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The Inspector Newsletter
June 2016: Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
Maintenance Matters
Aluminum Versus Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is popular because it’s inexpensive and low-maintenance, but aluminum siding is making a comeback. Which is right for your house?


Aluminum siding was introduced followed World War II as maintenance-free alternatives to wood. It lived up to its claims, with a few exceptions: First, the thin layer of paint baked on the outside tends to fade, chalk or chip. Nowadays, however, home owners can repaint their aluminum siding. Another problem with aluminum siding is that it dents when hit by a projectile (such as large hail), and it can be a challenge to repair in small sections because it comes in boards, sheets or panels. Additionally, aluminum siding conducts electricity, so some jurisdictions require grounding it for safety reasons.

Since the late 1970s, vinyl, a plastic material, has stolen most of the market share once won by aluminum. Vinyl siding is inexpensive, and it’s a solid color all the way through, so it doesn’t require repainting. Although it comes in boards, which may crack or puncture if hit by a projectile, individual boards of vinyl siding can be replaced without much trouble.

Both aluminum and vinyl siding are nailed in place along the top of each section. The bottom overlaps the piece below to prevent water intrusion. Metal and vinyl siding must have enough give to allow for expansion and contraction with changing temperatures.

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Dirty Secrets

Slope, or geography, isn’t the only factor in determining whether or not water properly flows away from the foundation and walls of your home. Soil type, location and surface absorption rate also play a role.

For example, soils with high clay content absorb water more slowly. Soils with higher sand content allow water to absorb and percolate through the ground faster. Concrete and asphalt are impervious surfaces, so instead of soaking in, water flows over or around these materials. This can cause problems if your driveway runs next to your house and isn’t sloped correctly. If not diverted, water will work its way under the driveway at the seam and eventually into the basement or foundation.

Sandy-soiled areas may carry water away from the foundation fast enough to avoid absorption into the foundation or walls even with improper slope.

It’s important to take a walk around your house and garage often enough to know when pooling begins. Consider appropriate maintenance steps or repairs to prevent water from causing problems.

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The Top 5 Things Sellers Should Do to Prepare for the Home Inspection

When you’re selling your home, preparing everything for the home inspection can prevent unnecessary delays during the closing process. For liability reasons, home inspectors won’t move items blocking access to areas that need to be inspected. If you don’t provide access to these areas during the inspection, it can lead to incomplete results, callbacks, additional fees or a frustrated buyer. Here are five tips to help you along.

Click here to read the rest of the blog post.

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What does the term PITI mean in real estate?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbuck's gift card. Submit your answer to your local NPI inspector to find out if you’ve won.

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