Vinyl siding, regardless of the quality, will expand and contract with temperatures. Darker colored siding will expand more, lighter colors will expand less.
This is also why it is important to assess what time of year you are having your vinyl siding installed. Here’s some of the challenges that can occur in different seasons:
Summer: Warm weather is really the best time to install your siding as the length of the panels are more likely to be at their maximum expansion size. Make sure your installer understands that the panels must have sufficient overlapping. There are many times when I have received calls from homeowners who went with the quick and cheap contractors, only to find that their siding joints don’t even touch when the winter comes and the vinyl contracts. They are then left with problems like being able to see the foam or even just house wrap between the gaps of their siding. A good siding installer will understand these expansion and contraction rates and adjust their installation techniques to accommodate the temperatures and seasons.
Winter: In the northern zone (Wisconsin), it is never a good time to do vinyl siding. Not only will the company have an excessive amount of chipping and cracking every time the saw blade hits the panel, but even if it looks good at that time, the chances of the panel expanding so that it buckles the corner posts out is very high. Use extreme caution when hiring a siding installer who claims that they can do your siding without problems at that time of year. You could be looking at a real problem as much as 6 months down the line when the warm weather arrives.
Jim McGuigan is an experienced siding installer who has taken the certification courses through VSI, the Vinyl Siding Institute.