Vinyl is a top siding choice among homeowners thanks to its affordability, versatility and ease of maintenance. However, despite being weather-resistant, it is occasionally prone to warping. Learn more about what causes vinyl siding to warp and how it can be prevented for maximum curb appeal.
Improperly installed vinyl siding is prone to warping. When installers nail the siding to down too tightly, it can lead to bulging that gets worse with fluctuating temperatures. Inexperienced siders may nail siding tightly in the hopes that it remains intact longer, but this can have the opposite effect. Vinyl siding should always be installed with its propensity to expand and contract with the climate in mind.
Vinyl siding is designed to be fastened fairly loosely so it has room to move and adjust as the weather conditions change. One way of checking whether it has been nailed too tightly is by trying to move it slightly; it should be able to shift around ¼ to ½ of an inch from side to side.
The placement of the nails themselves can also contribute to warping. The nails should be placed in the middle of the oval-shaped openings at the top of the panels designed for nailing, taking care to ensure they are not too close to either of the ends to allow room for expansion and contraction.
On a similar note, shutters should never be nailed directly through the siding and into the wood located beneath it as this can pin the siding down, making it more vulnerable to warping and distortion.
Excessive heat is one of the top causes of warped vinyl. After all, vinyl is plastic, and it can start to melt when the outside temperatures get too high. Darker vinyl or vinyl that has been painted with darker colors is more prone to warping as it absorbs more heat than lighter colors.
If high temperatures are a concern, homeowners can avoid this problem by choosing a lighter color that reflects light and heat. Painting vinyl a shade that is darker than its existing color should be avoided as the siding may not be able to accommodate the extra heat it will absorb. In areas that experience extreme temperature swings, it may be worth exploring whether a different material will hold up better.
Homeowners should also avoid placing gas grills close to their home as the heat can cause the siding nearby to warp or melt. Keep grills at least three feet away from the home to avoid this.
Another potential issue related to installation is poor panel alignment. If the ends of the panels are placed too close to the trim around the windows or at the corners of the home, there will not be enough room for the vinyl to move as it expands and contracts. This can lead to unsightly warping and waving.
Although it is not the most common cause of warping in vinyl siding, it is worth exploring whether pests could be to blame if other potential causes have been ruled out. Termites and other types of pests can cause significant damage to a home. Once they start eating away at the structure of the house, the siding can warp, which creates a wider gap through which additional pests and small rodents can make their way inside.
Reflections From Low-E Glass Windows
One surprising cause of warping vinyl siding is the presence of windows with Low-E glass nearby, whether it is on the home experiencing the warped vinyl or a neighbor’s home. Low-E glass is an energy-efficient material that can diffuse UV rays so they do not enter the house. However, this causes them to reflect back off the glass, and this may cause the vinyl siding it reflects on to warp.
This can be easily prevented by installing an external screen on the window that is reflecting light back onto the home. Planting a tree or shrub can also help to block some of the reflecting light.
Vinyl is an affordable material in general, but homeowners need to make sure they are choosing a better-quality vinyl that is reasonably thick and durable. Cheaper vinyl panels can be quite thin and may already be slightly wavy even before they are installed; this will only get worse after they have been nailed down and exposed to the elements.
Changes In The Home’s Foundation
Although it is uncommon, changes in the foundation of a home can cause vinyl siding to warp as the home settles and shifts over time. It may be worth inspecting the home’s foundations if some of the more common causes of warped vinyl siding have been ruled out.
Discuss Your Project With The Northern Virginia Exterior Remodeling Contractors
Ensure your siding has maximum durability and curb appeal with help from the experts at Adelphia Exteriors. Contact us today to learn more about our Northern Virginia residential siding services.