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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Walls Category: Exterior Walls: Vinyl Siding

Problem:

Vinyl siding panel is damaged, suffering from a significant, very noticeable tear or crack.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Hammer

  • Pry bar

  • Zip tool / vinyl siding removal tool

  • Appropriate vinyl panel replacement

  • Vinyl material leftover/scrap

  • Pliers (find one designed to cut easily and delicately, such as vinyl siding; aviation snips may be a good selection)

  • PVC cement

  • Vinyl siding cleaner

  • PVC pipe cleaner

  • Galvanized nails (2" nail length for residing purposes; 5/16" nail head diameter)

Solution:

 

If you find that one of your vinyl siding panels is damaged--either torn or cracked--with a little sweat and effort, you can have it repaired.

Caution:  Of course, when dealing with sharp objects, such as a nails, or with chemicals, such as those found in vinyl siding cleaner or PVC cement, make sure you take precautions.

Caution:  You should never try to work on vinyl siding during cold temperatures, as such temperatures can have an adverse, weakening effect on the composition of such siding, making such siding brittle and easily susceptible to cracks through mere touch with a tool; work on your vinyl siding during warm weather.

Repairing a damaged vinyl siding panel can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. Per the manufacturer's instructions, a zip tool/vinyl siding removal tool should be positioned underneath the bottom side of the overlapping siding panel you intend to remove for repair and, once positioned, press down on the siding panel while you carefully slide this tool from one end of the siding (starting at a corner) to the other end (the other corner) (in a horizontal fashion), all in order to "unlock" the siding panel from its place.  Once unlocked, what will be revealed is the row of nails that secure the panel.

  2. Next, use the backend claw of a hammer, and if need be a pry bar, to carefully remove the row of nails to totally release the panel in need of repair.

  3. With the subject panel removed from the wall, lay it down on a clean work-area surface.

  4. Now, if you are lucky, you can take the subject panel you just removed to a local vinyl siding dealer or home improvement store to see if they carry such siding still, and be able to just buy one identical siding panel to replace your damaged one; if you are so lucky, you'll just be able to skip to step 8 in order to install this new identical siding panel as if it were the panel you actually previously removed for repair.  (Steps 5-7 are specifically for the preparation of using scrap/leftover siding to repair your damaged panel.)

  5. Turn the vinyl siding panel on its back and use either vinyl siding cleaner or PVC cleaner to clean this back side in preparation for the repair that is to be made. Put this siding panel to the side then for the moment.

  6. Next, retrieve your siding leftovers/scraps from the initial installation of the siding, and find one that is about twice the size of the damage that you intend to cover (be it a tear or crack).  With this certain piece of leftover/scrap siding, cut as may be necessary to fit this desired size for the damage (again, be it a tear or crack), using cutting pliers, such as aviation snips.

  7. With the vinyl siding panel still on its back, now cleaned (thanks to step 5), apply PVC cement on the cut-to-size scrap/leftover finished side and place it over the cleaned area that encompasses the tear/crack so as to permanently have the scrap/leftover secured to the backside of the tear/crack.  Allow the cement to cure per the PVC cement manufacturer's instructions.

  8. Next, set the subject siding panel back in place from below in its original position on the wall, nailing the appropriate galvanized nails in the same row as before with a hammer.

Caution:  Vinyl siding panels must be secured loosely.  The reason being is that they characteristically expand and contract over time due to changing environmental conditions (weather, etc.).  So, with this in mind, please make sure that each nail has about 1/32" of space between its nail head and the siding it is to secure. Also, each nail should be driven in the center of each nail slot of the metal nail-row strip through which the nails are driven; driving the nail in the center of its nail slot will ensure the inevitable contraction and expansion of the siding without complications.

  1. Finally, per the manufacturer's instructions, a zip tool/vinyl siding removal tool should be positioned underneath the bottom side of the overlapping siding panel you intend to lock in place and, once positioned, press down on the siding panel while you carefully slide this tool from one end of the siding (starting at a corner) to the other end (the other corner) (in a horizontal fashion), allowing the bottom-side overlap to snap into place.  This should "lock" the siding panel into place.

  2. Carefully remove the zip tool/vinyl siding removal tool at the end corner when complete.

That's how to repair a damaged vinyl siding panel.

Ed the Handyman

            &

Your Handyman Zone Team

 

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