One of Portland’s greatest attributes is its full four-season year. From the warmth and sun of summers to the brisk falls, followed by the true white Christmases, this beautiful area receives a wide range of weather changes. However, during those seasons, Portland weather can be susceptible to temperature swings, and while this may not seem like an issue from day to day, temperature swings can actually have an effect on your home’s siding— especially if your home has old vinyl.
What you may not have known when installing vinyl siding is that it can be susceptible to weather changes. Scientific principles tell us that objects contract as they get colder and expand as they get warmer, so a siding material that can succumb to temperature changes can manifest issues. No one wants a damaged exterior, so pay attention to your vinyl. Here are five ways that temperature swings can negatively affect your vinyl exterior.
As the vinyl cools down in extremely cold temperatures, it contracts. Once the warm sun hits that cold siding, it begins to expand and can crack. This phenomenon makes a literal popping noise, which is one-way homeowners can recognize if their siding is splitting. Many people don’t recognize what this sound is and can mistake it for pests within their walls. If you notice small popping noises from your walls, this could be the issue.
Cracking gives way for moisture and even pests to burrow into your home and wreak havoc. If you hear or see cracking in your vinyl, you should take action.
Warping and Buckling
Vinyl has a strong susceptibility to warping and buckling. Once again, these issues come from the contraction and expansion of the material. While your vinyl can warp or buckle even with proper installation, this is usually due to an inferior job on the part of a contractor. However, it is a common mistake.
If vinyl is nailed too tightly to the wall or too closely together, warm weather, which causes it to expand after cold weather, can cause the boards to come into contact with one another, warping or even buckling the siding under the pressure.
Because of its plastic nature, vinyl may be a lasting product, but that does not make it a durable product. By this we mean, plastics are “lasting” products because their chemical makeups do not easily break down. While they can last in their makeup, extreme temperature changes weaken their ability to remain strong and hold their shapes. Vinyl is no exception.
On a side note, this can also mean a lack of sustainability. Because vinyl is not as durable as other siding products, it may need to be replaced more frequently. This means putting large amounts of broken plastic into landfills. So, it’s wise to find a siding with a longer lifespan for a more sustainable option.
Vinyl siding can melt, but not in the way you would think. While temperatures may heat up, it would take a major heatwave to see your vinyl literally melting off of your house. However, vinyl can melt as a result of window reflections. As the sun shines and reflects from a neighboring window, the rays can hit your vinyl, heating up those specific areas to over 165 degrees Fahrenheit and causing them to melt.
If you have seen specific areas that look like melted patches, this would explain why. Experts’ best assumptions are that energy-efficient windows bow as the weather and barometric pressure changes. As they bow, the reflected light is magnified toward your siding causing it to melt.
As vinyl melts, its ability to resist elements and protect your home decreases, not to mention, it makes your home exterior far less attractive.
Extreme cold can be a nightmare for homeowners with vinyl siding. As temperatures drop to extreme lows, vinyl’s plastic makeup can become more brittle, making it easier to crack and split. Vinyl is a lightweight material to begin with, but as this structure weakens, it means your siding will be less likely to hold up to heavy impacts.
This means strong winds thrashing objects around, kids playing outside, or a variety of other items can become hazards to your siding. One faulty move and an impact could split apart your siding, weakening areas during a cold spell. This could lead to moisture penetration in your home, causing mold or even dry rot.
Ditch the Damaged Vinyl
Once your home’s vinyl starts to buckle and crack, it is not properly protecting your home. This is the perfect time to upgrade. While there are many choices for your new siding, you likely chose vinyl because it is affordable and low maintenance. For this reason, James Hardie® fiber cement siding can be the perfect upgrade.
James Hardie® siding has numerous benefits that include its cost-effectiveness and its low maintenance. But one of its best qualities is its durability. Unlike vinyl, fiber cement does not buckle, swell, or crack due to changes in temperature and climate.
And if that’s not enough, James Hardie® fiber cement is also:
- Pest resistant
- Easy to clean
Lasting and Low-Maintenance Siding You Can Love
You want your home to be safe during all of Portland’s seasons. Old and damaged exteriors cannot do that. It’s time for a replacement. True to our name, we want you to love your exterior for a lifetime. That’s why for over 10 years, Lifetime Exteriors has been helping homeowners in the Portland metro area choose the right siding while receiving a seamless installation.
We want to give you a lasting and low-maintenance exterior. Get a free project estimate by contacting us at (503) 719-6644 or check out our various siding options, which can elevate the look of your home and give it the durability you desire.