An Introduction to Vinyl Siding Trim

It is important that your vinyl siding trim is both attractive as well as water resistant. Polyvinyl was looked down upon not too long ago, but now it is the most commonly found option even on expensive homes.

Installing it is actually pretty quick and easy; however, making sure it looks nice can still be a challenge. Still, there is no better way to learn than to just dive in and do your best. The following will provide you with the basics of vinyl siding trim installation and maintenance.

Even though vinyl trim is the most popular choice these days, it is not without its pros and cons. For example, many contractors find that it is quite leaky because water can enter where the panels overlap and if moisture gets trapped under the siding trim, it may leave the underlying wall surface acceptable to mildew and mold. This can be overcome to a certain extent by having weep holes punched into the bottom edge of each section by the manufacturer. In addition, flashing windows and doors is recommended to help direct the water out.

Vinyl Siding Trim Installation Overview

When it comes time to install your new home cladding, you will want to begin with the vinyl siding trim. These are essentially special pieces that are designed to hold everything together and to hide the edges and ends of each panel. Undersill trim is designed to be installed underneath of windows or any other type of horizontal projection. It most often is interlocked with the panel directly below it. There is also the J-channel which is a section that receives the ends of panels near windows, doors, and other walls. In addition they may go by the name of soffit, fascia, and corner boards.

In order to begin the installation process, it is recommend that you start with the high trimming such as the rakes and soffits. Rakes are best installed by bending the aluminum stock to wrap the face and bottom edge of a rake board. Once these have been installed you can go on to the corner pieces. These are hollow so they are very flexible. You can improve your chances of nailing them in straight by snapping a chalk line on both sides of the corner. When installing always keep in mind that polyvinyl changes in size due to changes in temperature, so leave some space between it and the nail heads.

It is good practice to minimize the J channel around openings. Doors and windows must be surrounded with a J-channel so they may be fasted onto the ends of the siding. In order to keep its use to a minimum you will have to get a little creative. It helps by choosing windows that have a built in J-channel or slot that can act as a receiver section. When it comes to installing vinyl siding trim, there are many tricks to the trade that you will have to learn and keep in practice.

Installation Instructions

There are a few things you will need before you can start to install your siding trim, you will need: tin snips, a tape measure, hammer, 3 ½ inch nails, a chop saw, chalking gloves and safety protection for your eyes.

  1. Once you have all the required tools the first thing you’ll need to do is to measure the space around your window, you’ll need to measure from side to side and top to bottom. Then you need to make sure that you cut the top and bottom pieces pass the edges of the window to the length of the vinyl siding width. If your siding trim is 4 inches in width and your window length is 4 feet in length then you should cut your vinyl siding trim 4 ft 8 inches long.
  2. Once you have done all your measurements the you can proceed to
    mark off all the vinyl siding trims and cut the lengths that you measured nice and straight.
  3. Now that you have got all your vinyl siding trim lengths you can proceed to nail them into place using you 3 ½ inch nails. You will first want to start by nailing the two side pieces into place and then you can nail on the top and bottom pieces. Make sure when you install the window trim that all sides are flush.
  4. Also remember to place a thin bead of chalking between the vinyl trim around the windows to seal any gaps, this will also prevent mildew and mold from forming at a later stage. If you run into any snags it is always helpful to look at the manufacturer’s instructions as not all siding is identical.

Maintaining your Vinyl Siding Trim

There are a few simple ways to maintain your vinyl siding trim and panels. You can start off by rinsing the siding off with water whenever you’re in the garden using the hose. There may be a few stubborn stains that won’t come off with just a rinse, you can use a soft cloth or brush and a bucket of cleaning agent, biodegradable cleaning agents are recommended as not to damage any plant life when rinsed off. The best method is to start from the bottom and work your way up you vinyl siding and rinsing off as you move up. It is also advised that any damaged vinyl siding or siding trim should be removed as soon as possible and replaced to ensure no water leakage.