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Are there combinations of causes of vinyl siding damage that work together to cause ripples and buckling in the material?
This article explores rippled buckled siding that may be due to a combination of factors including the quality of the original vinyl material, nailing errors, and other defects combined with sunlight or a heat source.
This article series discusses all of the known causes of buckled, loose, cracked or otherwise damaged vinyl siding.
Rippled or loose vinyl siding may be more than just a cosmetic worry, and may indicate structural defects, building movement, leaks, or even heat or fire hazards.
This article is a sequel to VINYL SIDING DEFORMED by SUNLIGHT where we illustrate vinyl siding that is almost certainly buckling due to intense sunlight or heat from sunlight reflected from nearby windows.
The ripples in the vinyl siding on the building discussed here may involve sunlight but there is no obvious source of reflection or concentrated heat. The vinyl-sided wall on the Amenia New York home shown here is rippled or buckled at regular intervals, suggesting that the deformation might be related to the siding's nailing pattern, perhaps having been nailed too tightly, or perhaps rippling at or between nailing points due to thermal expansion of siding butted between vertical J-channel trim.
Below is a closer-look at the buckling/rippling pattern in this vinyl siding.
Click to enlarge this photo to see details of the vinyl siding rippling pattern. Some of the bulges are too-close to be likely to be nail pops or to map a stud interval.
We're not sure exactly what's going on with this siding but here are some diagnostic observations that may prompt comments from other readers. With one exception the siding buckling photos shown below were photographed at the end of May in 2016. We think the siding job was about ten years old at that time.
The buckled siding occurs principally on one wall of the home, the "left-hand" wall shown below, though we also saw very modest but similarly-buckled siding at the sunny upper gable of the home front.
The vinyl siding buckling is at fairly regular intervals in an area of vinyl siding only in a specific area on one wall of the home - shown below. [The horrible diagonals and banding in the photo are an artifact of shrinking the image size, not part of the home - sorry]. This side of the home receives the most sun. In spring and summer the upper wall is mostly shaded. The area of the wall marked by the red rectangle - where buckling occurs - receives the most sunlight; lower wall areas are partly shaded by shrubs.
There are no reflecting surfaces opposite the wall surface with the buckling siding. We can see something interesting about sun exposure: shading from trees and roof mean that only the lower very rippled section of siding gets many hours of sun in afternoons; the upper wall is mostly shaded by trees and roof gable overhang while the lower wall is shaded by plants; the suggestion is that a center band gets a lot of sun and is incredibly rippled.
The buckling pattern intervals seems to follow what we'd expect to be stud spacing or possibly siding furring strip spacing; this is an older home that could have non-standard framing however; further investigation of this point is needed.
The buckled siding does not appear to occur on the right side nor rear sides of the home. Those sides receive the most shade.
We don't think the damage pattern is due to nail pops: why would nail pops occur on very regular intervals and why principally in one area of the wall? Further investigation of this point is needed.
This is an old house, probably 1920 or older, with major renovations about a decade ago. We think that's the age of the siding.
Here is a different wall of the home, one receiving more shade, showing that the vinyl siding is quite flat (though growing some nice algae).
Here is a less sharp image of the same home from Google Street View taken in October, 2008. You can see that in October the house wall is more-shaded. The siding was about two years old when this photo was taken.
Opinion: it would be unusual to see rippled or buckled vinyl siding blamed on heat from the sun in areas of a building where there was no reflected, concentrated sunlight - such as from an opposing window.
We speculate that we are seeing rippling siding at regular intervals from a combination of
Possibly thin, lower quality vinyl siding (more investigation is needed to confirm this)
Possibly nailing that was too tight, combined with
Possibly exacerbated on single pieces of siding that were too-tightly abutted between the vertical J-channel of the windows. Further investigation of this point is needed.
Areas of the wall receiving the most sunlight
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