Siding is such a commonplace part of our lives now that it difficult to imagine a time without it. How long has siding been applied to homes? And where did it come from?
The first vinyl siding was developed in the great state of Ohio.
In the late 1950s, a manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio experimented to find a replacement for aluminum siding. This independently owned and operated plant, Crane Plastics, was the first to make vinyl siding, and the first to bring it to market.
They made that original vinyl siding using monolayer extrusion, or mono-extrusion. In that process, the elements of the PVC compound are forced out through the die, and then those elements become the walls of the single-layer product. The profile is shaped into the desired form from that one material. It is a pricey process compared to our current-day PVC and vinyl production techniques.
Crane Plastics still operates in Columbus, though it is known today as the Crane Group Companies. That company still makes and markets building products, including wood rails, doors, vinyl fencing, and vinyl sheet piling.
These days, plants manufacture vinyl siding using a process of co-extrusion, with two layers of PVC rather than one. The top PVC layer, making up about a quarter of the siding, is durable, weather-proof material. The bottom layer, or substrate, is usually made partly of ground limestone. That limestone, mainly calcium carbonate, brings down the cost of the materials. Lubricants also go into the PVC layers during the co-extrusion process.
Never forget that vinyl siding is an innovation that was born in the Buckeye state! Go’hio.