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The Home Depot

How to Identify Defective Siding

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Siding > How to Identify Defective Siding
How to Identify Defective Siding

Siding can help enhance the beauty of a home as well as its market value significantly. It is also very expensive to install and professional expertise is recommended for this purpose. Unfortunately, the possibility of defective siding cannot be ruled out. There are two types of defective siding—siding that becomes damaged over a period of time due to various reasons and siding that had some kind of defect when it was delivered to you from the manufacturer. The solutions to both of these are different and identifying the defects in time is crucial.


When installing home siding, it is essential to obtain a permit from the building authority in your area. Each county will have its own specifications regarding the type of siding that can be installed as well as mandatory preparations essential before the siding installation can take place.

  1. There are two types of defective siding—siding that gets damaged over a period of time due to various reasons and siding that had some kind of defect when it was delivered to you from the manufacturer.

    1.Saving Money

    Defective siding can lead to the depreciation in value of your property in the real estate market. So, at the first sign of a defect you must take remedial actions to ensure that matters do not get out of hand. This will help you save a lot of money in the long run. Saving money is outstanding but how about reducing frustration or not having it in the first place? You work hard; you have enough to worry about. This is one thing you can control; there is not any reason to burden yourself if you do not have too.

  2. 2.Possible Defects

    There are numerous kinds of defects that can occur in sidings and the causes can range from poor insulation to extreme weather exposure to fungal growth to inadequate or improper maintenance. Improper nailing, inadequate flashing, poor paint coverage, and faulty caulking are some other reasons for defective siding. At times, one or more of these problems can lead to the occurrence of dry rot below the siding. The primary reason why this occurs is due to accumulation of excessive moisture.


    Defects due to manufacturers’ errors lead to different types of damage to the siding such as swelling along the edges, fissures or cracks, swelling around the nails, bowing or wavy appearance, discoloration, siding coming apart, or siding turning soft. As repairing defective siding is just as expensive as installing new siding, many manufacturers have time and again been sued for their errors by hassled home owners. Numerous class action suits have been filed and settlements reached which have enabled the home owners to recoup their costs and have the damaged siding repaired or replaced. Almost every major siding manufacturer has been faced with a lawsuit of this kind at some point or the other. This is one reason why America is in a recession and jobs have been lost; America is a litigious country because of the lack of tort reform but this is another subject. Certainly a contractor should do their best and be upfront with you.

  4. 3.What can you do?

    If you are planning to sell your house and you suspect that the siding has been damaged or is defective, then you must call in an expert and see if it can be replaced or repaired. If you do not do this, then the prospective buyer’s home inspector is sure to find the problem and this will depreciate the value of your property. If the siding was installed some years ago or not maintained properly then it is wise to spend some money replacing it because you are sure to get back more than what you spent when you sell the house at market value, or more!


    The moisture barrier and corner trims will also have to be replaced in most instances. The entire project, including the painting chapter, is likely to take anywhere between two to three weeks for completion. Make sure you consult a contractor with the necessary experience and qualifications to prevent recurrence of any errors.


    The expert who comes to check the condition of your siding will also be able to infer and inform you what the probable cause was and is. If it turns out to be a manufacturer’s defect or the fault of the contractor who was responsible for the installation, you may be able to take legal action against them and claim compensation. But remember that legal procedures can last a long time and you may first have to pay out of your pocket to replace the siding, especially if you are on some sort of deadline to sell your home and property for some reason.

  5. 4.Alleviating this Situation

    The choice is yours but living with defective siding is not only unpleasant to look at, it can lead to home structure and wall weakening depending on how bad the siding is. Keeping these pointers in mind can help you deal with a bad situation in the best possible manner.

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