Hate to break it to you, but your vinyl siding isn’t going to last forever. It sucks, we know. But, with some light maintenance and minor repairs, you can at least keep your vinyl siding protecting your home for many years to come.
Vinyl siding can crack, break, dent, or come loose during severe storms where large debris and strong winds slam into it at high speeds. But that doesn’t mean you always require a total siding replacement. Instead, some more minor repairs can alleviate the pain of having to re-side your house and maintain the integrity of your siding by fixing the one small area.
Luckily, some vinyl siding repair is very DIY-friendly, and we can walk you through a step-by-step process to repair your broken vinyl siding in no time.
Signs That Your Siding Needs to Be Fixed
Broken vinyl siding can look like many different things and doesn’t need to be super obvious to require repair. Here are some signs you may need to repair your vinyl siding:
- You notice chips, dents, or cracks. Even the smallest hole in your siding can welcome insects like termites and ants and water seepage.
- Loose siding causing gaps which can lead to water leaking in and mold growth.
- If the wood underneath is rotting, that will require a more extensive repair.
- Finding yourself repainting your fading siding often? That could mean the waterproof layer has worn away, and you need to repair or replace your siding.
- Panels are warped or bubbling up due to water damage.
- Mold or mildew growth either on the outside or behind your vinyl panels.
Tools & Supplies You’ll Need for Vinyl Siding Repair.
There are a few essential tools you’ll need to complete any repairs, both minor and major, on your vinyl siding.
- Caulk and caulking gun
- Replacement siding
- Tape measure
- Tin snips
- Utility knife
- Zip tool
Three Methods to Repair Broken Vinyl Siding
There are a few different ways you can repair your vinyl siding, depending on what sort of damage you’ve sustained. Each has its own technique and method to repair.
Fixing a hole.
Repairing a small hole is as easy as 1, 2, 3…and maybe 4. But tiny holes can happen in many ways, from a baseball hitting it to an exterior decorating mishap. Either way, hole fixes are very DIY-friendly and can be done in a few easy steps. All you need is some cleaning supplies, some caulk, and some patience.
Step 1: Clean the area.
You want a clean surface free of dust and junk so that your repair can stick. Using a sponge or soft cloth and some soap and water, gently clean the spot you need to repair and let it completely dry before you begin.
Step 2: Prep your caulk gun.
Loading a caulk gun is pretty easy, and the instructions should be on the tube. But you’ll cut the tip off, then puncture a hole using a long nail or something narrow and sharp. Then pull back the handle and fill up the tube.
Step 3: Fill the hole.
Gently place the tip of the caulk gun in the hole and fill it up, making sure to slightly overfill it, so it creates a watertight and airtight seal. This needs to dry for at least 24 hours.
Step 4: Remove the excess.
Once the caulk is completely dry, you can use a scraper to gently scrape away the excess caulk sticking out of the hole you just repaired. This will make a flat, even surface that you can paint over. If you do it right, you’ll never be able to tell there was a hole.
Applying a patch.
For bigger holes or cracks, you can apply a patch of vinyl siding over the area to ensure it is watertight and won’t cause any further damage.
Step 1: Clean the area.
This will start out the same as before, by cleaning the working surface to have a clean area the caulk can stick to.
Step 2: Cut the patch to fit.
Carefully cut your vinyl siding patch, utilizing the bottom curved piece and cutting up to the size you need. This will make it easy to slide the vinyl piece in place and create a seamless edge on the bottom.
Step 3: Patch the damage.
Put a small amount of caulk on the back of your patch and then around the edges of the hole/damage. Carefully put it in place and seal it tightly.
Step 4: Let it dry.
Once it’s had a chance to dry for at least 24 hours, you can ensure it’s stable and remove any excess caulk using a scraper. Paint over any necessary areas.
Replacing a vinyl siding panel.
If one panel of your siding was damaged enough to require a replacement, a simple process can remove your old damaged one, and have a new one up in a matter of minutes. It’s very DIY-friendly and saves you time and money with hiring a contractor for such a small job.
Step 1: Separate the broken panel.
Using your zip tool, slide it underneath to separate the broken panel from the other siding. Your zip tool essentially works like a hook to reach up behind the panels to reach what you can’t. It will unhook your broken panel from the one before it.
Step 2: Remove any nails or screws.
Using your pry bar, hammer, or drill to remove any nails or screws holding your vinyl panel to the sheathing. You’ll have to lift up the panel above it to see the row of nails or screws. Having a friend to help hold it can help speed things up.
Step 3: Prep your new piece of vinyl.
Cut your new vinyl piece to size using a miter saw, table saw, or utility knife. Fit in on the bottom first, so its curved edge sits on the panel next to it, then slide the top panel underneath where you just removed the old nails and screws on your broken vinyl.
Step 4: Install the new vinyl panel.
Once it’s in place, secure your vinyl panel using new nails and screws underneath the panel above.
Step 5: Secure the panels together.
Finally, use your zip tool to pry up the shingle laying over the top so it hooks back together with your new piece of vinyl.
When you look at your once damaged siding, it should look as good as new! These easy DIY repairs can save you a ton of time and buy you time until there is a need to replace your siding. And when that time comes, call Northface Construction for all of your siding installation needs.