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Siding Secrets: The Difference of Degrees

As we gear up to install the siding on the Cobb Island house, we’re keeping a close eye on temperatures. Why?

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Vinyl siding, by its very nature, tends to expand and contract more with temperature extremes than other common types of house cladding. While we’ve enjoyed the late-November warm up as much as the rest of Southern Maryland, we know that as the temperature goes up, the siding on your home will expand in length. On the flip side, as the temperature drops the material will begin to contract in length.

What this means for your siding installation is that extra care should be taken to cut siding at lengths that will allow the material to expand and contract during typical temperature fluctuations for your area. This is particularly important around windows and doors. If the siding is cut too close to casings, it will expand until it actually hits the casing and then begin to buckle. Buckling is bad.

Another critical component in your siding installation is proper nailing. Because we want to allow the siding to expand and contract freely, as a general rule, the nail should never be set tight against the nailing fin. Instead, your installer should leave a 1/16″ space between the nail head and nailing fin, allowing side-to-side movement of the panel. If the panel is difficult to move, there’s a good chance you’ll experience some buckling next summer.

The bottom line? With well-designed siding and proper installation, your siding can easily expand up, down, in, out, left and right without restriction, avoiding the potentially harmful impact of extreme temperature fluctuations.

Think there might be an issue with your siding? Schedule your inspection today—we’re happy to come out and take a look!


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