Warped and bowed paneling - Cause???

I have viewed several properties with extremely bowed paneling in most or all of the rooms. These particular homes have been sitting un-heated for 7 months-2 years.
I wonder if the cause of this is directly related to the fact that they haven’t been heated over a winter, or if moisture is the problem?? The roofs dont SEEM to be leaking, but I heard that damp basements can cause paneling to bow in the rest of the house, not only the basement?
Anyone know the cause of this ???

Probably moisture. The constant up and down of the temps with no heating or cooling may have helped some.

Another thing that commonly causes the bowed walls is putting up paneling over studs when it is designed to be installed over sheeting. A lot of the paneling is so flimsy that it can’t be installed directly on studs. Lowes has tags all their paneling telling you how it needs to be installed.

Furthermore, paneling needs to acclimate to the temperature and humidity in the house before it is installed. If you install it before it acclimates, it can bow.


I have panelling in a lot of rooms on one house that I’m working on now which is bowed a lot…When I tore it down, the drywall underneath was in perfect shape except for 2 walls where there was leaking from the roof over the years, but on the other walls there was no problem…I’d say it’s not necessarily indicative of moisture damage, but it’s easy to pull down and take a look (bring some nails and a hammer with you to put it back up after taking down a few panels)…