Vinyl siding is a solid and very sturdy option for the exterior of your home. While it is very tough it isn’t impervious to direct hits or sever weather. Luckily, the fix is relatively easy with the help of a zip tool that can be found at any hardware store for just a few bucks. This is your secret weapon in repairing vinyl siding.
Before getting started on the project be sure to have all your tools ready to go (listed below). It is also recommended that you do vinyl siding repairs in warm weather. Trying to repair siding in cold weather is much hard and can even cause the siding the crack as you try to remove/re-install.
This can be done alone but if you have an extra set of hands available, be sure to take advantage!
Items you will need:
- Zip Tool
- Flat pry bar for removing existing nails
- Hammer and nails
- A new piece(s) of siding
- Work Gloves
- Safety Glasses
Replacing vinyl siding
Have a new piece of matching siding ready to go when you start. Find the end of the damaged piece of siding and push the zip tool under the siding until you feel it hook. Pull the tool down and slightly outwards to release the siding from the mounting. As it comes down, continue to slide the zip tool horizontally along the siding to release the entire panel.
Continue the repair by “unzipping” any pieces above the damaged piece that may be in the way. You can use your arm to keep these out of the way while you work the nails out. Slide the new piece of siding in so that the lower lip locks into place with the siding below.
Use ¼” roofing nails at around 15″ spacing – close to but not in the existing holes – to hammer the new piece in place. Leave around a 1/32″ space between the nail head and the new piece of siding.
Leaving space between the nail head and siding is extremely important as the siding will swell and shrink with weather changes. Nailing it too tight can cause the siding to buckle in extreme heat.
Finishing the job
Now that you have the new piece of siding in place it is time to re-install the pieces above back into place. Using your zip tool, start at one end and slide the tool so that the panel clicks back in place. You will need to push the siding to help it slide into place.
Depending on the age of your vinyl siding it may be difficult to match the colors. If the existing siding is faded it could be a good idea to resurface and paint it.
For newer vinyl siding you can usually find the matching color at your local Home Depot or Lowes. Keep your damaged siding so that you can bring it in for color matching.
Painting vinyl siding
Before painting you will need to clean the vinyl siding. Use a mixture of:
– 1/3 cup laundry detergent – 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner – 1 quart liquid laundry bleach – 1 gallon water
Using a gentle brush work the solution onto the siding and hose off.
Once the surface is clean and dry, you are ready to paint. Using a roller or paint sprayer, apply the new paint to your vinyl siding. Use a paint bush for the hard to reach corners.
Considerations for vinyl siding repair
If you are long overdue for vinyl siding repair it may be worth updating the entire house. Old siding is often hard to color match or find matching replacement pieces. If the siding is starting to crack all around the house than it is worth considering an entire overhaul.
An entire overhaul will of course take more time and cost more but there are advantages. If you are repairing a lot of the panels already, the house is going to look mismatched. At this point you are getting to a point where you spend more today or do a quick fix and have to spend more in a few years anyways.
Vinyl siding today is more resilient than the stuff from 20 years ago. Taking the time to update your house will add value as well as provide better protection from the elements.
Take the time this summer to refresh your vinyl siding and enjoy it for years to come!