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Konfrst 11-16-2009 07:09 PM

Vinyl Siding Not Locking In Place
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I have a garage I have been building and I have ran into a problem with the vinyl siding locking in correctly in the top 2 or 3 rows. I don't have the problem anywhere else - just the rows near the under sill trim (utility trim I think it is called, too). The siding in the picture has been installed about a year and been through the Midwest's Winter and Summer seasons. I have attached pictures and will attempt to describe what is going on.

Siding 01.jpg is just to give you an idea of the building's size. 50 feet down the sidewall, 14 foot walls. This is the east side of the garage.

Siding 02.jpg you can begin to see how the edge of the siding is bending or peeling out. This is happening for about all of the overlaps in the siding on these tops rows and is more pronounced on the west side of the building.

The rest of the pictures are close ups of the overlaps. If you look at Siding 05.jpg you might be able to see where the bottom is not locking in to the section of siding right below. I can actually grab the piece that is sticking out, pull it, and the siding will start coming off pretty easily. I can't figure out why it is not locking in - the other end of this particular piece is locked in.

There is one other place where I noticed the problem. It is under window (and under another piece of undersill trim). About a row down from the undersill and there is an overlap where the corner did not lock in place properly.

The rest of the garage is just fine. I didn't change any of my techniques for these rows. I'm just wondering if I should have installed these last couple of rows differently - not sure why that would be.

Any help I can get would be greatly appreciated.



Thurman 11-16-2009 08:10 PM

My vinyl siding experience is with doing my own garage, 24 x 36, and doing small buildings such as storage buildings, in my business. When I started to do my garage I made a deal with a local siding company: I worked for them for one week, they sold me siding for cost, so I could learn how to do vinyl siding properly. IMO--it appears to me that you do not have enough horizontal overlap. Each sheet of siding should overlap the next sheet to the end of the half-slot cut into the sheet already installed. I don't think you have enough overlap for the top piece of siding to grab onto. In other words, the bottom "lip" of the overlapping piece has nothing to grab onto as it is. At this point, in your case, I would suggest finding some ring-shank panel nails to closely match the siding color and use them to nail the siding into place. I have used this method, and will do it again. Good Luck, David

Konfrst 11-16-2009 09:10 PM

I've been questioning the horizontal overlap, too. But, I compared it to my house and overlaps are the same. The house does not have the problem and was installed by a professional. It also has me baffled that it is only happening on the top 2 rows or so and that makes me think I have something going on vertically rather than horizontally.

I'm not sure I'll be nailing the siding down to fix this. I have an entire box of siding left and could replace several rows if needed so I'm holding out for an answer. I might hire a siding guy to come in and fix my problem if I can't figure it out.


Maintenance 6 11-17-2009 06:56 AM

There is definitely not enough overlap at the end of the sheets. When one sheet expands, it could catch on the end of the next panel and push it loose. It also looks like there is a nail backed out of the panel below your joint, or that panel has been installed with a dip in it. Before I would surface nail it, I would remove the top couple of runs and reinstall them. Check some of the runs below this to make sure that they are straight. If one has a dip or an arch, it will make it tough to get the next panel to lock in properly. That problem shows up at the joint in the next run. Make sure your nails are into the studs, and don't over tighten the nails. Siding needs to be hung so that it can slide in the nailing slots. It needs to be able to expand and contract. If it's pinched and can't move, expansion can make it pop the panel loose, or pop the one above it.

Konfrst 11-17-2009 08:07 AM

I appreciate the advice and I'm already there about having to take the top couple of rows back off and re-install them.

What gets me is that it is every joint on both sides of the garage on the top row or two that are exhibiting the problem. The rest of the garage is fine. I agree that this overlap looks like it is not enough (and probably isn't), but all of them? And, only on the top rows? Seems to me like I might have something more fundamentally wrong.


DangerMouse 11-17-2009 08:18 AM

i'm thinking that other than the possibility the siding is bad, (doubtful) that perhaps the pieces are not SHORT enough,
and they are below the level they should be, therefore not making a proper connection to the row below?
did you use a snap lock punch tool to set the last row?


Konfrst 11-17-2009 08:29 AM

Yeah, the top row is snapped in. If you look at pictures 3, 4, & 6 you'll see a small 2 inch tall strip that is actually the highest row and slips into the undersill - I'm using 4" double lap siding. It's the top full row that is giving the problem. They're all 12' sections. I'm not sure I would want to cut them any shorter.


DangerMouse 11-17-2009 08:36 AM

hmm, ok.... did you cut the ends yourself? or are they factory cut?


Konfrst 11-17-2009 08:45 AM

The ends are all factory cut as is the one in the pictures. There may be an end on the last section (far side of the first picture) that had some ends that were cut by me to account for a less than full 12' piece.


Quickdraw 11-17-2009 08:51 AM

From the photos it looks like your second from the top piece is buckled and pushing the top piece outward. The siding expands and contracts quite a bit and you can not pound the nails all the way in - but Im sure you knew that.

DangerMouse 11-17-2009 09:07 AM

good eye there Senior Queekstraw! looking closer, there does seem to be a bulge a couple inches to the left of the seam!
(actually the 3rd row, counting the top 2" piece)
if that row got locked down too tight it could cause that easily, yup.
i wonder if he could just peel up a little, set another screw into the 3rd and flush it up that way?


Konfrst 11-17-2009 09:16 AM

That's a good point, too. Since I'm leaning towards removing and re-installing the top rows I'll be sure to look closely at how the row below is nailed.

I was fully aware of not nailing too tightly and I think I did OK.

I don't think this would be contributing to the problem, but one of the things I did was to install 1/2" polystyrene (sp?) to help smooth out the walls and to provide a uniform nailing surface. I'll explain. The garage has been strictly a DIY project I started 6 years ago. I've worked on it as funding and time has allowed. Had a cousin tell me I could keep the outside papered for up to 5 years before I needed to side it. Yeah, well, he wasn't too wrong and I pushed it to 5 years, but some of the tar paper (black felt paper, maybe??) was curling on the ends and I thought this would cause waves or bumps in the siding. To counter this I decided to install 1/2" polystyrene over the entire outside of the building and then install the vinyl siding over this. I think it had the affect that I wanted of providing a smooth surface, but I'm not sure if I introduced other considerations that I needed to take into account. In retrospect, I probably would have been OK without the polystyrene.

All in all, I'll be happy with the building's exterior if I can just figure out this problem.



Tom Struble 11-17-2009 08:17 PM

siding should lap 1'' no more no less id pull the courses out and replace it
could actually be the short course above thats causing the problem depending on how its fastened

Konfrst 11-17-2009 09:40 PM

Maybe I'm just not understanding the overlap. I've studied it and compared to my house and thought I am doing it right. BUT, I have questioned myself several times throughout the installation. And, questioning again.

I can only describe at this time what I did. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow night to illustrate. I'll use terms from Figure 3 in this manual: One of the important differences is that the face extends exactly 2 inches beyond the nail hem, top lock, and butt lock on each end of the siding - precut overlaps is what I guessed.

I overlapped such that the 2 inches of face from the second piece extended over the 2 inches of face from the first piece. Did maybe a quarter inch longer so that the face would catch under the nail hem. My thought is that provides 2 inches of overlap and the bottom side of the overlaps look the same as they do on my house (except the garage siding seems to expand/contract/move more than the house).

I'm not sure if I should have overlapped more or less. At least, I'm thinking I should have overlapped a bit more.

The south end and north end of the garage look great - 30 foot runs at most, but extremes of sun and shade. Sides are good and really bad - mostly the 50 foot runs with no breaks and the higher up the building the worse.

Again, I appreciate the help and comments. I'll keep after it. I'm thinking it is more than one problem, but fixable.


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