Choosing vinyl siding for your home has a number of benefits like energy savings, durability, reduced noise and a variety of style options. Since it is such a versatile option for homeowners -- one that has been cladding American homes since the 1960s -- many try to buy and install the siding themselves; but if not properly installed, choosing vinyl siding can cost you more in the long run, which is why, in many cases, it is best to choose a trusted company that specializes in vinyl siding to assist with your project.
However, if you do decide to embark on the home improvement yourself, here are some common mistakes that are made when installing vinyl siding:
Nailing the vinyl siding on too tightly
Vinyl siding needs room to move -- just as your house needs room to breathe. Especially on historic or wooden homes, installing vinyl siding too tightly can result in rotted or wet wood underneath. To accommodate that, installers should nail "loose" rather than drive the nails home. It is generally best to leave 1/32 of an inch between the fastener head and the vinyl.
Leaving too much space between fasteners
Nobody wants a home with wavy siding -- that's why leaving too much space between fasteners is a major mistake. Placing fasteners farther apart invites the wind to cause waviness in the material.
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Too much overlap in panels
The industry standard calls for an overlap of 1 inch to 1.25 inches where two panels meet. Too much of an overlap restricts movement, which creates an issue similar to problem one on this list, and can also cause oil canning, which can be defined as visible waviness in the flat areas of metal roofing and metal wall panels. In technical terms, oil canning is referred to as elastic buckling (more commonly known as "stress wrinkling").
Creating visible seams
If installed improperly, vinyl siding can make your house look like a quilting project gone wrong. It's an eyesore rather than a functional glitch, but applying panels so they begin and end evenly all the way up the wall — instead of staggering them in a zipper-like pattern — can draw too much attention to the straight seam; resulting on a series of long lines running around the home.
Now some manufacturers are making 16- and 20-foot pieces; using them will reduce the number of seams. Longer lengths are not that much more expensive plus fewer seams make a more eye-appealing project.
Skimping on flashing
When the roof of a one-story garage meets the vinyl-clad wall of a two-story house, it creates the need for a piece of metal flashing. Flashing is typically fashioned in the field from aluminum and helps divert water that runs off of the roof. Water should run down on the outside of the vinyl and not behind it, where it can soak the sheathing.
Metal flashing is also needed to keep water from penetrating the intersections of walls and windows, and of vinyl with brick or another cladding that might cover part of the same house. It is recommended that contractors conceal the transition from brick to vinyl with aluminum head flashing, which is installed under the vinyl and over the brick for a minimum of four inches at their meeting point.
Sound a little too daunting to take on yourself? No worries -- employ the services of a nationally recognized, and locally owned and operated company like America's Window that specializes in making sure that your renovation doesn't turn into a DIY disaster.
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What is the most common mistake when installing vinyl siding? ›
Nobody wants a home with wavy siding -- that's why leaving too much space between fasteners is a major mistake. Placing fasteners farther apart invites the wind to cause waviness in the material. The industry standard calls for an overlap of 1 inch to 1.25 inches where two panels meet.What is a major problem with the installation of vinyl siding? ›
Warping and buckling are both problems associated with vinyl siding, these issues only occur when the siding is not installed correctly. Vinyl siding expands and contracts as the outside temperature changes. In the summer, when temperatures are high, vinyl expands.What are some tips to keep in mind when installing vinyl siding? ›
VINYL SIDING TIPS & TRICKS
Make sure installed panels and accessories move freely from side to side. Do not drive the head of the nail tightly against the siding nailing hem. Allow approximately 1/32″ (0.8mm) clearance (about the thickness of a dime) between the fastener head and the siding panel. Drive nails straight.
When panels overlap, make sure they overlap by 1" on the face of the panel. 7. Overlap panels away from entrances and away from the point of greatest traffic. 8.When installing vinyl siding What would first be placed? ›
➡️ Vinyl Siding Installation Step #1: Soffit and Fascia
This channel conceals the cut edges of the soffit lengths as they meet the fascia. All siding and soffit pieces have nail slots. Nail at the slot centers to allow for expansion and hold the heads out 1/32 to 1/16 inch. Don't nail anything tight.
Vinyl contracts in cold weather and expands in warm weather. When temperatures begin to rise rapidly, your shrunken, brittle siding boards may crack, warp, or buckle. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to control the weather.Why does vinyl siding fall off? ›
Wind and water are the two most problematic elements, so make sure your siding is up to par to keep these from damaging it. Poor installation – No matter the quality of the siding you purchase, if it is suffering from improper installation, it can fall off with a little bit of wind or harsh weather.What causes loose vinyl siding? ›
Installation issues, heat, and water are the most common troublemakers, but they aren't the only ones. Improper installation is the leading cause of most vinyl siding issues.What holds vinyl siding in place? ›
Use aluminum, galvanized steel, or other corrosion-resistant nails, staples, or screws when installing vinyl siding. Aluminum trim pieces require aluminum or stainless steel fasteners. All fasteners must be able to penetrate a minimum of 1 1/4” (32mm) into nailable material, such as wood sheathing and framing (Fig.How often should you nail vinyl siding? ›
Space nails a maximum of 16 inches apart for horizontal siding panels, every 12 inches for vertical siding panels, and 6 to 12 inches for accessories. (See individual manufacturer's instructions for fastening specific accessories and for recommended spacing.)
How do you hide vinyl siding seams? ›
Plan your layout to take advantage of windows, doors, shutters, and other wall interruptions to conceal seams. Downspouts are also useful in this regard, so is shrubbery: “Hide the seams behind bushes,” Ladeuceur says.Are you supposed to see the seams on vinyl siding? ›
All vertical seams and joints in the siding need to be caulked, and if done correctly, your siding should have an almost seamless look. In other words, there should be no visible vertical lines at the butt joints.Can siding go up before windows? ›
By installing replacement windows first, you'll prevent the potential damage to your new siding later. Also, when contractors install the siding there is a risk of damage to the metal caps on your window frames. Most contractors will simply replace the damaged metal caps when finished installing the replacement siding.Should vinyl siding go down to the ground? ›
In regards to clearance, vinyl siding should be 6 to 8 inches above the ground. If that's not possible for some reason, any clearance is better than none. This clearance, which is called foundation exposure, is there to prevent water from intruding into the structure of your building due to ponding during heavy rains.Should vinyl siding be nailed or screwed? ›
Use aluminum, galvanized steel, or other corrosion-resistant nails, staples, or screws when installing vinyl siding. Aluminum trim pieces require aluminum or stainless steel fasteners. All fasteners must be able to penetrate a minimum of 1 1/4” (32mm) into nailable material, such as wood sheathing and framing (Fig.What happens if you nail vinyl siding to tight? ›
The nails should be at least 1/32 of an inch loose to allow space for the siding to expand or contract due to changing temperatures. Siding that has been nailed too tight will crack, warp or bulge.Why does vinyl siding come loose? ›
Installation issues, heat, and water are the most common troublemakers, but they aren't the only ones. Improper installation is the leading cause of most vinyl siding issues.