Vinyl log siding is siding made from vinyl backed by molded foam formed to resemble wooden logs. Vinyl, or polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic, as is molded foam. This siding is available in different colors and various surface treatments.
Wood log siding today typically consists of half logs rather than full logs, which reduces both the weight and the cost. Cedar and pine are the most commonly used woods. Many prefer cedar siding because termites are not attracted to this wood and cedar also is rot resistant. Sidings using wood are mass produced and nailed to sides of homes. People can still build whole log siding, but at a higher cost than half log siding.
Vinyl log siding is sold in colors and textures that resemble woods such as Vermont maple, cypress, cedar, and pine. Unlike wood siding, vinyl siding requires very little maintenance. Termites and other types of wood-loving insects are not attracted to vinyl. In addition, vinyl log siding will not chip, splinter, rot, or crack over time due to exposure to humidity, water, snow, or ice. While vinyl log siding is sold with color impregnated into the plastic, the vinyl can be successfully painted.
Wood log siding has a natural texture that vinyl siding has not yet mastered. In addition, while vinyl log siding looks like wood at a distance, vinyl wood siding does not look like wood when inspected closely. Siding made of wood can be purchased stained or painted or can be bought to be treated at home. This type of wood siding is biodegradable unless the wood is treated with preservatives. Many consider wood log siding to be preferable simply because wood log siding is more "natural."
Vinyl log siding can be difficult to repair if torn or punctured, unlike wood log siding. Although color fastness in vinyl products has improved, vinyl siding colors can be affected when exposed to extreme weather conditions or harsh sunlight over time. While vinyl is not biodegradable, vinyl can be recycled and made into other products.
Both vinyl log siding backed by molded foam and half-log wood siding offer insulation values, although whole logs dampen more sound. If expense is the deciding factor, vinyl siding is the least expensive siding followed by half-log wood siding. Whole logs cost the most of the three options. In addition, whole logs settle over time, unlike either half-log wood siding or vinyl log siding.