Why Is My Vinyl Siding Wavy?

Vinyl siding is without a doubt the most common choice for siding in the United States. It is durable, easy to maintain, and budget-friendly. The look of vinyl siding is also very versatile. This gives you plenty of color and style options to ensure you get the look you want. One of the most common problems with vinyl siding is its potential to warp and melt. Knowing the signs to look for and stopping a small problem before it gets out of hand can save you a lot of money.

wavy siding

Improper Installation

Nailed Down Too Tightly

The number one cause of wavy siding is improper installation. Vinyl siding expands under high temperatures and contracts when it gets cooler.  Because of this expansion and contraction, vinyl siding can’t be nailed down too tightly. Vinyl needs room to move from side to side. It’s easy to determine whether your siding was nailed too tightly by trying to slide the vinyl panels horizontally by hand. The panels should move about a half of an inch giving it space to change with the temperatures.

Panel Alignment

Another common problem with the installation of vinyl siding has to do with the alignment of the panels. If you place the ends of the panels too close to trim around windows or on the corners of the house it is not going to have enough room to move as vinyl siding does. This too will cause the waving that is common in vinyl siding. If all of your siding is flat, except a portion between two windows, this could be your problem.

Nail Placement

Vinyl siding has long oval shaped openings at the top where it is nailed into the structure. It is important that the nails are placed in the center of these oval slots and not too close to either end. If the nails are put in too close to the ends, even if they are not put in all the way, the panels won’t have room to expand and contract as they do. This too can cause the vinyl panels to begin warping and buckling.

These siding installation problems are common when people install their vinyl siding themselves. It may seem like a simple do-it-yourself project, but it can be a costly problem to fix if it is not done right the first time. So unless you have previous experience with vinyl siding, it is best to let a professional do the installation for you.

Changing Temperatures

As previously mentioned, the temperature can alter vinyl siding due to its natural expansion and contraction in warm and cool climates. If you live in an area with very hot summers and cold winters this waving can become more noticeable over time. Waving from a temperature change is natural and cannot be prevented, but when you are considering residing in your home you can make yourself more aware of what materials will work best for your climate.

siding wavy

Other Heat Sources

Grills can also be a sneaky culprit for your waving siding. It may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Placing a grill too close to your home can cause waves and even completely melt the vinyl siding from your home. Always be sure to keep your grill at a safe distance from your home to prevent these potential problems.

Sunlight reflecting off of neighboring buildings can also add extra unwanted heat to your siding. If you notice the reflection from a neighboring window on your home, you can ask them to place a screen on the window to prevent the reflection or plant a fast growing tree or shrub to block the reflecting light from your home.

Dark Colors Attract Heat

Dark colored siding can also play a part in warped siding. Darker colors attract heat more than lighter ones, so if you chose a darker color the warping could be caused by additional heat being drawn to the dark color of the siding. If you recently painted your siding and didn’t notice waving prior to painting, the color you chose could be the cause.

Poor Quality Siding

Always be sure that the vinyl siding you choose is of good quality. Poor quality vinyl siding tends to be thin and less durable. It’s common for cheap vinyl siding to have a bit of a wave to it even prior to installation. The degree of the waviness will only worsen after installation and exposure to the changing temperature. A higher quality heat resistant vinyl can withstand the elements and maintains its shape longer.

Foundation Changes

A less common cause of warped siding is a change in the foundation of the home. Waving vinyl siding due to foundation changes don’t happen often, but it does occur. Homes settle and shift over time and this natural settling can cause changes to the structure resulting in warped siding. Foundation changes cannot be prevented, but it’s something to watch for.

vinyl siding foundation

How To Correct Wavy Siding

There’s no way to straighten out siding panels that already have started to warp, but leaving this problem unattended can create the possibility of bigger problems. Siding that is severely waved or melted can leave the structure of your home exposed. This allows water to get in creating rot and mold. Insects also look for dark damp places, so this can be the perfect spot for them to hide.

If your siding has yet to start warping, but you determined the panels have been nailed down too firmly, you can loosen the nails without replacing the siding. If the siding has already begun waving, it should be replaced to prevent further problems.

Vinyl siding is extremely durable, but waving can happen. Keeping an eye on your siding and recognizing a problem early on will benefit you and your home.

Is your vinyl siding warped and ready to be replaced? All of Feldco’s premium vinyl siding is extremely durable, energy efficient and comes in a variety of styles. Get a free quote now and get started on your replacement siding project today!

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