Repairing Damaged Vinyl Siding Yourself

Repairing vinyl siding can be done by most homeowners with a minimum of tools. Repairs are best done in warm weather as vinyl siding is much easier to handle when warm. There will be some bending of the siding required for both the removal and re-installation so although possible when cold, save it for warm weather if possible.

Some of the tools you will need are a ladder, hammer, four foot carpenters level, small pry bar or cats paw, pencil, snips or saw for cutting new pieces to length, a good measuring tape and a siding unlocking tool if you can find one.

Large box stores and most siding suppliers will have a simple unlocking tool for a few bucks. It is curved to slide up and behind the siding and by sliding it along the siding, unlocks the joint making removal a piece of cake.

It is well worth the small investment. Always unlock the piece above the piece you are replacing, first. Then carefully and without placing the tools on the good siding, remove the nails holding the damaged siding piece in place. Slide the damaged piece out and place it on your work table or horses.

Cut a new piece of siding exactly the same length as the one you removed. Remember if your siding has been installed for a while, the new piece will not match exactly in color. Siding fades over time from the weather and UV rays.

With the new piece of siding cut, replace it making sure the lower siding lock seats firmly over the entire length of the piece. The ends will require a bit of bending of the siding to interlock with the adjoining pieces but with practice this gets to be old hat. The rule of cutting siding is leave 3/4 of an inch spacing in corner trims in cold weather and 1/2 inch or less in warm or hot weather. Siding when cold will shrink a great deal and you don’t want it to slip out from behind the corner trim piece.

Once the new siding is in place, using the removal tool, slide it up behind the higher piece of siding and grip the lock at one end of the piece and by pulling down and out and pushing the existing siding into place over the new piece, the upper and lower (new) locks will engage each other. A good strike with the palm of your hand in a downward direction will help make sure the siding pieces are securely locked together.

Using your carpenters four foot level, place it on one of the ribs of the replaced siding piece to assure it has been installed in a level position. Step back and take a look. Good as new.

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