Why does siding buckle?

 Siding is fairly common in older houses, but it comes with issues. Several times a year we’ll get a phone call where someone wants us to come out and look at their siding, and when we get there we find that it’s buckled.

There are several things that can cause siding to be damaged, appear to have waves, or even buckle.

Installing over other material

When we install vinyl siding, we take it down to the studs, then put new OSB up. OSB is Oriented Strand Board, a type of plywood that comes in 4×8 sheets. We’re making sure the surface is flat and straight because whatever your foundation is, that’s what your siding will end up mimicking.

And that’s the problem we see frequently. If you put vinyl siding up over old masonite without creating a flat surface, you’re going to get waves. There’s a problem with the siding’s foundation, so that’s what you’re going to wind up with.

Nailing it all the way in

Siding manufacturers realize that their product expands and contracts with the weather. Their guidelines include a tolerance space so expansion and contraction doesn’t cause any issues.

However, not everyone is a professional, and they might assume you can nail the siding all the way down. When you do that, it doesn’t have room to breath, which can cause cracking and buckling.

Inferior product

As professionals, we keep up to date on a variety of things in the industry. Companies like Masonite have been the subject of class action lawsuits due to the quality of their siding. If you installed your siding yourself or had someone that isn’t a professional help you, they might not have known which brands were low quality products. 

Doing things on the cheap

Finally, if you’re buying an older house that was previously a rental property or someone flipped the house, they may have simply cut corners and caused any number of problems. Not all investors want to do things on the cheap, but they are all in it to make a profit.

Can siding be fixed?

Regardless of the cause of the damage, we’re often asked if siding can be repaired rather than replaced. The short answer is it depends.

In some cases, siding can be repaired. But the siding manufacturers are smart. They change things up every three to four years, so you may not be able to match an existing siding if it’s more than few years old. And really, once you get siding that’s ten or fifteen years old, it’s usually cracking and getting brittle at that point anyway.

If you’re having siding issues, whether your siding has buckled or something else entirely, we’d be happy to talk with you. Contact us to have a conversation.

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