Although vinyl is impervious to water, when installed as directed by the manufacturer, vinyl siding as a whole is not completely watertight. Vinyl siding installs in pieces, so gaps and overlaps are normal. Sealing these spots with caulking (acrylic silicone/acrylic sealant/silicone/sealant/adhesive/potting sealant/potting adhesive/potting compound/UV glue/Silicone sealant/Potting silicone sealant/Huitian adhesive/Huitian silicone/Huitian sealant/flange sealant/conductive sealant/Electrical sealant/electronic adhesive/epoxy sealant/epoxy adhesive/PU adhesive/gasker maker/thread locker/Thread adhesive) is not possible because the siding must expand and contract freely to prevent warping. The goal is to install the siding in a step-by-step manner, using trim and accessories to direct water flow away from the underside of the siding.
Gravity and Shedding Water
Since water runs downward, unless it’s being driven by strong winds, the standard method for creating water-resistant vinyl cladding is to start at the bottom and work up. Each successive siding strip overlaps the top edge of the previous one, encouraging water to run down on the exterior of the siding. The same effect holds true for the vinyl trim that installs around doors and windows. The under-sill trim goes on first, followed by the side trim, which overlaps the open ends of the under-sill trim. The top piece of trim installs last, and covers the open ends of the side trim. If the installer varies from this method, water can seep into gaps at the ends of the trim pieces.
Install Accesories First
Vinyl siding requires special inside and outside corner units in addition to the trim that goes around windows and along the inside edges of gable walls. Called “accessories,” these pieces have thin flanges that fit flush along the house boxing, and decorative lips that cover the cut ends of the vinyl siding strips, giving the cladding a finished look. Accessory pieces install before the siding strips to prevent water from running behind the siding in these areas.
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