organic materials (that is, anything containing carbon) will ignite, but the higher the temperature a material has to reach before it flames, the safer it is. PVC won’t ignite, even from another flame, until it reaches about 730 °F (387 °C) and won’t self-ignite until about 850 °F (454 °C). Those ignition temperatures are significantly higher than common framing lumber, which ignites from a flame at 500 °F (260 °C) and self-ignites at 770 °F (410 °C). Also, ASTM D2863 tests show that rigid PVC’s high Limiting Oxygen Index means that it needs unusually high amounts of oxygen to burn and stay burning. Rigid PVC (vinyl siding) will not independently sustain combustion in air with a normal concentration of oxygen (about 21 percent) — so it extinguishes more easily.
Engineered Wood Siding:
Engineered wood siding is a manufactured siding that is made up of composite wood. Composite wood is mixed with different fibers and strands of various woods to create the finished product. Engineered wood siding is typically available in 4 foot by 8 foot sheets or lap panels, as well as in smooth or embossed textures.