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Why is my vinyl siding wavy and warping?

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What causes siding to warp and appear wavy?


poorvinyl100522_125314Is your siding trying to say hello, waving at the neighbors? Wavy and warped siding isn’t as friendly as it sounds. It’s an issue that should be addressed because warped vinyl siding can allow moisture in, and generally compromises the protective features and not to mention the appearance of the siding.

What causes siding to warp and appear wavy?

Questions? Call 847-380-8868 in Des Plaines and 888-676-6725 in Naperville

The top reason is improper installation.

Vinyl siding needs to be able to expand and contract. If it’s nailed too tightly, this can lead to buckling and warping issues. You can test if it’s nailed too tight by trying to slide the siding back and forth. You should be able to horizontally slide the siding about a half inch. You may want to consider a professional assessment from a licensed home inspector or siding contractor, to determine if this is source of your problem and to offer solutions. This is a very common issue with siding that was self installed. Vinyl siding must be installed with breathing room. This can also happencertified-vinyl-installer if the siding was not aligned properly. This is a common issue near windows and edges where pieces of the siding may have been notched out. Nail placement is also very important. The nails should be installed centered and straight. A general rule of thumb, is to choose a certified vinyl siding installer to ensure proper siding installation. It’s a more complicated and specific process than many people often realize. If you do choose to self-install vinyl siding, be sure to learn the ins and outs before hand. Here’s a link to a handy visual guide to proper vinyl siding installation from the Vinyl Siding Institute: James Hardie Siding!

As with most things, it is ideal to focus on prevention. It is best to contact professional siding contractors for the installation process to ensure that the vinyl siding offers proper protection for the long run. Also, regular maintenance checks can help detect any issues in the early stages and address these before causing any serious damage.

Poor Quality Vinyl Siding

Poor quality siding will sometimes come already a little wavy. This might not be very noticeable at first. Be sure to do your product research before investing in a siding product. Vinyl siding that is very thin and flimsy is always a bad sign. Poor quality vinyl siding is very susceptible to warping, wavy appearance, and other flaws. Make sure the vinyl siding is certified by the Vinyl Siding Institute. Here is an official list of VSI certified vinyl siding products.   This is an interesting video from This Old House unraveling a mystery of temperature distortion in vinyl siding. This type of melting vinyl siding situation is rare, but it’s good to be aware of. Our best advice is to keep your home shaded, filter extreme reflections, and choose a high quality siding that is heat resistant.

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Dirty Vinyl Siding

When you have wavy siding, it can give moisture and bugs the opportunity to sneak into the siding. If mold forms and bugs make nests within your siding, it can cause even further deformations. 

Mold can breed excess moisture and cause your home’s siding to deteriorate. That’s why it’s important to engage in a regular vinyl siding cleaning routine. By cleaning your siding regularly you can ensure that your siding will stay in good condition.