Perhaps one of the most common questions we get at WoW is from clients who are concerned about “popping” noises coming from either their siding or windows (or sometimes both). If you have ever heard these popping sounds before, you will know they can be slightly confusing and oftentimes quite annoying! In fact, if you live in an area where the overnight temperatures are fairly cool and the morning sun is strong, popping noises are actually quite common. There are a few causes for these noises, but more often than not, we find the likely culprit is the result of the expansion and contraction of the materials in question. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the other reasons your windows or siding may be making popping or cracking noises, and what you can do about it.
Improperly Installed Siding
A common reason why your siding might be popping is because it was not installed properly. Proper siding installation techniques require that the siding not be nailed too tightly to the side of the home. So, if your siding is overly tight, this could be causing expansion and contraction problems and as a result, pesky popping sounds. Most siding manufacturers specify a small space requirement that allows the siding to expand and contract as temperatures change throughout the year. If the nails securing the siding to your home have been nailed too tightly, as temperatures rise and siding expands, it might buckle and create some noises. The solution? Uninstall and reinstall the siding to the manufacturer's specification.
Poorly Installed Windows
Just like poorly installed siding, improper installation of windows can also cause popping or cracking noises. For example, if your windows were installed out of square, plumb, or plane, the jamb sides of the frames can bend inward and put excess pressure on the window sashes, causing them to crack. If this is the case, it is a good idea to call on a professional home improvement contractor to remove your windows and reinstall them.
You Have Newly Installed Low-E Glass Windows
If you have recently replaced existing window pane windows that face aluminum siding with Low-E glass windows, this may cause popping noises. Generally, it is because the focused reflection of the sun’s energy thanks to the Low-e coated glass can quickly heat the siding on the adjacent walls. Essentially, this then causes the aluminum siding to expand at a rapid rate, creating a popping or cracking noise as the siding expands and contracts. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for this, unless you opt to shade the window or swap the glass for a non-Low-E pane (which is not recommended for energy efficiency).
Aluminum Cladding May be the Culprit
If you are thinking: “but I do not have aluminum siding so I still do not know why I am hearing popping noises”, it could be caused by aluminum cladding on the windows themselves. While this is a less common cause, it can happen. Generally however, due to the heavy gauge extruded coil stock used on most quality aluminum clad wood windows, it is unlikely to be the culprit. However, sometimes the coil stock aluminum used as trim wrapping around the windows may also create these expansion and contraction noises as a result of rapid heating and cooling.
Or, sometimes the locking joints of new siding can contract and slide against each other, causing popping or cracking noises. The good news is this is a common recurrence and often works itself out overtime. If the problem persists after a few months, it is best you get in touch with your installer.
Contact a Professional Home Improvement Contractor
While you may be able to self-diagnose the problem yourself, it is always a good idea to contact a professional home improvement contractor who will be able to determine the exact cause of the noises. Once they have uncovered what is causing the issue, they can often provide a solution that is tailored to your specific problem. Get in touch with Windows on Washington today for a free evaluation.