Vinyl Siding: Six Problems Your Home Inspector Is Trained to Identify
For individuals immersed in the task of shopping for a home, vinyl siding can be a major selling point. When correctly installed, it can last for many years and is relatively easy to maintain. Besides, it looks great. So, there should be no problems, right?
Wrong. Certified home inspectors are experienced at spotting vinyl siding issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. Before you buy, it’s important to know the condition of the siding and whether improper installation may lead to future trouble.
Here are six common areas of concern that may be observed by your home inspector, courtesy of your friends at A-Pro 5 Rivers Home Inspectors:
Loose Panels: One of the more obvious signs of compromised vinyl siding, panels that have pulled away from a house may be completely ripped off in a windstorm.
Panel Buckling and Warping: Properly installed vinyl siding will “hang” from fasteners. When nailed correctly, panels can easily move from side to side about ¼ to ½ inch. This allows for thermal expansion and contraction. When nails are fully driven against the hem, movement is impossible, causing the restricted panels to buckle over time. This is a condition your home inspector will note in the report.
Lap Joint Bulging: Your home inspector will observe siding bulges in cases where a ½-inch gap has not been provided between the boards’ nailing strips.
J-Channel Issues: Around windows, doors, dryer vents, and other exterior features, J-channel trim abuts siding courses, providing water protection and expansion capabilities. Due to improper cutting and installation of the J-channel, water intrusion and subsequent wood rot – particularly on the sides of windows, corners, and above windows and doors – can result. This issue will be recorded by the home inspector.
Cracks and Breakage: This is more commonly reported by a home inspector when checking less durable, older vinyl siding products that are more prone to impact damage, such as stones kicked up by a lawn mower.
Presence of Exterior Sheathing: A home inspector will check to see if building paper or housewrap is installed beneath siding as protection against water damage.
A-Pro 5 Rivers Home Inspectors Maintenance Tip: Tree limbs and shrubbery too close to a home can damage vinyl siding. Keep your greenery neat and tidy to protect your investment from punctures and larger holes.
The above is only a sampling of vinyl siding assessments performed by a home inspector. A thorough vinyl siding evaluation is included in an A-Pro 500-point home inspection. To hire certified local A-Pro 5 Rivers home inspectors, visit http://apro5riverstn.com/ or call (423) 273-5950.