While vinyl siding is extremely durable, it isn't indestructible. It can be damaged from hail, tree limbs during excess winds, or an errant baseball from neighborhood children. If the damage is minor, such as just a small crack, and you are handy, you can easily repair it yourself. Here's how to quickly and easily repair your damaged vinyl siding.
First, you will need to purchase a special tool called a zip tool. You can find this inexpensive tool for less than ten dollars at any home improvement store. This tool is used for effortlessly removing siding pieces without damaging the surrounding siding. A pry bar may also come in handy for prying the siding piece away from the house. Additionally, you will need replacement siding pieces. If your home was recently resided, you will likely have a few replacement pieces left over. Otherwise, you will need to purchase this from your home improvement store as well.
Using the zip tool, you will push the tool under the lip of the bottom edge of the piece of siding to be replaced and slide the tool along the edge. Once you feel the tool catch, use a down and out motion to gently lift the siding up, freeing it from the piece below. When you have freed the damaged piece, repeat the process on the piece of siding directly above it. Now you can either pull the damaged piece off, or use the pry bar to remove any nails that are holding it in place.
Next, slide the new piece of siding into place. This will require catching the lip of the siding that lies below the damaged piece, interlocking them. Using 1 ¼ inch roofing nails and either a nail gun or hammer, pound new nails into the nailing flange. A nailing flange is an extra strip at the top of the siding has that has small slots in which to place the nails. Pound each nail into the center of each slot, spaced every 16 inches or near the previous nail holes. Don't pound the nail all the way; you need to leave the nail head elevated about 1/32 inch. This will allow the siding to contract and expand with temperature extremes, preventing future breakage. If it is not allowed space to move freely, the siding will eventually twist or buckle.
Using the zip tool again, grab the lip of the upper piece of siding and lock it back into place over the now repaired siding piece. It is best to do siding repair during the warmer months as siding becomes brittle and prone to breakage when it is very cold.
If you don't feel your do-it-yourself skills are up to par, or if the damage would require the use of a ladder, it is best to hire a siding contractor to perform the repairs for you. For more information, contact local professionals like Stark Siding Inc.