Siding repair is one of the best ways to increase your home’s value and protect it from moisture. Moisture that penetrates your siding can lead to rot, mold, and other structural problems.
Damaged areas may need everything from small patching to board replacements. Luckily, a qualified contractor like Charleston Advanced Siding Repair can make it easy to determine whether repair or replacement is right.
Damaged siding can be an eyesore and leave your home exposed to moisture, mold, and insects. It is important to address any damage as soon as possible to prevent further problems and to protect the integrity of the underlying structure of your home. Siding repairs are easy to do with some basic tools and materials.
Inspect for Mold and Moisture
Before you start repairing your damaged siding, it is important to clear the area around the damaged section and remove any obstructions such as plants or toys. This will allow you to work safely and efficiently while avoiding any accidents or unnecessary damage. It is also a good idea to inspect the area behind the damaged siding for signs of mold or moisture, which can cause further damage to your new siding if not addressed immediately.
Replacing a piece of wood siding is a relatively simple DIY project that shouldn’t take more than an hour for most homeowners. Before starting, make sure you have the proper tools and supplies such as a ladder, a hammer and a pry bar. Clear the area by driving wedges under each damaged shingle or clapboard to loosen it, then pull out or cut off any nails that are holding it in place. Once the old clapboard or shingle is removed, insert the replacement and nail it into place with 16d aluminum nails. If the nail holes are a little larger than the replacement, drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting.
Using the old piece as a guide, measure and mark your cut line on the new panel. Remember to stagger the butt joints if you are replacing multiple courses of siding. Also, consider using cement fiberboard instead of wood to help prevent rotting. Once you have the piece of siding cut, use a jigsaw to cut out vent, window and power outlet openings.
Holes are a major issue and should be repaired as quickly as possible. They provide entry points for water, pests and rodents that can further damage your siding and the underlying structure of your house.
Repainting the Siding
Few features of a home make an instant impact like a fresh coat of paint. It can also be an effective way to protect your home from damage, such as mold, mildew and rot. Wood siding generally requires repainting every 3-5 years to maintain its appearance and prevent deterioration. Whether your siding is damaged or simply faded, it is important to repaint the entire surface to restore its beauty and protect the integrity of the wood beneath.
If you have small divots or holes in your vinyl siding, it may be possible to fill them with caulk that matches the color of the vinyl. For larger holes, you will need to use a patch. The best option is to purchase a patch that is designed specifically for vinyl siding. You will need to clean the area where the patch is going to be applied to create a smooth surface that is easy to paint over. Once the patch is dry, you will need to apply a bead of caulk around the edges to ensure that the hole will not leak.
When painting vinyl siding, it is essential to use a high quality latex urethane paint that will flex with the expansion and contraction of vinyl throughout the year. It is also recommended to prime the surface before applying the paint, especially if it has been exposed to a lot of sun or moisture. You should also choose a light color, as darker colors will attract heat and may cause the vinyl to deteriorate faster.
If you are having a large section of your siding replaced, it is a good idea to prepare the area by clearing a path for the crew and protecting any belongings that will be in the work zone. Be sure to mow the lawn and trim hedges, and remove any pictures or other decorations from your exterior walls. It is important that the crew can easily access the siding and caulking areas, so it is also recommended to take down anything from the gutters or downspouts that will be in their way.
Building Paper Under the Siding
Siding does more than just enhance the aesthetic of your home; it protects the interior from moisture and insects. As such, it’s important to keep your siding in top shape so that it can continue doing its job. When holes, cracks or dents occur, they leave the siding exposed to moisture and insects and may also cause further damage, which can add up over time. Holes and cracks are the most obvious signs that your siding needs repair, but a closer look may reveal other problems as well, such as water damage or warping.
Fortunately, most types of siding can be repaired with relative ease, although the size and location of the damage will influence total cost. Typically, a small hole will cost around $100 to $150 to patch. Dents and loose siding can also be repaired for about the same price, while rot, mold, mildew, and water damage require more extensive work and should be fixed by a professional contractor.
If you have vinyl siding, it’s best to patch a small hole as soon as possible to prevent water from seeping behind the panel and causing further damage. If you don’t have replacement panels, use high-quality vinyl patching material. Before applying the filler, however, you’ll need to clean the surface and de-gloss it with a plastic putty knife and 220-grit sandpaper. Then, once the hole is filled, you can apply caulking to seal it and paint to match the existing color.
You should be aware, though, that this method of repairing siding is only a temporary fix. It is not recommended that you allow moisture to get behind the vinyl because it can lead to serious structural problems and rot that may require the replacement of the entire home’s siding.
In the event that your siding has significant rot, mold or mildew, you’ll need to remove it and replace it entirely. This is more labor-intensive and expensive, but it’s the only way to ensure that your siding will be protected against further damage and rot.
Choosing a Contractor
A re-siding job is an expensive proposition. Make sure that you work with a contractor who will not only deliver quality results, but also communicate clearly and keep the site clean, safe and neat during the entire process. If you’re not comfortable with the way a potential contractor works, it may be best to continue looking for someone else.
A reliable contractor should be able to provide you with an accurate estimate for the cost of your siding repair project before they start working. This should include all labor, materials and any other incidentals that might come up during the remodeling process. Ask them to include a breakdown of the estimate and what is covered and not included so that there are no surprises when you receive your bill.
Siding contractors who are reputable will have no problem providing you with referrals and examples of past projects they’ve worked on. These are great ways to assess the quality of their workmanship and if their aesthetic preferences match up with your own.
Another important question to ask is whether or not they have liability insurance. If they don’t, that should be a red flag because if an employee were to get hurt on your property during installation or any other phase of the project, you would be held liable because it occurred on your land.
Many professional siding contractors will carry liability coverage, so don’t be surprised if they answer in the affirmative. They will probably then give you a copy of their insurance policy, which should detail their coverage and any exclusions.
When choosing a siding contractor, be sure to inquire about their warranty on their work and the materials they use. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that any problems you encounter are addressed promptly and efficiently.
A trustworthy contractor can also explain the difference between repairs and complete siding replacement. They will know the benefits of each and how to help you choose the right option for your home. They should also be able to explain what added products, like insulation, are available and how they can enhance your home’s appearance, performance, and energy efficiency.