Vinyl siding with stains or moisture indicators (C) Daniel FriedmanBuilding Siding Noise Causes / Cures
Diagnose, & Cure Siding Noise Problems on Buildings

  • SIDING NOISES & SOUNDS - CONTENTS: Building & house siding noises, a complete catalog of sources of building noises traced to siding, such as thermal movement of vinyl or metal siding, siding popping, creaking, or snapping sounds.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about diagnosing the source and finding the cure for noises or sounds in or around buildings and their systems

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Building siding noise troubleshooting: causes & cures.

What causes siding to make a popping, creaking or snapping sound. How do we fix that irritating siding noise?

These articles discuss building noise control: how to inspect, diagnose & cure noise or sound problems in homes or commercial buildings. We also discuss methods of sound or noise control in buildings during construction or as a building retrofit.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Siding Noises, Possible Causes, Effects, Cures for Vinyl Siding

Vinyl Siding buckling & loose (C) Daniel FriedmanQuestion: Why is our Siding Creaking, Popping, Crackling?

We had our house vinyl sided recently. We are hearing lots of creaking, popping,crackling , squeaking noises coming from the siding - at times it is so loud that we cannot stay outside on our deck.

I have never heard of this problem and none of my friends with vinyl siding have this problem. I am being told these noises are normal caused by the siding contracting and expanding when the sun hits it. Have you ever heard of this before ? if so, any idea what is causing it ?

I have been trying to research it and some articles talk about nails being driven in too tight. Thank you for your help. I appreciate it. John, Massapequa, New York

Reply: We Suspect Improper Nailing Plus Installation over a Squeaky Insulation or Insulating Board - How to Diagnose Siding Noises

Figure 1-23: Vinyl siding nailing guidelines (C) Wiley and Sons, S BlissA competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem. That said, here are some things to consider:

Loose Siding Trouble: loose siding can make a flapping noise in windy conditions and may actually blow off the building as we show in our photo above.

But more likely your siding is nailed too tightly, moving or buckling when it is heated and expands.

Tight Siding Trouble: Your hypothesis that the siding is not properly installed, and that some sections are nailed too tightly is a good place to start.

Our sketch (left) shows how siding should be hung on the building wall, from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.

Here is the reasoning and here are some diagnostic suggestions for noisy siding & thermal expansion of siding

Siding Needs to Move: Especially if the new wall siding was installed over a squeaky surface such as polystyrene foam board or foil faced leveling board, as the siding heats in the sun and expands it wants to move, mostly in the horizontal or lateral direction. If the siding is nailed tight against the wall it might be making the sounds you are asking about.

Vinyl siding blow off New Jersey (C) Daniel FriedmanWe discuss proper siding installation, including the importance of "hanging" the siding on the wall, not "nailing" the siding to the wall,

We illustrate causes of buckled siding

Siding Doesn't Want to be TOO Loose: however we don't want siding to be inadequately nailed to the building, since that leads to siding blowing off from wind damage.

The siding can be hung with allowance for movement, but if the installer also did not use enough nails the siding may still come off of the walls. Or if you hear siding banging and clacking, it may be blowing around in the wind. That's what happened to the condominium in our siding photo at left.

Test the Siding Tightness: See if you can with just hand pressure slide the siding back and forth about 1/4" on the wall - it should be movable. The nail holes are oblong for this purpose and siding should be hung loosely so it can move with temperature changes - otherwise it may buckle

Look for Siding Buckling: Look along the siding to see if it looks buckled, especially when it's warmed up

Listen to the Siding: Listen to the siding up close when you are hearing these noises - put your ear close to but not touching the siding so it can move if it wants to - see if you can hear sounds right at the wall. Of course there could be something else going on - after all we're just emailing here.

Record the Siding Sounds? Did you ever listen to NPR's car talk? Click and Clack the Tappett Brothers? See if you can make a recording of the siding sound and send it to us.

Fix the Noisy Siding: unfortunately, if you discover that indeed the siding is too tightly fastened to the wall, at least on the wall section that gets the most direct sunlight, the only "fix" we know of is to remove the siding and re-hang it properly, allowing for movement. There is no emergency, except that as Spring comes you might want to be on your deck.


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