What Causes Light Switch Covers To Warp? (SEVEN REASONS)

Light switch covers offer safety benefits by concealing lighting wires and also improve aesthetic appearance by keeping away the different colored wires from the eyes and hands.

However, it is common for the light switch covers to warp, causing potential safety hazards.

So, What Causes Light Switch Covers To Warp?

Well, there are various reasons for the warped light switch covers, and each cause can be handled professionally to prevent future damage. These reasons include low-quality covers, bad screw choice, poor installation, high humidity, temperature fluctuations, electrical issues or poorly finished drywall seams.

Warping can indicate potential electrical malfunction within a power line.

For safety, it is advisable to try fixing the situation before a significant electrical risk presents itself.

Seven Reasons Why Light Switch Covers Warp

Here are the common causes of warping in switch covers and the remedies for each cause.

Taking remedy action for warping socket covers within the shortest time will keep you safe from dangers like electrocution, shock and electrical fires.

1. Poor Switch Plate Installation

Warping of switch covers is mainly caused by improper installation. When the cover is poorly secured to the wall, it will eventually warp due to its weight.

If you notice some light entering around the edges, or you can peer into the wall behind the plate, it indicates that the plate was poorly installed.

You will need to fix such an issue the moment you notice it. Thankfully, it is easy to notice the damage and solve it.

You will only have to remove the plate and reinstall it in the correct manner. Ensure the plate is positioned correctly and firmly into the wall.

The nails and screws should as well be intact and covered on the tips.

If you notice some protruding on the plate, they are too big for the plate and need to be changed.

Call in a technician to help reinstall the switch cover if you are not sure how to do it.

2. Change In Temperatures

Extreme temperature fluctuations can cause light switch plates to warp.

The material used to make the plates expands and contracts when exposed to extreme heat or cold. With time, the material particles get loose and warp.

However, it is important to note that temperature fluctuations will only cause warping if the switch plate is poorly installed.

For example, when the switch plate is attached to the exterior wall, it will be exposed to outdoor temperatures that can make the switch fail to function completely.

If you live in areas that experience extreme hotness in summer and freezing in winter, you need to insulate your house properly to protect light switch plates from warping.

Long exposure to UV lights will cause the light switch covers to warp, especially if they are made of weak materials.

You should therefore try to check the quality of the covers and opt for durable, high-quality covers.

3. Poorly Finished Seams

During construction, builders install drywall horizontally with a seam running up to halfway.

They use mesh tape and another compound to act as glue. When the glue dries, it sands downwards, making it flush with the wallboard.

If the wallboard were poorly installed, it would bulge the seams. Since most light switches are installed almost halfway up the walls, the seams’ bulging makes the switch cover warp.

To handle such a situation, you can use the nylon thermoplastic cover plate, which is capable of withstanding irregular surfaces.

4. Using The Wrong Screws For The Light Switch

Most people do not take seriously the idea of avoiding domed screws when it comes to mounting light switches.

Ideally, the domed screws are not ideal for standard light switch covers.

When you use these screws, they stick out too far.

They also leave a huge gap between the switch plate and the wall.

While tightening the screws through the cover holes, the cover bows outwards, leading to a warped or bent appearance.

To rectify this, you will only need to replace the domed screws with the flat head screws, and the switch plate will appear presentable.

5. Increased Humidity

High humidity can cause problems with outlet covers and light switch plates.

Moisture will cause the drywall to expand and push against the wall. If the material used to make the covers is weak, it will bow outwards.

Another problem was when the builders installed the drywall when the humidity was too high.

This means the joints did not dry properly, and they will shrink later, leading to misalignment that warps switch plates.

When you suspect high humidity in your home, you can use dehumidifiers around the drywall.

Sometimes, you will have to replace the entire drywall and give it time to dry. Afterwards, you may not experience such problems caused by humidity.

6. Electrical Malfunction

Poor wiring and other electrical malfunctions within the home system can make wires to overheat. In the long run, the switch plates start to melt and warp.

When wires are poorly aligned, or of the wrong size, they will easily overheat and cause potential fire risks.

Naked wires that result from rodent chewing or poor installation can cause a partial ground that enables these wires to draw a lot of currents.

Use an ammeter to test the current flow to your switch; if it is too high, hire an electrician to replace it.

7. Earthquake Damage

There are times when you will notice a warping of your light switches after an earthquake, or you will experience several warping damages on switch plates when living in an area with persistent earthquakes, then you probably know why your switches warp.

Apparently, earthquakes cause significant changes to the walls, such as misalignment and cracks.

For warping of switch covers to occur, it means that the switch box has been pushed deeper within the wall.

In such a case, you will need to replace the drywall and reinstall the switches.


Light switch covers warping can be hazardous if not taken care of in time.

Additionally, they will damage the overall house appearance. To be safe, always rectify the underlying problem of making light switches to warp and avoid experiencing similar problems in the future.

Also, consider buying high-quality switch covers so that they can resist frequent damage from the surroundings.

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