Our siding contractors field a lot of questions from homeowners when we are exploring new siding options, wanting to upgrading their windows or doing other kinds of exterior renovations. One of the most common questions we get is about the “popping” or “crackling” sounds they hear from their vinyl siding. Unfortunately, if it isn’t installed properly, some kinds of vinyl cladding can make noises that last for weeks or even months. In some severe cases, it can happen on and off for the life of the installation. If it’s installed properly in the first place, however, you can enjoy the beauty and durability of your vinyl siding for years without having to tolerate mysterious popping or crackling sounds.
Expansion And Contraction
The most common cause of noises such as pops or creaks is the expansion and contraction of your siding as the seasons change. When temperatures soar, vinyl will expand; when it’s cold outside, it will contract and become more brittle. This expansion and contraction is sometimes accompanied by crackling or creaking when the temperature changes are dramatic, although the sounds shouldn’t be noticeable if the materials have been properly installed to allow for this action.
Proper Nail Installation Minimizes Popping Of Vinyl Siding
In many cases, the proper installation of vinyl siding by siding companies can reduce or eliminate any sounds caused by normal expansion and contraction of the vinyl. Although the nails are the smallest element of the exterior cladding on your house, they are critical to proper installation. If they are nailed down too tightly to the sheathing, they may pop out over time as the pressure builds up between the siding and the frame or stud it is nailed to.
If siding contractors don’t align each nail properly in the nailing slots, there won’t be enough room to allow for sufficient expansion and contraction. It’s essential that they are centered in each slot to allow for movement. In most instances, the nails should go into the frame or studs behind the siding to a depth of no more than 3/4 of an inch.
It’s easy to check the installation of your siding – simply try to slide each length of siding back and forth. Each section should be able to shift about ¼” of an inch either way. If there is no movement, the section is nailed too tightly and you should contact us at Opal Enterprises to re-do the installation properly.
Whistling Or Wailing
Another sound some homeowners have to contend with is a whistling or wailing sound that sounds like wind roaring through and around the house. While it can be normal to hear a whistling sound when the winds are extremely high, it isn’t normal to hear it on a regular basis. These sounds are usually caused by the wind catching a seam or seams and creating a wind tunnel effect.
If your house regularly makes popping, crackling or whistling sounds, consider full siding replacement. One of our professional siding contractors will come to your home and thoroughly examine your house to determine whether the problem can be traced to the vinyl siding and will recommend a solution. He may also be able to suggest a different replacement material such as fiber cement that will improve your home’s beauty and energy efficiency while eliminating the problem of unexpected noises.