Wavy Vinyl Siding

How To Fix Wavy Vinyl Siding (Step-by-Step)

Vinyl siding is undoubtedly one of the most popular methods of decorating building exteriors and preventing damage. It’s cost-effective, long-lasting, and easy to install and maintain. However, vinyl siding is prone to waving, leading to more severe damage if not attended to in time.

Here’s how you can fix a wavy vinyl siding:

  1. Identify the root cause of vinyl siding warping.
  2. Fix the installation problem for minor warping.
  3. Repair cracks or holes on the vinyl siding.
  4. Replace the damaged siding.

Vinyl siding’s versatility allows you to choose a vast array of colors and styles to beautify your house. But once the siding starts warping, it can lead to other major problems and damage your building. The rest of the article will guide you on what to do when your vinyl siding starts to become wavy.

1. Identify the Root Cause of Vinyl Siding Waving

Identifying the root cause of vinyl siding waving is crucial as it’ll help you determine the best method to fix it. It’ll also prevent further damage to your house. Hence, you should be on the lookout once you notice some warping on your vinyl siding.

Here are the common causes of vinyl siding waving:

Improper Installation – It’s the leading cause of waving vinyl siding. While high-quality and correctly installed vinyl siding panels have an attractive look, poorly fixed ones obtain a warped appearance.

Your vinyl siding will appear wavy if you (or your contractor) made these mistakes during installation:

  • Tight fixing. Vinyl materials expand due to high temperature while cold temperature makes them contract. If you nail the vinyl siding too tightly, there will be insufficient room for expansion and contraction. Hence, it’ll become wavy.
  • Misalignment of the panels. Poor alignment of the vinyl siding panels can also cause warping. For instance, if you fix the panel edges too close to each other around the windows and corners of the house without leaving some space, they’ll appear wavy. Waving also occurs if you only use flat siding.
  • Improper nail attachment. Vinyl siding has some oval-shaped holes through which you nail it to the building. You should drill the nails at the center of the oval openings and not towards the ends. Otherwise, the panels will have no room to expand and contract, leading to waving.

Temperature Changes – Temperature changes as experienced during summer and winter cause expansion and contraction of vinyl siding. These processes gradually lead to vinyl waving. 

During summer, the vinyl siding gets heated up and begins warping. This warping worsens during winter when temperatures drop drastically, and thus the vinyl contracts.

Other Heat Sources – Like other plastics, vinyl siding can melt upon exposure to heat. Hence, placing some heat sources, including grills, near your house causes the siding to warp, and it can eventually melt down. 

Did you know that the heat from the sunlight reflected by neighboring houses can also cause vinyl siding or meltdown? The intense light from low-UV windows leads to vinyl siding waving.

Color of the Siding – Dark colors absorb more heat than brighter ones. Therefore, dark-colored siding absorbs a lot of heat which can cause more waves. 

If you just recently painted your vinyl and now you can notice that it has warped, then it could be that the dark color is the cause of the wavy vinyl siding.

Quality of the Siding – Poor quality vinyl siding is thin and doesn’t last long. You may spot some waves on the siding even before you install it. So, it’s inevitable that the waving will get worse after installation. Therefore, to avoid waving due to poor-quality vinyl siding, it’s better to buy high-quality vinyl even if it may mean you’re spending more money.

Changes in the Foundation – Although this is rare, your house foundation changes can also cause waving in vinyl siding. Though you can’t prevent these, it’s something you should be aware of.

But how do foundation changes occur? With time, homes naturally shift and settle. This results in foundation changes which are what can cause warping of vinyl sidings.

2. Fix the Installation Problem for Minor Waving

After determining that improper installation is the main cause of waving, fixing the problem should be your priority. While you can do it yourself, it’s recommendable to seek help from a professional.

So, if you discover that you’d nailed the siding boards too tightly, you can loosen them to allow for expansion and contraction without necessarily replacing the siding. However, if the siding waving is extreme, replacing it is the best option.

If vinyl siding is warping due to improper panel installation, you can fix this by correctly aligning the warped panels. However, this is a temporal solution and can only work if there are a few minor waves.

3. Repair Cracks or Holes on the Vinyl Siding

If your vinyl siding has holes, dents, or cracks, you can repair them. Sealing these openings will prevent further damage caused by leaks, mold, or insects.

You can fix a damaged siding in two ways depending on the extent of the damage:

  • Repair the cracks with a caulk using a caulking gun. But you first have to clean the area with soap and a soft piece of cloth or sponge. Also, remove excess caulk using a scrapper.
  • Fix the holes by using stainable wood putty. However, you should also clean them first and ensure that the putty is even.

4. Replace the Damaged Vinyl Siding Panel

If your vinyl siding has major waves and is damaged, the best option is to replace it. To replace a damaged vinyl siding panel:

  1. Use a zip tool to separate the warped panel from the rest.
  2. Remove the nails or screws holding the panel to the sheathing using a hammer or a crowbar.
  3. Cut the new vinyl panel to size using a utility knife.
  4. Fit in the new panel on the space where you removed the damaged one using new nails and screws. Start by fitting the bottom side and ensure that its curved edge lies on the panel close to it. You should then slide the top panel underneath where you removed the nails and screws.
  5. Use a zip tool to raise the shingle over the top, linking well with the new piece of vinyl siding.

Final Thoughts

Vinyl siding is a favorite siding choice among many homeowners as it prevents structures from damage while also making them look attractive. However, it’s prone to waving, which can cause more damage if left unattended by allowing water to get in. Therefore, be on the lookout for any signs of waving by inspecting your vinyl siding regularly and fix them before the problem worsens.

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