Warped vinyl siding - can't figure this out

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Old 06-12-20, 07:38 AM
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Warped vinyl siding - can't figure this out

I had 16' double 6 insulated siding installed 2 years ago. As you can see in the picture below there is warping where the siding pieces meet. I was thinking of buying and replacing just the pieces where this warping occurs on the garage and house, thinking that maybe there was a manufacturing problem that was later corrected and doesn't affect the siding now. However, what I'm wondering is if this is a general problem with insulated siding, and should I instead replace the siding with a completely different one? Does having insulation glued directly to the siding create a temperate variance leading to an issue like this?


 
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Old 06-12-20, 01:42 PM
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Vinyl is flexible and it grows and shrinks considerably with temperature changes. So, you will never get a perfect surface with vinyl. Seams where one piece overlaps the next will always be visible.

You can unhook the siding in that area to get a look at how it is attached and if there is the proper notching of the flange in the overlap area. If nails are too tight it doesn't allow the siding to move and can cause undulations or other imperfections in the surface. If the overlap between pieces is not the right size the two pieces can catch on each other also preventing movement and cause an ugly.

Do NOT just go buy a few new pieces and install them or if you do save the old pieces in case you need to put them back up. Each production batch can vary in color, dimension, density and how it fades with age. When siding a house I purchase all the siding I will need up front from the same production batch to help insure consistency.
 
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Old 06-12-20, 03:14 PM
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These arent the instructions for your siding, but for a similar brand and style.

Notice the figure on page 53, which shows how overlaps should be done on insulated siding. Now I can't say how yours was done, or whether or not is was done improperly. But it could be that the foam on the back of the panels was not spaced properly at the overlap joints... or the panels were simply cut too long (with no room to expand on the far left and right ends) forcing them together at the overlaps when the siding needs to expand. Or maybe they just overlapped the panels too far.

I cant tell from the photo if the overlap is bulging out or caving in. If you think there isnt foam behind the joint it must be caving in.

Without being there to unzip a piece of siding and see close up how it was done, we can only guess.
 
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Old 06-12-20, 03:33 PM
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I will say that IMO its poor technique to stagger the siding in stairstep fashion like that... in such close proximity to one another.
 
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Old 06-15-20, 09:50 AM
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I pulled a section of siding where the distortion is. They did insert the un-insulated siding where two pieces meet between the vinyl and the insulation and butted the insulation together. I also checked with the manufacturer's installation guide and it does point that out. I also agree about the staggering issue, but irrelevant to this conversation. I guess the next step is to contact the manufacturer.

If I wind up replacing the siding i will not go with insulated siding at this point. If I do go that route, is there any type of vinyl siding less prone to issues? For example, before selecting what we wound up with we were looking at vinyl shingles which seem to be thicker which I was wondering if that makes a difference?
 
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Old 06-15-20, 10:00 AM
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Vinyl shingles would be very resistant to buckling like you have now but it is a very different look and much more expensive. Heavier duty sidings would be more resistant than cheaper versions because of their thicker construction.
 
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Old 06-15-20, 05:07 PM
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You say the insulation is butted together. That tells me it has no room to expand.

The instructions I posted showed a 1/4" gap between the insulation... depending on the temperature at the time of installation. In other words, if they butted it tight and the siding gets hotter than it was as the time of installation, it has nowhere to expand and will buckle. The solution is probably to remove the shortest piece of siding on either side of the seam, cut 1/2" or so of insulation off it... then reinstall.

The instructions say 1/4" during freezing temps... I would say at least 1/4" no matter what. Siding gets hot in the sun and your 16 ft long pieces will expand far more than 12 ft pieces will. And those instructions regarding the 1/4" gap are for siding that is just 12' 6".

Assuming it's not already permanently, irreparably distorted, removing some insulation from those seams might help. Easy to do with a Malco Sideswpiper, wonder bar, hammer and utility knife.
 
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