Vinyl siding is one of the most popular materials in the U.S., thanks to its durability, affordability and ease of maintenance. Properly installed vinyl can provide a home with an attractive exterior for many years, but the material is prone to warping.
Learn what can cause this common problem and how to spot signs of warping so you can address it before it gets worse.
Poor Panel Alignment
One common problem that can be encountered in vinyl siding installation is poor panel alignment. Vinyl siding needs space to move, so if the ends of the panels are placed too close to the corners of the house or the trim around windows, it could lead to waving over time.
The Siding Was Nailed Down Too Tightly
One of the top causes of warped vinyl siding is improper installation. This type of siding expands in high temperatures and contracts in colder temperatures, so it cannot be nailed down too tightly or it will not have adequate space to move from side to side as the weather changes.
One way of checking whether siding has been nailed down too tightly is by attempting to slide the panels horizontally using your hand. You should be able to move them by around half an inch; if not, there is not enough space for the panels to move with the temperatures and warping could occur.
Incorrect Nail Placement
Vinyl siding features oval-shaped openings in the top of the panels that are used for nailing them onto the home. However, nails must always be placed in the center of these slots. If they are placed too close to either end – even if they aren’t nailed in all the way – the panels will not have the room they need to expand and contract, leading to warping and buckling.
Siding professionals have the experience and skill needed to nail siding panels properly, so this is not normally an issue when contractors are hired. However, many homeowners who attempt to install vinyl siding themselves fail to place the nails correctly.
If you are noticing excessive warping in your vinyl siding throughout the home, it could be due to poor-quality siding. Cheap vinyl siding is often thin and may even have a wave in it before it is installed. This waviness will only get worse after the panels have been installed and are exposed to changing temperatures. It is worth investing in higher-quality, heat-resistant vinyl that can stand up to the elements and maintain its shape.
Siding That Is Too Dark
Because darker colors tend to attract more heat than lighter shades, dark siding may warp due to extra heat being drawn to it on account of its color. If you have recently painted the siding on your home a darker color and are noticing warping that was not there previously, consider repainting it to a lighter shade.
Heat Sources Close to the Home
It is imperative to keep all sources of heat away from your home when you have vinyl siding. A grill that is placed too close to a home can cause the vinyl siding to warp in the area surrounding it. Be sure to position your grill further away from the siding to prevent this.
Another potential culprit is sunlight that is reflecting off of buildings nearby and causing the siding to get hot. If you can see a neighboring window reflecting the sun’s rays onto your home, consider asking the neighbor to place a screen on the window to avoid this problem. If that is not possible, you can plant trees or shrubs to block the light.
Changes in the Home’s Foundation
Although it is uncommon, warped siding can sometimes be caused by changes in the home’s foundation. As homes shift and settle over time, changes to the structure could lead to warping in the siding. Although this is difficult to prevent, it may be something to check for if you have ruled out other potential causes of warped siding.
Can Warped Vinyl Siding Be Fixed?
Unfortunately, there is no way to fix vinyl siding or return it to its original shape once it has been warped. However, if the damage is limited to only a few sections, it is possible to have them replaced without needing to replace the siding on the entire home.
However, if warping is a common occurrence, it may be time to consider switching to a lighter color or trying a different siding material that is more suitable to local conditions.
Contact the Northern Virginia Residential Siding Experts
The best way to ensure the longevity of your vinyl siding is to have it installed by experienced professionals. For high-quality siding replacement and installation services, get in touch with skilled siding contractors at Adelphia Exteriors today.