Vinyl Siding Damage – Causes and How to Fix It
Vinyl siding damage comes in all shapes and sizes. If you can think of it, we’ve probably seen it. Still, when some people think of the damage done to siding, they only think of storm damage or damage done by some other catastrophe. While we fix a lot of homes that have had damage due to storms, this isn’t the only reason we go to homes to fix siding.
What Causes Vinyl Siding Damage?
Before fixing your siding, we strongly recommend getting to the root cause as to why it was damaged in the first place. Although some causes may be apparent, others may not. In the long run, you will save yourself a lot of time and money if you know how to keep your siding from getting damaged again. Below is a list of the most common causes we see when it comes to damage done to vinyl siding on houses.
Reflected Glare Causing Heat
More recently we have seen siding “melt” from homes due to reflected glare from insulated windows with an optical coating
The Siding was Installed Incorrectly and Nailed too Tightly
One of the most common siding problems we see is when siding is installed incorrectly. Typically, this is caused when the siding is nailed too tight. Vinyl siding, in particular, expands when it gets hot. To prevent buckling, vinyl siding contains oval-shaped nail slots to make up for the expansion and contraction. When the siding isn’t given room to flex, it ends up buckling and will damage the siding.
Heat From Sunlight
In rare cases, and less often in Minnesota, when vinyl siding gets too hot it will start to sag. For this to happen, the siding needs to be heated “above the point where it’s able to maintain a rigid structure.” This usually occurs on the sunny side of the home.
Vinyl siding is more flexible than wood or aluminum siding so when it gets hit by flying debris, it’s more likely to bounce back. Even so, vinyl siding is still susceptible to storm damage. From high winds to hail, storm damage can cause a fair amount of damage to any homes vinyl siding.
Fire damage doesn’t have to be a full-home fire to cause damage to vinyl siding. In fact, fire damage can be from something as simple as placing your grill to close to your home. (Trust us, we’ve seen it all!) Either way, fire damage can be little or small and can still cause damage to your vinyl siding.
Keep in mind that heat reflecting from other surfaces, chemical solvents, insect damage, moisture, and heat leaks can all cause damage to your vinyl siding. While you’re most likely going to determine what the cause of your vinyl siding damage is, there are times when the cause is less apparent. In rare cases, the cause of siding damage may be unknown.
What To Do When You Notice Damage To Siding
Like we said before, the first thing you should do is determine how your siding got damaged. That way you can properly repair it without it becoming damaged again. And, once you notice damage to your siding, it needs to be replaced! Without proper replacement, your home could be damaged by water leaks. These leaks could cause mold, rot, structural issues, or create a new home for some insects.
If you have a small area that is damaged, you most likely will only need to repair the damaged area. For some homeowners, this may mean that you will be doing the repairs yourself. If this is the case, make sure you invest in a siding removal tool to help with easy removal. These tools are fairly inexpensive and can easily be found at any home repair store.
Keep in mind that when you are repairing your own siding, it’s hard to find a piece that will exactly match your existing siding. The siding on your home most likely has had some fading due to natural elements. Don’t worry though; over time the new siding will begin to fade and blend into your existing siding.
For larger areas or homes that were completely affected, siding may need to be completely replaced. We see this most often in storm-damaged areas. If you aren’t up for the job yourself, consider hiring a professional. For us, replacing siding is a fast job with our experienced crew and will save you time and the hassle of learning how to install it on your own.
For Areas You Can’t Control – Change Your Siding
But what about those areas that are affected by heat that you can’t control? For instance, what if your neighbor’s new windows are melting the siding on your home and you can’t do anything about it? If this is the case, we recommend investing in heat-resistant vinyl siding. It’s important to note that this siding typically cost 3x more than regular siding. But, if you don’t have any other options, it’s worth the investment. Remember, leaving your siding damaged opens it up to a slew of other problems.
When in Doubt, Call a Professional
We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again; if you aren’t sure what to do, call a professional! All Metro CSI will come to your home or business and offer a free analysis to help determine what your next steps are when your vinyl siding gets damaged. No matter how small or big the job is, give us a call or contact us online today!