Engineered wood siding company LP Outdoor Building Products (LP) has sponsored an article on BobVila.com that unsurprisingly contains a number of distortions and misleading claims about vinyl siding. To add to the brazenness and clear bias of the piece, the site features a banner ad prominently above the piece promoting LP’s products, as you can see in the screenshot above.
Before we dive into the number of glaringly erroneous claims about vinyl siding contained in this piece, we should point out that the article ends with a disclaimer stating that the post was sponsored by LP. Of course, this disclaimer is code for, “We’re being paid to shamelessly promote LP’s distortions about vinyl siding, but we want to give you the (mis)impression that these are our own opinions.”
The piece absurdly claims that vinyl siding doesn’t meet the standards for wood siding developed by LP – the wood siding manufacturer that sponsored the article. Of course, the article omits the fact that vinyl siding meets or exceeds stringent standards set by an independent, third party standards-development organization (ASTM International). And LP ignores that vinyl siding is subject to an independently-administrated third-party certification program to ensure adherence to those standards.
This next claim rests on the false assumption that using a grill near a structure like a shed is a good idea. But unlike vinyl siding, engineered wood siding is prone to ignition at relatively low temperatures. A grill close enough to a building to melt vinyl siding runs the risk of charring or igniting engineered wood siding at the same distance. Additionally, wood siding requires paint, which would bubble up or darken when exposed to the same high temperatures required to thermally distort vinyl siding. And while there have been cases of concentrated reflected sunlight igniting wood building materials, there have been no such cases involving vinyl siding.
Both vinyl siding and engineered wood siding, like any building product, must be properly installed in order to realize their potential performance. And both products are vulnerable to installation mistakes. But even this article admits that the installation of vinyl siding is more straightforward than engineered wood siding, which means it is more likely to be installed properly.
Of course, LP – the real author of this sponsored post – fails to mention any steps the wood siding manufacturer takes to ensure its product is properly installed. The vinyl siding industry, on the other hand, sponsors a third-party installer certification program and works with other agencies to facilitate training of vinyl siding installers – making it the ONLY cladding backed up by both a third-party product certification program and a third-party installer certification program.
As you would expect from a sponsored post, the
article paid ad gets this part completely wrong. Many vinyl siding manufacturers offer 16-foot lengths, just as LP offers 12-foot panel lengths and lower. Some companies have even produced lengths of vinyl siding up to 25 feet.
As if the shameless self-promotion wasn’t already apparent, LP attempts to sell the reader on LP’s installation services right after the article admits that vinyl siding is easier to install.
We would hope that even in a sponsored post, BobVila.com would have the sense to provide a balanced conversation on benefits of vinyl siding. And despite the disclaimer, it seems blatantly apparent to us that BobVila.com had very little to do with the composition of this piece, and were financially motivated to blindly traffic LP’s distortions and mislead its readers about vinyl siding.