Storm damage, stray baseballs, and even backyard barbecue accidents can leave your vinyl siding looking less than ideal. When your house siding is damaged, not only does it look unattractive, it also fails to protect your home from the weather, insects, and other threats. However, the good news is that you can actually repair your exterior siding for a quite affordable cost. By switching out the damaged pieces for new panels, vinyl siding repair can revitalize your home’s appearance, restore its protection, and go easy on your wallet all at the same time.
If you have several sections of severely damaged siding, it might be worth doing a complete new siding installation. However, if the damage is confined to a handful of areas, you may find that vinyl siding repair is a more cost-effective route. House siding repair is a relatively straightforward process, but there are a few tricks to getting it right. You will require some knowledge of siding installation techniques as well as a special siding removal tool. Many DIYers can safely and effectively complete this project on their own, but if you’re not comfortable with tackling your own repairs, a local siding contractor should be able to provide assistance at a reasonable rate.
The very first step, before you ever start cutting or removing the old siding, is to do a color check. This is an extremely important step because vinyl siding can fade after years of exposures to the sun. Hold up a piece of the replacement siding against the area in need of repair. Do the colors match? If so, proceed with the repair process. If not, you need to go back to the drawing board to find a more suitable color match. In some cases, especially with small repairs, you can swap out the new siding for a piece of the old siding, maybe in an area behind a tree or bush that won’t be so obvious. Then you can complete the repair using the old, matching piece of house siding.
The vinyl siding repair process itself is quite simple:
Evaluate the damaged siding and determine which panels need to be replaced. Then measure out the length needed for the new siding, adding 2 inches on each siding to create an overlap.
Use your siding removal tool to carefully loosen the bottom edge of the siding panel you plan to replace. In most cases, this will be easiest if you loosen it along its entire length.
Carefully cut out the damaged siding using a utility knife and snippers. Be sure to only remove the length of the repair piece, minus 4 inches (for the 2 inch overlap on either end).
Again using the siding removal tool, lift the bottom edge of the siding above the piece you’re about to remove, revealing the nailing strip. Carefully pry out the nails and remove the siding.
For the overlap, snip off the bottom J-channel and top nailing strip from the replacement siding (2 inches on either end).
Fit the replacement panel into the hole, running the new siding on top of the old at the ends.
Secure the siding by nailing into the nailing strip.
Hook the J-channel of the upper piece of siding into the new section with your siding removal tool.
And that’s it. Your siding repair should blend in and be almost unnoticeable, leaving your home looking great.
For professional-looking results, here are a few additional pointers:
When removing the old siding, be careful not to tear the surrounding vinyl or you may end up doing a larger repair than you planned!
Make sure the new siding overlaps the old siding at least 2 inches on each side edge. This will ensure complete weather protection for your home as well as providing a more attractive appearance.
As with all siding installations, make certain that the nails are NOT snug
when putting in the new piece. This will prevent the siding from moving
as it expands and contracts and can lead to broken or cracked siding
down the line.