PVC has been around for a long time but started getting used on exterior home applications in the 90’s. When we first started installing it we didn’t understand exactly how it’s long term performance would be and how to properly install it. During this time period I don’t think the manufacturer’s did either.
Fast forward 15 years or so and PVC trim is one of the highest quality products you can use on your home. The main reasons it performs so well is that doesn’t rot or corrode, is resistant to bacterial and fungal growth, and is completely waterproof.
You can do things with PVC that you can’t do with other materials. Where you used to have to keep wood and fiber cement up off the ground to prevent rot you can lower PVC down touching the yard or driveway of your home. We also have had good luck heating and bending pvc to make custom window trim, wall panes, flower boxes and other things that could not be done with traditional materials.
There are only a small number of possible disadvantages to PVC trim. Some purists are bothered by the lack of knots and natural defects that add charm and character to wood. Also, long pieces of PVC trim can warp in direct sunlight. This latter problem can be prevented, however, by painting the new trim with the appropriate vinyl-safe paint. Darker colors normally don’t work either has it tends to cause heat issues when in direct sunlight causing the material to expand more than normal.
The main hesitation left for homeowners is the cost. While the PVC material is more costly than wood, the real cost savings is made up down the road when painting cycles can be stretched out. Unlike wood PVC does not absorb moisture. This allows the paint to hold up much longer. It also does not require paint so even when the paint starts to fail the PVC board will not absorb water and will never need to be replaced due to lack of maintenance.
One option to consider is to gradually replace your exterior trim as needed, prioritizing wood that is already rotting or is most likely to do so. In addition, experienced homeowners know that doing something right the first time can be more expensive at first, but will save money and headaches in the long term.
We would be happy to meet with you and show you various samples of PVC trim and give you plenty of options when comes to replacing or repairing your trim in Louisville, Kentucky.