Repair Vinyl Siding
Here is a shortcut to repair the damaged vinyl in your home's siding, and also tips on cutting siding. I have discovered a quick and easy shortcut to repair vinyl siding without removing any vinyl panels, without the "Zip" tool, and without pulling any nails. This low cost vinyl siding repair has survived hurricane Isabel's winds and an even worse wind storm that took down numerous trees and knocked out power for 6 hours here in the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. But the first tip is; this is best method by far to repair your siding in the winter! Vinyl siding is brittle when it is cold. I would not recommend doing a conventional repair or even touching the siding with a zip tool in the winter; you may do more harm than good. Only do a conventional repair of your siding on a warm, sunny, winter day when the vinyl itself is warm and supple!
Vinyl siding color matching and repair
If the vinyl siding to repair has minor damage, a color mismatch may be much less obvious using this simple method to fix your siding. The tools required may be as little as some sheet metal sheers or tin snips to cut the spare pieces of vinyl you hopefully have. Perhaps for a cleaner look you can use a circular saw or table saw to do the vinyl siding cuts. Some tips below.
Here is a photo of a relatively small hole that was punched into my clay ( taupe ? ) colored vinyl siding. I
am uncertain how this hole got there, but it certainly is
important to repair this vinyl siding damage.
Here is a photo of the siding after my quick and dirty vinyl siding fix. The repair to the vinyl siding is almost invisible, it just disappears if you are unaware if the location of the patch. Click on the thumbnail for a close up. Why replace an entire siding panel when you can do this vinyl siding repair in far less time and at lower cost with this simple technique.
The Bullet passes 5 feet from my head
And over the winter I put a three sheet, three foot wide, repair to my vinyl siding, over the damage a bullet did to my siding and rear door lamp fixture! First day of what season? The bullet came in almost parallel to the rear wall of the house skimming the siding then into, and through, the lamp fixture and junction box, then cracking the aluminum frame of a slider. I was making a sandwich in the kitchen. I guess the bullet had traveled at least 3/4 mile and probably had glanced off something on the ground. I did not want to do the repair till Spring so I put up the large patch, friction fit, stayed there just fine the rest of the winter through many very high winds. Still there and untouched! The small and now LARGE patches. Bob.
Cutting vinyl siding for the repair
The key to this shortcut is a simple modification of a small piece of your spare vinyl siding used for the repair. The best way to cut vinyl siding to size is with a table saw with a fine toothed blade installed reversed! The teeth of the blade are backward this makes a very clean cut. This tip can be found at the Vinyl Siding institute: The Institute, they have an excellent vinyl siding manual (PDF document) providing many details about vinyl siding installation: The Manual. This tip would work with any vinyl building products.
Preparing your vinyl siding patch
Now here is the trick, cut off the nailing strip at the top of the vinyl siding,
it is that simple. Be careful of table saw kick back if you work with small pieces. Certainly
do not use the "rip fence" for small pieces. In the photo above you can see my table saw
with a fine toothed blade reversed. You can also see the need to
saw through three layers of vinyl siding to make the cut. In my case I cut the nailing strip off on a very large piece of siding, now I
have patches for the future. My table saw's guard was useful here keeping the siding near the table surface. Once you've cut off the nailing strip cut your patch to size, probably at least a width that is three times the size of the hole that must be repaired. Now
that you have your homemade vinyl siding patch you will be able to snap this piece right in place over the hole you need repaired and it
will stay in place quite well! Because the vinyl siding patch is so small a color mismatch will be far less obvious.
Here is a shot of my repair patch ready to install.
Installing your vinyl siding patch
To start find the seams between the existing panels surrounding the hole to repair. Vinyl siding usually has two false clapboards per strip. No tools are required, just slip your patch in place sliding it up and clipping the bottom channel of the patch to the siding already in place. Make sure that you get the top of your patch slid up into the gap between the panels above. You have basically added another layer of siding making this slip fit quite snug. Now the vinyl siding is repaired without removing anything!
Wasps nesting in your siding?
I have had this problem and managed to build an effective solution that prevents wasps from nesting in your siding without killing wasps! Please see: Don't kill wasps, prevent wasps nesting in your vinyl siding: Wasps in siding, prevention.
Are you installing a very large "patch" to restore the siding?
I have not tried a very large "patch" using this technique (I have after the bullet!). If you were to try this, you might want to consider drilling, or re-drilling, the small vent holes you will find in the bottom channel of your vinyl siding. Install your vinyl siding repair and then drill new vent holes through both layers of vinyl siding, the vinyl siding patch, and the original vinyl siding you are repairing. These vent holes must provide a path which allows moisture that accumulates behind your siding to evaporate. For example, in certain weather conditions a very small amount of condensation might form on the inside of your vinyl siding. These small holes allow the moisture to dissipate. It is so fortunate that the vinyl in the siding has homogenous color unlike aluminum siding that is just painted.
More permanent installation of your siding repair?
This may not be required, but small dabs of caulk could be used to really lock the patch in place. Please use your judgment here. If you regularly get hurricane force winds perhaps you should. I hope this tip will save you a lot of time.
And, hope you have found this homespun vinyl siding repair tip worthwhile!
Date created: 08 Oct 2003
Date revised: 09/07/2013