What is Certified Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl siding is a cost-efficient siding alternative to wood and aluminum, and is generally considered to reward homeowners with the best value for their investment. Vinyl siding is long-lasting, durable, weathers well, and doesn't require painting. It also comes with generous manufacturer warranties.
There's even more to vinyl siding than that, however. Vinyl siding is also the only exterior siding product to offer certification. In fact, the vinyl siding industry makes two distinct certifications available, both determined by an independent, accredited inspection agency. One certification is a third-party product certification, and the other is a certified installer program. Both certification programs are sponsored by the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI).
More on Certified Vinyl Siding
VSI is a professional association dedicated to promoting the attributes of vinyl siding to the construction industry and the consumer market; advocating on behalf of vinyl siding manufacturers, marketers, and suppliers; and working cooperatively with city and county officials, agencies, and organizations on code and regulatory issues. It also seeks to build consumer confidence by elevating the quality and professionalism of the industry's products, performance, and service.
VSI's certification programs are intended to provide the vinyl siding industry with internationally recognized standards for quality and performance, according to ASTM International measurements.
ASTM International is a standards development organization that works to create professional benchmark systems for design, manufacturing, and trade. ASTM International focuses on technical quality and market relevancy, using research and testing to determine the highest possible barometers of both quality and performance.
Product Certification of Vinyl Siding
VSI's Product Certification is intended to ensure that all vinyl siding products meet or exceed ASTM International quality standards, specifically ASTM D3679. As of 2006, both the International Building Code and the International Residential Code, which influence building codes in many states and cities, require certified D3679 compliance.
The certification process includes two unannounced plant visits per year, and rigorous tests of such factors as windload, impact resistance, and weatherability. Certification status for products, brands, and manufacturers can be verified online through VSI's database.
Each certified vinyl product can also receive optional certification for color retention through ASTM D6864 or ASTM D7251, as appropriate. Each individual hue in the color range offered for a siding product is tested and certified independently in a 2-year outdoor weathering study. Certification status for each color is listed online as an attribute of the overall product certification.
Installer Certification of Vinyl Siding
VSI's Certified Installer designation is structured to ensure that participating installers demonstrate understanding of and capability with ASTM-accepted installation methods for vinyl siding and soffits. The certification process not only tests to see whether installers are properly trained, but also whether companies are appropriately staffed and managed, according to the tenets of ASTM D4756.
Architectural Testing, Inc. (ATI) is the independent administrator of VSI's Certified Installer program. Architectural Testing's certification process includes reviewing tests, training trainers, and investigating and verifying participating companies' quality control programs. ATI also maintains the voluntary registry of VSI certified installers, trainers, and installer companies.
VSI's Certified Installer program offers three distinct certification levels, covering each area of specialty: Certified installer, certified trainer, and certified installer company.
Installer certification requires a minimum of one year of installation experience, course enrollment and participation, and a passing score on the exam. Recertification is required every three years.
Installer training certification combines advanced coursework and exams that demonstrate knowledge and proficiency. Certified trainers are required to teach at least two courses annually to maintain certification.
Installer company certification involves registration with ATI, an approved quality control process, and inclusion of one certified trainer or installer on each work crew at every job site where vinyl siding is installed. Recertification is annual.
Participation in VSI's certification programs is strictly voluntary. VSI certifications represent the pinnacle of achievement within the vinyl siding industry and are designed to demonstrate participants' commitment to excellence in all areas, and their dedication to consumer satisfaction.