DIY Siding Repair – How to Fix Cracked Or Leaking Siding

Your siding plays a critical role in protecting your home. It stops water from penetrating your house’s structure and keeps damaging insects such as termites and carpenter ants away. Damaged siding is more challenging to conceal than a damaged roof, affecting your home’s curb appeal. That’s why timely Siding Repair Charleston SC is essential.

Siding ContractorDamaged siding doesn’t just look bad – it can also allow water, dirt, and insects to enter your home. Even small dents and chips in your siding can snowball into serious problems that require replacement. That’s why it’s important to inspect your siding carefully after every major storm and make a plan for fixing any minor issues as soon as possible.

All types of siding are susceptible to damage from hail, falling tree limbs, rocks, and sports balls. All of these projectiles can rip holes in your siding, which allows moisture to penetrate the wall and cause structural damage, mold growth, and wood rot. To avoid this, install gutters and wood-framed chimney chases (if you have them) away from your siding, and cover these areas with metal cladding or a rainscreen.

If you spot any dents or holes, begin by cleaning the affected area with soap and water. Then, use a utility knife to cut through caulk and paint on the side of the board above it. Remove the damaged panel and use a hammer or pry bar to remove nails and screws. Measure and cut a patch of new vinyl siding to replace the broken piece. Ensure the patch is about four inches wide, and that it overlaps two inches on each end to prevent moisture from seeping through to the wood framing.

For holes or cracks larger than an inch, remove the damaged section of siding. Then, load a caulking gun with waterproof caulk and fill the hole or crack. Smooth the caulk with a putty knife and let it dry before painting.

Another sign that it’s time for a siding repair is an insect or critter infestation. This can range from carpenter ants and termites chewing through the siding to raccoons or opossums finding their way inside the walls and making your home their own. In addition to damaging the exterior of your house, these critters will also chew or tear into wood framing and drywall, leading to further costs for repairs and potentially dangerous mold growth.

Cracked Siding

Siding is often the single largest investment homeowners make for their home, offering insulation and curb appeal as well as protection from rain and insects. When damaged, a homeowner may need to repair or replace it as soon as possible. Thankfully, it is not difficult to fix cracked siding with an inexpensive DIY-friendly process.

First, clean the area around the damage with a sponge and soapy water to ensure that any dirt and grime is removed. Then, apply a thin coat of waterproof caulk to the area that is damaged using a caulking gun, smoothing it with a putty knife. Allow the caulk to dry for a few hours and then sand it down to remove any imperfections before painting over the area.

If the crack is wider than 1/16 inch, it will need to be repaired with epoxy putty. It is important to use a paintable putty to prevent rain water from seeping into the area behind your siding boards, which can lead to wood rot and more extensive damage.

If you have some extra vinyl siding laying around or are able to purchase a replacement piece that matches, simply replace the damaged panel. This method is very simple and can save you money compared to hiring a professional contractor for such a small job.

To replace a broken section of vinyl siding, begin by separating the damaged panel from the rest. This can be done by removing the nails or screws that hold it in place, using a hammer or pry bar. Once the panel is free, lift up the bottom of the panel and then remove any nails or screws from the sheathing underneath the panel you’re removing. Once the fasteners are removed, you can pull the panel up to expose the row of nails or screws that hold it in place on your house.

Once you have the replacement piece ready, measure it to make sure that it will properly cover the hole in your siding. If you don’t have a matching patch, then use a piece of scrap vinyl and apply a bead of caulk to the back of it and to the edges of the damaged section of your siding.

Leaking Siding

Leaking siding is more than a cosmetic problem, it’s an indicator of damage to your home’s foundation and insulation. Moisture seeping behind vinyl can slowly erode sheathing and insulation, causing serious problems for your home’s structure and safety.

When you have a leak behind your vinyl, it’s important to contact a professional right away. While some homeowners may be able to use caulk and paint to patch the area, it’s typically best left to professionals who can evaluate the full extent of the issue and perform proper siding repairs.

Water damage behind vinyl siding can be difficult to spot until it’s too late. Keep an eye out for signs that your vinyl is leaking, such as stains, water spots and warping. Warped wood is a telltale sign that moisture has made its way inside and can lead to structural damage.

One of the biggest causes of a siding leak is an improperly installed flashing. Flashing is a thin strip or sheet, usually metal, that’s placed at the junction of exterior surfaces to control water flow and close gaps between them. It’s commonly used around windows and doors, roofs, chimneys and thresholds. Flashing is often overlooked in the installation of new or replacement siding, but it’s essential to prevent water from getting into your home at these vulnerable areas.

If you have a clogged gutter, it can cause the water to overflow and spill onto your house’s vinyl siding. In this scenario, it’s not uncommon for the water to seep under the siding and into the sheathing. If the issue goes unchecked, it can cause rotting and even mold growth.

Another common culprit of a siding leak is faulty or missing J channels. These trim pieces are found around windows, where the soffit meets the vinyl, and at the base of the vents on your home. Leaks can occur in these areas if the siding isn’t properly nailed or sealed to the sheathing.

In addition to causing a leaky siding, moisture can also encourage the growth of mold on the foam board insulation sheets between your home’s walls. This type of mold is extremely dangerous, especially for asthmatics and elderly adults.

Missing Siding

The siding on your home provides protection from the elements, but it can only do this if each piece is secure and intact. Any missing spots can leave your home vulnerable to further damage and expensive repairs.

Even small dings and chips in your home’s exterior can be signs of problems with the siding that should be addressed quickly. If left unattended, these dings can cause more serious issues in the future, like mold, rot and mildew. In addition, they can lower your home’s curb appeal and make it difficult to sell.

If you notice that a section of your siding is missing, it’s important to contact a residential siding contractor right away. A professional will be able to tell you whether or not the siding can be repaired and how much it’s going to cost.

If the damage to your siding is extensive, a contractor may need to replace it entirely. This can be caused by things such as a large tree branch falling on the house, hail storms and even pests like woodpeckers and carpenter bees.

When the siding is replaced, a professional will use new vinyl siding pieces that match the existing color. They’ll also ensure that each piece locks into the other, preventing water from getting in between them.

Another sign that your siding needs repair is any growth of fungus, mold or mildew. While some of these growths can be cleared up by a professional, it’s crucial that they are addressed as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading throughout your home.

The quickest way to fix these problems is to apply caulk around the areas where the mold or mildew is growing. The caulk will seal the area and stop water from getting into your home’s walls. This can save you the money and hassle of having to replace your entire home’s siding. You’ll want to use a caulk that matches the color of your existing siding to keep the repairs as seamless as possible. To apply the caulk, cut off the tip of the tube and puncture it with a nail or screw. Then, remove the caulk tube’s plunger and carefully insert it into the hole in your siding. Push the caulk into place and then smooth out the excess with a rag or sponge.