As homes settle, subpar vinyl siding materials can tend to crack. Gaps and breaks from loosened siding allow rain to seep in between panels and into your home, creating the perfect environment for unhealthy mold and mildew to grow. Unfortunately, cracks also make way for pest infestation.
How to Know if Vinyl Siding Should Be Replaced or Repaired
Repairing Small Cracks in Vinyl Siding
Cracks in your vinyl siding are an obvious sign of wear and tear. And since siding was made to not only make your home look beautiful but also to protect it, failing siding needs to be addressed promptly. Avoid the hassles of water intrusion and insect damage by keeping your vinyl siding in tip-top shape.
If the holes in your home’s siding are small enough, filling them with a matching caulk can be a quick, cost-effective way to repair your siding. If you can’t find caulk to blend with your vinyl, you can use white caulk and add matching paint to conceal the hole.
- Clean the area—Use a sponge, soap and water to clean the area in need of repair. Let it dry completely before continuing the repair.
- Prepare your caulk gun—Cut the tip of the caulk tube off and puncture the seal using a long nail. Pull the caulk gun’s plunger all the way back and load the tube.
- Fill the hole—Insert the caulk tube’s nozzle over the hole in the siding and begin filling the crack with caulk. It’s best to slightly overfill the crack to be sure it is completely covered and keeps water from infiltrating your home.
- Use a putty knife to ensure smooth application—Once caulk has been applied, use a putty knife to smooth the surface so it is level with your vinyl siding. Keep in mind that once it dries, you want it to look unblemished. Scrape away excess caulk to ensure there aren’t any visual flaws.
- Allow caulk to dry—It will likely take a full 24 hours to let the caulking fully dry. If the caulk doesn’t match your siding, paint over the newly filled hole.
How to Repair Larger Cracks in Your Vinyl Siding
If your siding has a hole or crack in it too big to fill with caulk, patch it with the same color of siding. By patching, you will get rid of the eyesore that may be compromising your home’s protective layer.
- Choose a day free of bad weather—To avoid half finishing a project and getting rained out, check the weather before beginning a repair job.
- Clean the area—Use soap and water to clean the damaged area of your siding. Allow it to dry for at least 2 hours before continuing the repair project.
- Cut out a patch—Using a scrap piece of siding, cut a section slightly bigger than the hole or crack. Cut the uppermost perforated edge of the scrap piece (the nail hole strip), being careful to leave the curved lip. Similarly cut the bottom edge of the scrap vinyl.
- Test the patch—Place the patch over the hole or crack to ensure the curves on the patch fit the same lines on the siding. Trim down curved edges on the patch until it fits well.
- Patch the damage—Put a small bead of caulk on the back of the patch and a bead of caulk along the edges of the hole. Place the patch over the damaged area and apply pressure to set it in position. Ensure the pieces are stuck well together.
- Allow caulk to dry—When the caul solidifies, clean the surrounding area to wipe off any excess.
Is Cracked Siding a Bad Sign?
If your siding is cracked in a single section, you may just need to replace the affected area. But if the cracks have allowed moisture to penetrate beneath your siding, the repairs needed could be much more extensive. Cracking in one area can also mean problems are developing on other areas of your home, so calling in a professional to see if replacing your vinyl siding is the better option can help.
What Siding Material Isn’t Prone to Cracks?
Fiber cement siding products such as James Hardie is the best long-term solution to damaged siding. Vinyl siding tends to dent easily during storms due to debris or high winds, or can crack from changes in temperature, leaving you with a compromised home exterior.
Hardie Board, on the other hand, delivers impressive durability even when exposed to severe storms and high winds. Rest at ease that your home is fully protected against strong winds with long-lasting fiber cement.
Being made of cement, sand, and cellulose, this enduring combination lasts up to 50 years while looking gorgeous. Its weather resistance, fire and pest resistance, and vibrant color with UV resistance means your home will stand out on your block—in a good way!
Fortify Your Home with Beautiful Fiber Cement Siding
If your home siding is cracked and worn out, it can be frustrating trying to take on a DIY repair project. Get superior fiber cement siding installation in the Portland and Vancouver areas from the skilled team at Lifetime Exteriors. The Pacific Northwest weather can be brutal, and your siding needs to stand up to it 24/7.
At Lifetime Exteriors, we understand the stress of maintaining a home exterior. We offer fiber cement siding so you can enjoy gorgeous, high-performance siding with the low maintenance you desire.
Get an estimate now—and see how James Hardie siding can transform your home’s exterior.