Have you ever wondered what causes those peculiar popping noises that come from your windows or siding? If you live in a region that experiences cooler overnight temperatures and strong morning sun, you may have experienced these strange popping noises. And, while at first these popping sounds might cause you to jump, after a while and if they continue, it can begin to get on your nerves. There are a few reasons why your windows or siding are making popping sounds, but this phenomenon is most commonly caused by the expansion and contraction of materials, such as your siding or window cladding. If you have ever wondered why your windows or siding are popping, and what to do about it, here are the 4 most common causes.
Aluminum Cladding on Your Windows
The quick expansion or contraction of aluminum is a common cause for those pesky popping or cracking noises. And, 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 expansion and contraction noises due to expansion or contraction associated with rapid heating and cooling cycles.
Low-E Glass Windows
If popping or cracking noises started after replacing your existing single pane windows that face aluminum siding with Low-E glass, this 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. In turn, this causes the aluminum to expand at a fast rate, which inevitably creates a popping sound as the siding expands and contracts along the wall. While the noise can be an annoyance, there is often no simple solution, unless you opt to shade the window or swap the glass for a non-Low-E unit. Although, this is not recommended if you are conscious about the energy efficiency of your windows.
Vinyl Siding That is Improperly Installed
Improperly installed vinyl siding may be the cause of those popping sound woes. Proper installation of siding requires that it not be nailed too tightly to the side of a home. In fact, manufacturers specifically state that a small space requirement is necessary to allow the siding to expand and contract as temperatures change. Therefore, if the nails that join your siding to your home have been nailed down too tightly, the siding’s natural expansion growth is stunted and will likely buckle, which often creates a cracking or popping noise. The solution? Uninstall the siding and reinstall it properly. Conversely, sometimes the locking joints of new siding can contract and slide against each other, which may cause some noise. This is a common issue and generally resolves over time.
Inadequate Window Installation
Poorly or improperly installed windows can cause popping and cracking sounds. 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. Unfortunately, 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!)
Choose the Right Professional Home Improvement Contractor
To find out the exact cause of any popping or cracking noises, we advise you contact a professional window and siding contractor for advice. Once they have diagnosed the problem, they will be able to help you find the best solution to help you move forward. At the end of the day and to prevent issues like this occurring, it is important to choose a quality, trustworthy and professional home improvement contractor for any home improvement project you wish to undertake.