When cold weather starts to roll in, the shrubs and trees around your home start to show their winter colors. But that can also mean areas of vinyl siding that were previously hidden from view are now available for the world to see. That includes those dents and cracks that sometimes show up after a lawn mower throws a rock or a late summer storm wrecks havoc on your house.
Do it yourself? Sure!
A homeowner can make minor repairs with a few simple tools and an extra piece of vinyl siding. If you have basic carpentry skills, you can handle this. Here’s how:
- Gather what you need. That includes a hammer, nails, an extra piece of siding and a vinyl siding removal tool. This looks like a flat steel hook with a sturdy handle. It is available at most home improvement stores for less than five dollars.
- Make sure the extra vinyl siding piece is the same size of the one you are replacing. Measure carefully, and use tin snips to cut the vinyl if necessary.
- Work with the panel above the damaged one. The goal is to pull the panel up in order to get to the nailed side underneath. Start by sliding the removal tool under the edge of the vinyl siding piece, at the corner. Pull toward you and down at the same time you slide it from one end to the other. The vinyl siding piece should pop free as you go.
- Lift the piece of siding. Underneath you will see the nailing strip of the damaged siding.
- Pull the nails out of the siding using the end of your hammer. Some of these might be tough, especially if the siding has been in place for a long while.
- When you have removed the damaged siding, replace it with the new strip. You can even use the old nail holes as a guide.
- Now that the new strip is installed, you need it all together again. Using your removal tool, slide the hook underneath the siding and pull it downward. This will allow it to snap into place and “latch on” to the siding underneath.
Other tips for vinyl siding repair
If you don’t have an extra piece of vinyl siding, go ahead and remove the panel and take it to the home improvement store with you. If the line is discontinued, taking the damaged panel can help you match the vinyl siding colors and designs as best you can.
Finally, take the opportunity to ensure the health of your exterior. When you remove the damaged panel, carefully examine the area underneath it. If there is damage that goes beyond the siding, it might be time to call in an expert. This is especially true if you have had several pieces damaged, like you might see with a fallen tree or other storm-related problems.