Vinyl siding is a common sight on homes throughout the United States. It’s affordable, incredibly durable, and easy to install. However, it is vulnerable to damage during heavy storm conditions. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to notice pieces of their siding pulled away from their home’s exterior walls after severe storms. When this happens, it is not always necessary to completely replace the home’s siding. Instead, it’s possible to perform a quick and effective patching job that will leave the siding looking and performing like new again.
It’s vital to address damaged siding as quickly as possible. Gaps in your home’s siding make it easy for water, dirt, and pests to enter your home and destroy the supporting structures around the exposed area. Luckily, most of the best siding repair methods are easy to handle on your own with the right tools and techniques.
Identify the Area That Requires Replacement
The first step in repairing damaged siding is to identify the area that needs fixing. Siding is attached to the sides of a home using nail strips, and each band of siding interlocks with the band below it to form a consistent appearance and tight seal against the elements. For siding made of shingles or shakes, it is also necessary to determine the extent of the damage and identify how many shingles or shakes require replacement. There’s a smart trick that makes repairing shakes and siding more seamless than repairs to standard clapboard siding.
One of the drawbacks of patching siding is that the replacement siding may stand out against the rest of the side of the house. It will be freshly painted and lack the weathered appearance of the rest of the siding. However, it is possible to circumvent this issue with shakes or shingles. Once you identify how many shakes or shingles you will need to replace, you can take your replacement shingles or shakes from an inconspicuous area of your home, such as the back wall around the base where most people are unlikely to look. Use these shingles or shakes as replacements for the damaged area, and the patch will have a consistent, appropriately weathered look to match the surrounding shakes or shingles.
Repairing Vinyl Siding Bands
If you need to remove and replace damaged clapboard pieces, you first need to extract the damaged segments from the wall while leaving the surrounding bands undisturbed. Start by prying the damaged boards up and off of the bands below them. You can use a hacksaw or backsaw to cut the damaged parts of the clapboard siding off of the wall, leaving the rest of the bands intact. You’ll need a hammer or small pry bar to extract the nails from the top of the damaged siding pieces you’re removing.
Once all of the damaged siding is removed, you will need to have new siding available that matches your home’s existing siding and cut bands to fit the gaps you just made. Take your time and measure accurately for a precise fit. You may need to plane the edges to get everything to fit just right. After you have the replacement bands cut to fit into place with their top edges tucked under the bands above and their bottom edges resting over the bands below, apply primer to the boards and nail them into place once they are dry.
After the replacement boards are nailed into place, you’ll need to paint the patched area for a consistent look. Before you do this, caulk the edges of the patched section with acrylic latex caulk to ensure the repair job is watertight. When the caulk is dry, you can paint the replaced siding to match the rest of the home’s exterior.
Repairing Damaged Siding Shakes and Shingles
If you follow the previously mentioned tip and extract some shingles from an inconspicuous part of your home’s exterior to use as replacements for your damaged shingles, this type of siding repair is relatively easy and straightforward. Pry out the damaged shingles or shakes and remove the nails holding them in. If you can’t get the nails out, you can clip off the heads, and if you can’t get the damaged shakes or shingles out easily, you can use a hammer and chisel to split them into smaller pieces, which should make things easier.
Once you have the damaged shakes or shingles removed, replacing them is pretty straightforward. Be sure to use 16d aluminum nails, not steel, and pre-drill guide holes for the nails to prevent the replacement shakes or shingles from splitting. Once the damaged area is repaired, simply insert new shingles into the spot where you extracted your replacements to seal up your exterior again.
Best Practices for Siding Replacement Jobs
Small cases of siding damage are relatively simple to repair as long as you have the right materials, tools, and techniques. Keep a few best practices in mind if you decide to tackle siding repair on your own:
- Always try to purchase replacement siding from the same manufacturer as the rest of your home’s siding. This will help ensure the most consistent look possible for your home after the repair is complete.
- Take your time when you need to measure cuts into replacement siding. You don’t want to cut a replacement band too short accidentally and have to do the whole job over again or waste replacement bands.
- Most siding manufacturers fabricate their siding materials to interlock easily with one another. Pay close attention to the tabs cut into the ends of replacement bands, so you can have the most consistent look and feel to the finished result.
- If your home sustained significant siding damage from a storm, check your homeowners’ insurance policy and determine whether your coverage applies. You may be able to arrange a repair job without paying out of pocket if your insurance covers the damage.
- If you have a siding damage problem that you don’t feel comfortable handling alone, call a professional contractor to help you with the repair. Your home’s siding is essential and vital for your home to remain safe and comfortable, and a professional will know the best way to fix your damaged siding.
Summer storms can be surprisingly strong and damaging, and homeowners need to know how to repair the damage storms can cause to their siding as quickly as possible. Your siding is one of the most important parts of your home’s exterior, so address siding damage promptly and ensure a safe and effective repair.