So you want to know just how to repair vinyl siding after your neighbours tree branch just fell and hit the side of your house right?
Maybe it wasn't a tree, but perhaps kids playing ball shot a fast one at the side of your house and now you have a crack in your siding, or maybe that barbeque was just a little too close to the house after that family barby on the deck last weekend. (I am guilty of melting siding at my house!).Credit: morguefile.com
Whatever the cause, you now have a piece of siding that obviously needs repairing. To begin with check with your insurance, especially if it was a "act of nature" such as the neighbours tree falling for example, you may be able to get a repair covered.
But if not, and you are somewhat handy, here is a step by step way to repair vinyl siding to look good as new.
One point to remember though, is it is more important to find a replacement piece of vinyl siding that has the exact profile as your house rather than worrying about the colour. You can colour match now at any paint store, so the profile is the most important for your repair to blend.
Do You Have Any Leftovers - If your house was sided not that long ago, then maybe you have some leftover pieces, in the basement, garage or back of shed. If not, you need to take a piece of your siding, by cutting out the bad piece and taking it to a home improvement store to match the profile.
Getting the Damaged Piece Out - Start by investing in a "Siding Unlocking Tool" Most home improvement stores carry these, and it is a way to unlock your siding from the piece above without damaging anymore siding. You could use a pry bar or screw driver, but you risk more damage. It will be well worth the expense of getting one of these tools.
Every piece of siding is hanging from fasteners at the top edge. This same piece, is in turn, locked to the piece below. So, to get your damaged piece out, you need to unhook or unattach the piece above it first.
Using a siding tool, Malco SRT2 Straight Handled Siding Removal Tool simply slide it underneath the bottom edge of the above piece and slide it along "unhooking" the piece as you go. until that entire upper piece is unhooked. Try and now position this piece out of the way or have someone hold it while you get at the damaged piece you want out.
Using a Claw Hammer or Pry Bar - Remove the nails or tacks that are holding your damaged piece of siding on the wall. Then gently push down on your damaged piece of vinyl siding so as to unhook it from the piece below.
Measure the Piece You Took Out - Now cut to size your replacement piece, using your old piece as a template.
Take Your piece and work it in to the other end pieces, usually there is a trim channel over any seams, try and work the ends into that.
Now push up on the piece to lock it into the piece below. Now using galvanized roofing nails, nail it in place with the nailing strip and make sure not to drive the nail all the way in, there should be a tiny gap, approx 1/32 to allow for some expansion. Put a nail every 16 inches evenly if you can.
Lock It into Place - Using your new siding tool, simply start at one end and lock it into place again with the underneath piece. You will know when it is locked as it will make a "clicking sound" and stay put. Follow along the entire edge until your new piece is in place.
Colour Match - If you were lucky enough to have an extra piece of vinyl siding sitting around and the house siding is fairly new, then you should now be finished. But if you had to purchase a piece of vinyl siding to replace this damaged piece, then you may need to colour match it.
Paint Store - Take your damaged piece of siding to your local paint store, and get them to colour match an exterior paint colour for your. Then purchase some outdoor primer, (you can even get the primer tinted to make this job easier).
Prime and Paint - Now make sure your new replacement piece is clean and dry, and then prime and paint it. It should now match the rest of your house and no one will ever know that you had damage!
This why making sure you match the profile of your siding is most important, as you can always paint the piece to match the rest of your house.