Vinyl siding generally does not require much maintenance and can last a long time if it is installed correctly. Improper installation can lead to some common problems. Here are some of the most common issues homeowners face with vinyl siding and what causes them.
If vinyl siding is not installed correctly, it will often warp and buckle. Vinyl siding needs to be hung from fasteners so that it can expand and contract as the temperature changes. If the siding is attached too tightly, the pieces will not be able to move. As the temperature fluctuates, it can cause the siding to warp and buckle.
It is easy to figure out if your siding has been attached too tightly. Try to move a siding panel from side to side with your hands. It should be able to move about ½ inch in either direction. If it does not, the siding was attached too tightly.
Vinyl siding is not meant to be waterproof. It is actually designed to prevent an airtight seal over the outside of a house. A waterproof barrier needs to be installed under the siding to prevent moisture damage to the structure. If the moisture barrier is not installed correctly, it can cause moisture problems in the future.
Mold can cause a white or gray powder with tiny black specks. Mold often forms in areas that do not receive direct sunlight and that have high levels of moisture. You can prevent mold by trimming shrubs that touch the house and trap moisture near the siding.
Algae also often appears on vinyl siding. You can tell the difference between mold and algae by the color. Algae is usually black, brown, or green.
When vinyl siding is installed, flashing trim pieces should be put around the edges of the siding, doors, and windows. If the flashing is not installed correctly, it can lead to leaks.
Exposure to direct sunlight over a long period of time can cause siding to fade. This can cause inconsistent coloring if some parts of the house are exposed to more direct sunlight than others.
Vinyl siding can become cracked by tree branches or impacts from objects. Vinyl siding that is not treated and maintained properly can become cracked from moisture and drying, expansion and contraction, or sunlight. If cracks are not repaired, they can allow moisture to penetrate the structure of the house and cause damage.
Vinyl siding can create noise as it moves. Wind can rattle the siding, or the siding can cause creaking and popping noises as it expands and contracts if it is attached too tightly.