Install the best vinyl siding: Chicago weather runs hot and cold

The weather in Chicago can be brutal--with extremes of both summer heat and winter cold. The mean annual temperature for Chicago winters is 25.5° F. and, while the mean annual temperature in the summer is only 71.1° F., the record temperature is 109° F. Vinyl siding that you install in Chicago has to be able to stand up to the challenges of nature.

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Standards for vinyl siding: Chicago puts siding to the test

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has set up industry performance standards for vinyl siding. The Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) Product Certification Program independently tests vinyl siding to make sure it meets or exceeds the industry performance standard, ASTM D7254. When you're comparing vinyl siding, look for siding that is certified by VSI. This certification ensures that the vinyl siding weathers the Chicago elements, meets impact requirements, withstands winds up to 110+ mph and meets fire standards equal to or better than wood commonly used in construction.

Most quality vinyl siding will withstand Chicago's temperature extremes; the thicker the vinyl siding, the better protection you have from the elements--toasty in the winter and cooler in the summer. A thickness of .045 inches should be sufficient for even the coldest Chicago winter and can help lower your heating and cooling bills. At a slightly higher cost, you can also install foam-backed vinyl siding: Chicago homes could use a little extra protection when it's below zero outside.

Some siding manufacturers say that their siding is engineered to specific climate zones, taking into account temperature, humidity, rainfall, snow and other weather conditions. You might want to check it out; vinyl siding tailored specifically to the Chicago climate could be an asset.

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