Vinyl Siding Installed in the Wintertime? Installation can be tricky.

No, vinyl siding installation in the winter time is not a good idea if you live in a northern climate.  As I write this, the temperature outside is 27 degrees here in Milwaukee.   Vinyl siding needs to be cut when it’s installed on your house and when a saw hits a piece of frozen siding, it shatters.

If your installers have a warm place to store and cut the siding, you can extend the season but keep in mind that you want to make sure you have an experienced installer.  Here’s a few things to consider for winter installs:

Hollow back siding vs foam backed siding:  When most people think about buying siding they think about a hollow product which is going to crack easier than foam backed siding.  Also, foam backed siding tends to be thicker.

Hollow siding comes in different thicknesses.  In general, thicker is better.  Big box stores have gauges as low as .40 or as high (thick) as .44.  Foam backed siding has a contoured foam backing that follows the profile of the siding.  Foam backed siding can be as thin as .44 and as thick as .47.

As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that the thicker the siding, the more durable it will be.  The one exception is that there are some vinyl sidings which are thickened by adding fillers such as chalk.  Brush your hand across some houses that have vinyl siding and you will sometimes see a chalky residue on your hand — that’s your siding breaking down.

One other thing to keep in mind is that if your installers pound the nails too hard they will bind the siding to the wall so when it heats up, it will buckle.  Properly installed vinyl siding will float on a wall which is the reason that it is constructed with those slots along the top.  Nail it in the middle but not so tight that it can’t move and if you chose a good vinyl siding, it will last a lifetime.

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