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Vinyl Siding Porch Ceiling falling down.

gwilson36's picture

I know little to nothing about vinyl siding but I've been doing some handyman work for a local non-profit which rebuilds and resells affordable houses and they frequently use vinyl siding.  I was at a house yesterday and noticed the vinyl ceiling of the covered porch is beginning to give in to gravity.  (The ceiling appears to be the same pieces used in the soffets, ( i.e. it has the same shape and holes etc.) but is in longer pieces running parallel to the face of the house.)  Its coming down as a unit, in the middle, bottom edge of the porch and doesn't appear to have any fasteners holding it up, just fitted in the j-channel at the ceilings edges.  The porch ceiling dimension is about 8'x20'.


I'm looking for any info, ideas, etc. that will fix this.  I'm guessing this is not the way it's supposed to have been done, the original vendor is gone, and the group doen't have much in the way of funds to rehire and refix the ceiling, if I can do it for them it would be a great savings to them.


Thanks.

(post #54104, reply #1 of 12)

                    It sounds to me like the nails are coming out of the substrate. Any sign of water collecting under there? I would say the only thing to do, Take it all down.  It may have been nailed to tight. Re-hang it and make sure you are using the correct nails , make sure they aren't nailed home . Vinyl needs room to expand and contract. You should be able to slide each sheet a 1/4 " in both directions. When it is hung properly, It will move.


                   It may have been under - nailed as well . When that center nail fell out you had a 4' sag. I nail siding every 12"- 15 " hitting studs, when I know they are there.


                   Number the sheets as you take them off. It might help in the end.. you might find your porch is not square, and never was. This will keep you from having short peices, at the end of the job.


Edited 8/1/2002 9:18:41 AM ET by Edgar76b

Where there's A wheel there's a way, got any wheels?

(post #54104, reply #2 of 12)

"Its coming down as a unit, in the middle, bottom edge of the porch and doesn't appear to have any fasteners holding it up, just fitted in the j-channel at the ceilings edges.  The porch ceiling dimension is about 8'x20'."


There's your problem. It can't span 8 feet (I'm assuming it's not spanning 20).  Take it down, carefully labeling each piece as the other poster suggested and re-install it.  This time, use nails spaced no further than 24" apart. This assumes you have ceiling joists of some kind.


In the likely event you don't have any ceiling joists and really can't afford any, you could always hang the soffit from the rafters with wire much like a suspended ceiling is hung.  I have no experience with this type of install and have no idea if it would hold up very well.

(post #54104, reply #3 of 12)

Is this on an existing ceiling or new construction. It should be nailed to ply wood or OSB.or something Otherwise, you will have a wind problem, maybe that is what happened.


"I was born in the country and razed in the city, I'm a natural born shaker from my hips to the ground" 

Where there's A wheel there's a way, got any wheels?

(post #54104, reply #4 of 12)

Affordable housing.....hmmmm...Well, if all the answers these chaps have posted wont work for you due to funds then what you might try (to cheap out) is to locate where all the ceiling joists are and use white (assuming the vinyl is white) trim nails  through the groove part of the soffet. I really think that would work. taking it all down would be the proper procedure but if you all financially can't afford that I beleive my way would work fine.


Be well


         Namaste'


                        Andy


It's not who's right, it's who's left ~ http://CLIFFORDRENOVATIONS.COM

(post #54104, reply #5 of 12)

None of the above answers will cure the problem for long. In fact, they will only create another set altogether.


You cannot span 8' with vinyl soffit material. Period. It was not made to span that distance, and ANYTHING you do to try to tack it in place will create warpage.


What you should do is to remove the soffit material, and install J channel in the center of the porch ceiling. Use two pieces back to back. Then reinstall the soffit in 4' pieces. When finished, you will have J channel on the outer edge(s), and J channel right down the center. Either side of the middle J channel will have 4' long sections of sofit material. We often use a herringbone pattern to spice things up a bit. That method, however, will require a few more soffit pieces to go with what you already have.


And, 4' is stretching the maximum distance that soffit material can be installed and still hold itself in place correctly.


Just a thought...


James DuHamel
J & M Home Maintenance Service

James DuHamel

He who dies with the most toys.... Still dies!

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?" MARK 8:36

www.godsfreemusic.com

(post #54104, reply #6 of 12)

Thanks james that is somthing to know.

"I was born in the country, razed in the city, I'm a natural born shaker from my hips to the ground" 

Where there's A wheel there's a way, got any wheels?

(post #54104, reply #7 of 12)

JAmes,


      Not sure what you mean....I have done dozens of porch ceilings with the soffet nailed into the plywood sheathing and or roof rafters. If the rafters ran the wrong way I nail up furring and nail to that...and in all my 27 years never saw any of my work warp or fail. Am I missing something. Please let me know. Thanks.


Be well


            Namaste'


                           Andy


It's not who's right, it's who's left ~ http://CLIFFORDRENOVATIONS.COM

(post #54104, reply #8 of 12)

Yeah andy I have been trying to remember when I have gone over 8'. That is a long width for a porch.  I have never had a problem either. I never saw that written anywhere. And it doesn't really make sense to me if your nailing properly.


I'd like some verification if its true, That would be somthing to know someday. Carports etc.


"I was born in the country, razed in the city, I'm a natural born shaker from my hips to the ground" 

Where there's A wheel there's a way, got any wheels?

(post #54104, reply #9 of 12)

Ed...Its NOT true. I've run full lengths of soffet across porch ceiling for years with zero problem. As long as its nailed properly into a sold surface it will NEVER fail. Vinyl IMHO is ugly to begin with but some folks cant afford da real thang in lower hooded areas so ya do what ya gotta do to the best of your ability according to budget. I've read here lately how some elitist carpenters feel as though vinyl has no place in Fine Rag Zine......but IMHO.....I give them applause (FHB) being ballsy enough to acknowledge all the people all  the time...Some of the people some of the time cant always get into the groove of the highest and mightiest if ya know what I'm jawin' about. Tell ya what.....maybe there should be an article about how to do things to accomidate those that cant get their abode back to shape.....Just for now........till things get better for em.....I lived in my younger years in NYC and Brklyn where people couldnt afford squat but were hard workin caring people...A vacation to them was a weekend on the beach to Coney Island. And I mean sleep on the beach.  From some of the letters I read about vinyl...,made me wanna puke. I was brought up in the projects in NY and I KNOW what going without means. You do what ya gotta do to the best of yer ability. I kinda think thats "part" of why vinyl exists....besides bad taste....lol......I can go on and on.... I ripped off more asbestos....member asbestos kids? to put up aluminum..........member aluminum kids????...and ripped that off to put up vinyl..........mem........So guess what? its all got its place through history and time. Sad  thing is seeing.......when I did "aluminum" was to see the wood shingles below the asbestos......wanna rumble anyone?????? LOL


Be well


        Namaste


                    (off on another tangent)


                                                           Andy........hey.....its Fridayyyyyyyyy bro


It's not who's right, it's who's left ~ http://CLIFFORDRENOVATIONS.COM

(post #54104, reply #10 of 12)

I am wit you man. I don't think the vinyl itself is a thing of beauty. I think problem solving is. And you must know what looks good before you can aspire to it. Looking Good!


Making a dump look like somthing remotely Arhitectural , is art. Everything has a place.


"I was born in the country, razed in the city, I'm a natural born shaker from my hips to the ground" 

Where there's A wheel there's a way, got any wheels?

(post #54104, reply #11 of 12)

I have done dozens of porch ceilings with the soffet nailed into the plywood sheathing and or roof rafters. If the rafters ran the wrong way I nail up furring and nail to that...and in all my 27 years never saw any of my work warp or fail. Am I missing something. Please let me know


First of all, he stated that it appeared that no nails or fasteners were holding up the middle. I see this quite a lot. I call it the "cheap installation" of soffit material on a porch ceiling because it avoids having to use 1 x furring strips. I would venture to say that 80% of all installations I have to repair are done this way. I cannot tell you WHY they did it that way, but can only speculate. I think a lot of it has to do with clearance or pure laziness. Either way, it is a common installation procedure. Because someone is trying to install a LONG panel (8' in this case) and the panel is supposed to stay in place by the interlocking lips, the sagging problem is gonna be there. Soffit material that long cannot support itself. Gravity takes over.


Because of the way that he described the installation and the problem, I will absolutely stick to my guns on how to remedy the situation. I am not there, nor can I see in person WHY it was done the way he described. I can only answer from experience about what to do when you DO find this situation. He is working on a ceiling that must take into consideration the COSTS of repairing as well as doing a proper repair job. The J channel can be installed down the center, and attached to the joists. Then the vinyl soffit can hang freely and stay in place.


Another situation that I have found on open construction porch ceilings is that the heat will build up in the ceiling cavity, and the vinyl will be subjected to a lot of EXTRA heat. Because of this factor, fastening the vinyl soffit to furring strips will actually prevent it from expanding and contracting enough. I know vinyl has a lot of room to expand and contract if nailed properly, but when subjected to the increased heat (especially in my area) the vinyl cannot expand ENOUGH. This is where the warpage comes in, and I see it a LOT.


You may very well do it right, but most do not. I say most because of the number of repairs I have had to make compared to the number of vinyl siding contractors operating in my area. I personally have nothing against vinyl siding products, and even use them myself. I have a serious problem with inexcperienced siding contractors that do p i s s poor jobs of installing the material.


If ya want to avoid water pentration and rot, make sure the exterior is watertight BEFORE you install the siding. Then, if any water does get behind the siding, it has nowhere to go but down.


Just a thought...


James DuHamel
J & M Home Maintenance Service

James DuHamel

He who dies with the most toys.... Still dies!

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?" MARK 8:36

www.godsfreemusic.com

(post #54104, reply #12 of 12)

Sounds like you nailed it James.  ( no pun intended) They probably used cheap Soffit materials ,combined with a poor installation. Then what do you have?


"I was born in the country, razed in the city, I'm a natural born shaker from my hips to the ground" 


Edited 8/3/2002 8:46:21 PM ET by Edgar76b

Where there's A wheel there's a way, got any wheels?