Diagnosing and fixing noisy siding
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Photo 1: Test each piece
Each piece of siding should move back and forth at least 1/4-in. if it's been nailed correctly. Test all the pieces on the noisy wall, and mark pieces that don't move.
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Photo 2: Unzip the siding
Unlock the course of siding above the tightly nailed piece, sliding the unlocking tool along underneath the lap.
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Photo 3: Expose the nails
Lift the siding up and look for nails that have been hammered in too tightly.
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Photo 4: Cut the nails
Loosen the tight nail, or cut it with a hacksaw. Renail the siding, keeping the new nail in the center of the nailing slot and leaving it about 1/16-in. up off the siding.
If your siding sounds like rodents running inside the walls whenever the sun shines on it, you may have one or more pieces that were nailed too tightly. Vinyl siding tends to expand and
contract considerably with temperature
changes. For this reason, manufacturers
design it to hang loosely on the nails rather
than to be tightly nailed like wood siding.
The problem should be easy to diagnose.
Simply go outside, grab the lower
edges of a siding course and try to slide it
back and forth (Photo 1). Manufacturers
require about 1/4-in. play at both ends, so
if it's nailed properly (loosely), you should
be able to slide it 1/4 to 1/2 in. If all the
siding is tight, it was installed wrong and
should be redone. If only a few pieces are
tight and you can't find the contractor
who installed it, buy an unlocking (“zip”)
tool and unfasten the section above,
exposing the nails (Photos 2 and 3). Find
the tight nails and cut them (Photo 4).
Renail right next to the old nail, leaving at
least a 1/16-in. gap between the nailhead
and the vinyl to allow easy movement.