Repairing vinyl siding is a quick fix, whether you replace it or patch it
My grandkids were over during the spring and playing baseball. Well, inevitably the baseball hit my house and damaged one of our vinyl siding pieces. It only damaged one piece, but of course it is right in the middle of the wall. I may want to replace it at a later time, but is there a quick easy fix and are there ways to repair the damage without removing the entire side of the house?
—Raymond, S. Dexter, Mich.
Siding repair to any home is unavoidable, and it's a repair job that, for us as homeowners, we must become accustom to, especially homeowners with children. My home siding repair experience is similar to yours, although it wasn’t related to a baseball but a soccer ball. The good news is that vinyl siding is one of the easiest repairs to make compared to wood, aluminum or brick.
There are a couple ways of handling the vinyl repair. You can replace a piece of siding, or a quick fix is to cover the damage with a matching piece of siding. Here is how you do it.
Replace. If you want to replace the damage piece, you will need a vinyl siding removal tool. Remember, all vinyl siding is nailed at the top and interlocked at the bottom and installed from the bottom up.
Carefully disconnect the damaged siding from the existing siding with the vinyl siding removal tool, which is available at most hardware stores for less than $10. Measure and cut the new piece and reattach the new piece by nailing the top. Next, interlock the bottom by using the vinyl siding tool to pull the bottom piece of the siding, known as the buttlock, and slide it into place along the existing siding.
Patch. If you would like to do a quick repair, do not have to the siding tool and have an extra piece of vinyl, then you maybe able to patch instead of replace. Cut a piece of extra siding large enough to cover the area. Keep in mind the length of the repair piece can be almost any size you would like, but also keep in mind, aesthetically, the longer the piece, the more the seams are spread apart, and the better it looks.
The top piece of the new siding (also known as the nail hem) will have to be cut off in order for a straight top to slide up into the existing siding. This can be done carefully with a sharp utility knife. Since vinyl siding is designed to interlock at the buttlock, this too will also have to be cut away. This part is a little trickier, as you will just be removing the last curved edge, leaving the bottom straight edge for enabling you to connect it in the next step.
You will now be able to take the piece and slide it up over the damaged piece of siding. Be sure it is a tight and secure fit. Next, rivet the piece on the siding's buttlock to the existing siding to ensure it’s secure. It’s best if you can get matching rivets, but if you’re unable to find them, paint them to match.
Photo by: J Ambrose
You may want to replace that section at a later time, but, for now, this temporary repair will buy you some time.
Paul is a State of Michigan Licensed Builder. Paul serves as President and founding member of Nationally franchised HandyPro Handyman Service, servicing Washtenaw, Wayne and Oakland Counties. www.handypro.com. Listen to Paul every Saturday at 11 a.m. on “It’s Your Business, Make It Happen” WAAM Talk 1600AM. Email questions or comments to email@example.com.