Prevention of vinyl siding problems

Prevention of vinyl siding problems

Vinyl siding has come a long way since the 1950s. Early siding didn't age as well as modern siding does and sometimes had issues such as sagging, chipping, denting and fading. Vinyl siding problems were frequently weather-related, including:

  1. Yellowing and buckling in extreme heat
  2. Cracking or brittleness in extreme cold
  3. Loosening during strong winds

By and large, those vinyl siding problems are a thing of the past. Thanks to research, testing and advances in manufacturing processes, modern vinyl siding is much more durable, more resistant to extremes of weather and more stable in high winds. Still, as a savvy buyer, you may want to check that you are purchasing vinyl siding that passes industry tests and incorporates the following features which might keep your home's exterior trouble-free:

  1. Fade-resistant coating
  2. Premium thickness
  3. High wind resistance rating

Just as crucial in preventing vinyl siding problems is proper installation. Whether you do-it-yourself or hire an installer, you will want to read installation manuals and solicit tips from experienced installers who know the importance of details:

  1. Locking each siding panel firmly into place
  2. Leaving expansion space while nailing panels
  3. Overlapping edges of panels
  4. Trimming securely at corners and around doors and windows

Preventive measures during installation

To provide expansion space for this unique siding material and to prevent buckling, installers should position each nail in the center of the top nailing slot, leaving a space about the width of a dime between the nail head and the panel. They should also allow about one-quarter inch of space between the edge of any panel and a corner post or trim piece.

Leak prevention is key with vinyl siding, which generally won't show external evidence of underlying moisture problems. Siding panels are overlapped to guard against gaps that would allow water entry. J-channel or utility trim is used around windows and doors to seal against water seepage. Trim pieces should be installed snug to the frame, can be seated in a bed of caulking for extra insurance, and should have neat mitered corners.


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