Modern homes now regularly come complete with aesthetically pleasing paneling in the form of vinyl siding. That’s no surprise, given it’s great to look at, durable, and cost-effective versus traditional materials. As with any exterior aspect of your home, the siding is exposed to the elements and will require some care and attention from time to time.
So, when do you need to undertake vinyl siding repair tasks? There are a few signs to look out for, and we’ll share them later in this article. We’ll also give you a step-by-step guide to repairing your vinyl siding. First, however, let’s understand precisely what we’re dealing with.
Understanding Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding exploded in popularity in the 1950s and shows no sign of going anywhere soon. People realized they no longer had to have a wooden, aluminum, or stone exterior. They could have any color they wanted in various finishes.
As a building material, vinyl siding is impressively robust and easy to maintain, but it isn’t without issues. Extreme weather conditions, objects denting it, and general wear and tear all cause damage to it. The prominent problem people face with vinyl siding is warping. This is where temperature changes cause the shape of the panels to expand and contract. This causes bends and cracks.
Proper maintenance can help to minimize major issues, but if your siding suffers during extreme weather, you should know how to repair it.
Signs Your Vinyl Siding Needs Repair
The next step is understanding the signs that you should look out for. The good news is that almost all of these signs are easily spotted. They just need you to take the time to inspect your home thoroughly. Act quickly, and you’ll save yourself from investing in a larger amount of new siding.
It seems obvious, but if you spot that your vinyl siding is physically damaged, then it means it’ll need repair. You’re looking for damage in any of the panels, such as cracks, holes, and breakages. Typically, this problem happens from an impact, and this could be during extreme weather or from an accident.
Warping and Buckling
Siding can warp (bend and bow) and buckle when exposed to extreme heat or cold. Both tend to be gradual, and you might not spot them in one inspection. Look for slight changes to the angle of the siding or gaps appearing where there should be none.
Fading and Staining
Your siding is exposed to the sunlight 365 days a year (even when the sun is behind clouds). It will naturally fade, and there’s little you can do about it. Some more modern siding is more UV resistant, but even with that, you’ll see signs of fading eventually. Staining is also common, thanks to animals, mold, and dirt. These aren’t dramatic problems but are predictors of larger issues that might be coming.
Mold and Mildew
These seemingly minor issues often mean you have a far more significant problem. Both mold and mildew require moisture to thrive, so if you see it on your siding, you have some water infiltration to fix.
When inspecting your siding, take your time. There are parts which are easy to miss. You can combat this by scheduling regular inspections. Look for any apparent changes to the siding, including color, shape, texture, and gaps. Remember that the earlier you can spot an issue and take action, the lower the impact will be.
Step-by-step Guide to Vinyl Siding Repair
When completing a repair, you must ensure you’re working systematically. Take time and pay great attention to detail. This guide will help you to work through the process and effectively complete a repair:
1. Preparation: Remove any dirt and debris from the area with thorough cleaning. Before starting, you need to have a good view of what you’re dealing with.
2. Removal: To remove a piece of siding easily, you’ll want to use a zip tool or a VSRT (vinyl siding removal tool). This piece of kit is specifically designed to unhook siding without damaging adjacent pieces. Once removed, make sure you remove any nails, too.
3. Cutting: Measure the damaged area and then cut a new piece of vinyl to match. We’d always recommend measuring twice before making any cuts. The piece needs to be slightly larger than you’ve measured to help with installation.
4. Installation: Take the new vinyl and slide it in place. Make sure that it hooks onto the adjacent pieces and is a snug fit. Once in, secure it with some nails. There should be some expansion room allowed. That way, you’ll minimize damage from expansion.
5. Inspect: Take a step back and admire your work. You’re looking for a seamless blend with no gaps that would allow water to infiltrate your home.
When to Call a Professional
Many people repair their vinyl siding themselves, preferring to take the DIY approach. There are, however, many times when you simply need a professional. Complex damage to multiple panels, water damage, awkward installations (such as cornering), or even a lack of tools are all reasons to call in professional vinyl siding repairs. They’ll help you to understand the extent of the damage, assess any further issues, and deliver a quality repair to a high standard.
Completing a vinyl siding repair will preserve the look of your home, with the added benefit of shielding you from the elements. Remember that if you’re undertaking the repair yourself, equip yourself with the right tools and work methodically. You’ll end up with a far better result.
- Regular inspections ensure that vinyl repairs take place before the problem gets worse.
- If in doubt, always defer to professional assistance.
- Follow our step-by-step guide to be sure you’ve completed the repair accurately.
Do you prefer to leave the repairs to the professionals? Fahey Roofing can aid you in your vinyl siding repairs. Give us a ring today to learn more.