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Help! Why Are My Windows and Siding Making Popping Sounds?

Picture this: You are lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. However, every time you shut your eyes, you are awakened by an incessant popping sound. You jump out of bed to try and find the source but to no avail… where is the sound coming from? Does this scenario sound familiar? It is more common than you might think, although the cause is probably not one that would immediately come to mind. Oftentimes, popping noises you hear around the house are coming from either your windows or siding. There are a few reasons why your windows or siding might be making popping sounds, but this phenomenon is most commonly caused by the expansion and contraction of materials, such as your siding or window cladding. This is especially true if you live in a region that experiences cooler overnight temperatures and a strong morning sun. 

Now you know where the incessant popping noises might be coming from and why they are occurring, the next step is to fix the problem. Below are the most common causes of popping noises coming from windows or siding, and how you can fix them. 

Poorly Installed Windows

Perhaps one of the most common culprits behind popping noises coming from your windows is due to improper installation. If the windows were installed out of square, plumb, or plane, the jamb sides of the frames can bend inward and put pressure on the window sashes. The only solution to this is to remove the windows and have them reinstalled correctly (or get them installed properly by a professional replacement windows contractor the first time around!) It is always worth hiring a trustworthy contractor and paying a little bit more to get the job done right from the start. If your windows are improperly installed the first time, you will be paying a second time to get the windows properly installed anyway. 

Aluminum Cladding on Your Windows

Another reason you might find your windows are making popping or crackling noises is due to aluminum cladding and more specifically, the quick expansion or contraction of aluminum. Even if you do not have aluminum siding, it might be the aluminum cladding on the windows themselves. 

Generally, this is a much less common cause of popping noises caused by expansion and contraction due to the heavy gauge extruded coil stock that is installed on most aluminum clad wood windows. However, the coil stock aluminum used as trim wrapping around the windows may cause these  noises due to expansion or contraction associated with rapid heating and cooling cycles.

Low-E Glass Windows 

If you have recently replaced single pane windows that face aluminum siding with Low-E glass and have subsequently noticed popping or cracking noises coming from your windows, Low-E glass is likely the cause. The focused reflection of the sun’s energy from the Low-E coated glass can quickly heat the siding on the adjacent walls. This causes the aluminum to expand at a fast rate, which creates a popping sound as the siding expands and contracts along the wall. 

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix unless you shade the window or swap the glass for a non-Low-E glass window. However, this is not the ideal solution if you are wanting energy efficient windows.  

Improperly Installed Vinyl 

If the popping or cracking noises you are hearing are not coming from your windows, the next likely culprit is your siding, especially improperly installed vinyl siding. Proper installation of siding requires that it not be nailed too tightly to the side of a home. This is because a small space requirement is necessary to allow the siding to expand and contract as temperatures change. Thus, if nails that join your siding to your home have been nailed down too tightly, the siding’s natural expansion during temperature changes is stunted and will likely buckle, which often creates a cracking or popping noise. The only (and oftentimes annoying) solution here is to uninstall the siding and have it reinstalled properly by a professional home improvement contractor. 

Talk to a Professional Home Improvement Contractor

With all the above mentioned, sometimes the cause of popping noises coming from your windows or siding might be something you cannot diagnose without the help of a professional home improvement contractor. Not to mention one of the best ways to prevent issues like this happening is hiring the right home improvement contractor from the start. It is important to choose quality over a super quick or super cheap job! 

Hire a home improvement contractor

Topics: Siding, Replacement Windows, Home Improvement Contractor