Holes, dents, and other damage to siding can usually be fixed quickly and inexpensively. A new generation of wood fillers, hardeners, and epoxies fill holes and firm up soft spots so they are as strong as the original wood. These small repairs can add years to the life of the siding. Boards, shingles, and panels usually can be replaced without too much trouble. Often a major re-siding can be delayed by repairing sections of siding. This chapter shows how to repair most types of siding, including stucco.
If your siding is buckling, splitting, warping, delaminating, or coming loose in large areas, or if you see mold or other signs of moisture inside the siding, remove a section and take a look. If you find plenty of moisture, the building paper and flashings may not have been installed correctly. Consult with a professional. The solution may be as simple as caulking an opening or replacing a damaged or incorrectly installed piece of flashing. You may need to replace the felt or building paper, the flashings, and the siding, and perhaps the sheathing as well. A rain-screen installation may be indicated.
Windows and doors present special problems. Building paper, flashings, and trim must be installed around them correctly or water can seep behind the trim and the window or door, damaging the house framing.
A quality siding job is well-sealed, otherwise water can infiltrate and damage sheathing or the back of siding. Over time, however, seals can weaken, so it's important that you consistently check your siding's seal and replace or recaulk any damaged areas. This section shows you how to repair flashing and apply caulk.
A generous coat of exterior paint will spruce up a home's appearance and protect the siding from weather and time. Though it requires only basic skills, a paint job (including preparing the walls, which is often more work than the actual painting) must be approached with careful planning and attacked with diligence and attention to detail. We'll walk you through both the prep and the painting process.
Most damage to lap siding can be repaired with one of four techniques. We'll show you how to fill small holes, fill large holes, repair a split, and replace siding pieces. Most repairs will take less than an hour.
If your siding is in need of repair, this section will show you how to remove damaged shingles and attach new ones. The process is fairly simple. You'll use basic tools to wiggle the rotted shingle out, reassemble the pieces, and use the old shingle as a guide for the new one.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when installing vinyl siding is driving the nails too tight. Nails should be loose to allow the siding to expand and contract in different temperatures. To fix this mistake, you may need to reinstall the siding. This section will explain how to patch a small area of vinyl siding and replace a panel section altogether.
Aluminum siding joins together much like vinyl, so it's fairly easy to patch or replace a panel. This piece shows you how to repair siding along with corner caps. Corner caps are small pieces sometimes used instead of corner posts for aluminum siding.
Small holes and cracks are the main offenders of stucco siding. To make repairs, you'll need to either apply a patch or use caulk to close a gap. We'll show you both techniques in our guide to repairing stucco.