Monday, February 27, 2006

Tips for Repairing Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is one of the most attractive of all exterior home options, at least until it gets damaged. Damaged vinyl siding is not only unsightly, but it can also lead to further damage to both the interior and exterior of the home. While vinyl siding is usually quite durable, it is important to deal with any damage right away to prevent it from getting worse.

Damage to vinyl siding is typically caused by weather events, most likely wind damage. If the damage is extensive it will probably be necessary to hire a qualified siding contractor to repair or replace the damaged pieces. However, simple cracks due to extremely low temperatures are one of the most commonly seen problems with vinyl siding, and luckily those problems can be fixed quite easily. In order to fix these cold weather induced cracks, take the following steps.

1. Wait until the weather has warmed. It is best to repair these cracks in the springtime.
2. Purchase a zip tool at the local home improvement warehouse, or from a siding distributor. The zip tool is specially designed to slide along the bottom edge of the locked piece of siding.
3. Insert this zip tool beneath the bottom edge of the section lying right above the one to be repaired.
4. Pull down on the zip tool. This should pry the lip of the siding loose.
5. Remove any nails that are holding he damaged piece to the exterior wall of the home.
6. Pull the damaged piece of siding out and lay it down carefully on a flat surface.
7. Use PVC cleaner to thoroughly coat the back of the crack.
8. Use a quality PVC cement to carefully glue a piece of scrap siding to the back of the crack.
9. Place the siding back into place. Nail the top of the siding down, being sure to leave about a 1/8 gap between the head of the nail and the siding strip.
10. Use the zip tool to pull the piece of siding back into its locked position.
It is important for every homeowner with a vinyl sided home to carefully examine the home at least once a month for cracks or tears in the siding. If any are noted, consider their severity and determine whether or not you will be able to do the repairs on your own. During cold weather, if you notice cracks in the siding, write down their location and take care of them in the spring. It is better to take care of all the cracks at once than to try to do them one at a time.

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