Posted by Manny DeMelo on February 24th, 2016

Maintaining Your Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a popular choice among homeowners looking to boost their home’s curb appeal. It’s a durable, cost-effective, low-maintenance option available in a range of colours and styles – including some that mimic other materials like wood.

Although older siding often gets a bad rap for fading, sagging, and chipping, modern vinyl siding has come a long way. Newer options are glazed in weather- and fade-resistant coatings that prevent colour loss, dents, and mold buildups.

Despite the advances, vinyl siding isn’t completely maintenance free. Whether you’re considering vinyl siding or already have it, check out how to recognize and manage these six common problems:

1.     Buckling and Warping in Extreme Temperatures

Vinyl siding needs to be installed properly to let it breathe as temperatures fluctuate throughout the year.

Unlike wood – which can be nailed firmly to exterior walls – vinyl siding needs to be hung from fasteners, which let it to expand and contract as the weather changes. Attaching it too tightly prevents it from moving, causing it to warp.

2.     Cracking and Bending Under Pressure

Although modern vinyl siding is dent resistant, is not dent proof. If it is hit by fast-moving objects (like hail during a storm or rocks throw by a lawnmower) or impacted by a large object (like a snowblower), it might crack and dent.

It’s important to have flaws repaired as soon as possible. Leaving weakened areas unfixed can exacerbate problems down the road, including leakage and structural damage.

3.     Moisture Penetration

Although correctly installed vinyl siding creates an effective moisture barrier, it’s not waterproof. If moisture sneaks in through a weak spot (like one created by a rock chip) and becomes trapped between your siding and your home’s exterior, it can result in mold buildup and wood rot.

If you suspect something might be wrong, call an expert to assess and repair problems early.

4.     Mold and Mildew Buildup

When inspecting your home’s vinyl siding, keep an eye out for:

  • Mold and mildew, which often appear as a grey or white powder sprinkled with black specks
  • Algae is usually green, though it can be brown or black

Leaving mold, mildew, and algae unattended can make it difficult – if not impossible to remove. Built-up grime can also impact the respiratory health of people and pets living in the house.

Trouble-prone spots include:

  • Heavily shaded areas, especially where shrubs or trees cover exterior walls
  • Improperly ventilated outputs from steam-producing appliances (like washing machines)
  • Damaged drainage systems and gutters

Inspect these areas regularly to ensure your vinyl siding is in tip-top shape. If you do notice discolouration, make sure you address it quickly – whether it’s a quick clean you can take care of yourself or a bigger project to be handled by siding experts.

5.     Issues with Flashing

Flashing is fitted around doors, windows, and other weak spots to prevent moisture from getting through. If it’s not properly installed, it compromises your home’s moisture barrier.

6.     Excessive Noise

Because vinyl siding is not sealed tight against your home’s exterior walls, it might groan and squeak if battered by winds. Most noises are benign, though it’s good practice to inspect your home’s siding after a storm to make sure it hasn’t been damaged.

Choosing the Right Vinyl Siding

Modern vinyl siding is designed to withstand the demands placed on it – including severe weather and everyday wear-and-tear. Manufacturers coat siding in special finishes that keep the colour vibrant year round. Today’s vinyl siding is also dent, chip, and mildew resistant, ready to stand against the harshest weather.

To keep your vinyl siding healthy for years to come, it’s important to undertake regular maintenance including:

  • Routinely check siding for flaws (including dents, cracks, chips, discolouration, and warping)
  • Clear clogged gutters of leaves and other debris
  • Wash your siding down once a year to remove built-up grime and dirt

When it comes time to install or repair your vinyl siding, make sure you work with a professional home improvement company to get the job done right, keeping your home protected from the elements and your vinyl siding in good shape for life.

Quality Exteriors takes pride in delivering durable home vinyl siding products and superior service to customers throughout Southern Ontario. Contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Visit our siding gallery to see our quality workmanship.

Serving homeowners in St. Catharines, Burlington, Hamilton, Niagara, and Oakville.

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Manny DeMelo