Flapping panels. When vinyl is installed on a new two-story home, it sometimes comes unlocked above the first-floor top plate, and begins to flap in the wind. "It's a common problem," says Robert Long, marketing manager for vinyl siding at Louisiana-Pacific. "It's the worst thing that gives vinyl siding a bad name."

The cause of the problem is joist shrinkage and settlement. "Where you see unlocking panels is usually at the band between the first and second floor," says Doug Price of Norandex. "When the joists shrink, the short return leg of the siding comes loose from the lock. You'll sometimes see bowing or oil-canning of the siding at that plate."

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