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Steps to Fix Vinyl Siding

Close up of a cracked and broken beige vinyl siding of a house

Written by My Home Handyman

May 23, 2022

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Vinyl siding is made to be durable and tough. But just like any other material out there, it can take damage over time. The good news is that there are a couple of ways to repair the damage done to your vinyl siding.

There are two methods to fix vinyl siding: caulk or patch. Using caulk is about cleaning and preparing the area before applying the caulk itself. The patch is much the same in that the area requires cleaning before applying and testing the patch.

Using Caulk to Fix Vinyl Siding

Holes will happen in your siding for a few reasons, primarily holiday decorations or harsh weather. For the most part, if they are small enough, you can find a matching caulk and use it to fill in those holes easily.

If you aren’t able to find a match in colour, then white caulk and a little paint will get the job done as well. Here is how to use caulk.

Preparing the Area and Caulk Gun

The first thing you need to do to make repairs with caulk is to clean the area around the damage. Use soap and water, applying with a sponge. Make sure that you give the site at least 2 hours to dry in sunlight before you move on to preparing and applying the caulk.

When you feel confident that the holes have been cleaned and properly dried, it is time to prepare the caulk gun. Cut off the very tip of the caulk tube, puncturing the seal using a long piece of metal, something like a nail. Finally, pull the plunger of the caulk gun back all the way, loading the tube up.

Fill Holes

You are now ready to start filling in those holes. Take the nozzle of the caulk’s tube and insert it slighting into the hole in your vinyl siding. Start to fill the hole slowly, slightly overfilling to ensure that the hole is totally filled and won’t allow any water from getting in.

Repeat with any holes that may be permeating your vinyl siding. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to go back and check that the caulk has thoroughly penetrated the holes and won’t allow any water to seep in.

Let the Caulk Dry

After applying the caulk, you need to give it around 24 hours to dry fully. After that time has passed, scrape away any excess caulk using a scraper (metal is better, but plastic should be fine).

If you cannot find a coloured caulk that matches your vinyl siding, you can paint the hole as long as you can access the matching colour. The entire process is about being thorough and patient.

Using a Patch to Fix Vinyl Siding

The alternative to using caulk is to use a patch. This is generally for when you have damage, a crack or hole, that is too big to use caulk on. A patch in the same colour as the siding can do a lot more though it takes a little more work. The good news is that even the larger swatches of damage can be repaired completely.

Preparing the Area

As you would have with the caulking method, it is important that you clean the area around the damage. Use soap and water to get dirt and grime up so that the patch can adhere. Make sure that you give the area roughly 2 hours to properly dry though it could take more depending on the conditions.

Also, make sure that you are doing your repair work on a rain-free day. Any moisture will present issues with the patch properly adhering to your siding, and you may have to reapply it sooner rather than later.

Cut Out the Patch

The patch is nothing more than a piece of spare siding. If you don’t have any around the house, then you will have to find a piece that matches your current siding. When you are ready to go, you will need to cut a slightly larger section than the damaged area.

Cut the uppermost perforated edge from the scrap piece – this is known as the nail hole strip. Make sure that you are careful to leave the curved lip as you do so. If you don’t go with the uppermost perforated edge, you can cut the bottom edge of your scrap vinyl as well.

Test and Apply the Patch

When you have your patch ready to go, put the patch over top of the crack or hole. Make sure that the curves on your patch fit the same curves as the siding. If you need to, you can trim down those curved edges on your patch until the piece fits properly.

When you are confident about your patch, it is time to patch the damage fully. Using a small bead of caulk on the back of the patch and surrounding the hole, you prepare the patch for adhesion. Then, put the patch over the top of the damaged area, apply pressure to secure it into place and ensure that both pieces stick together.

Let it Dry

When the caulk is fully dry – about 24 hours – make sure that you clean the surrounding area and clean away any excess caulk that may be leftover. Depending on the wear of the current siding, it is entirely possible that your patch may be slightly different in colour.

Unless you want to take the time to slightly dull the colour, it will take time before they blend together, but the difference shouldn’t be substantial enough to see from the curb. It is the best fix for those areas where the damage is too significant to fix with caulk alone. Before long, you will have a surefire fix for your siding.

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