If you have active children who are always playing outdoors, there's a good chance that you'll find yourself in a situation where you need to know how to replace damaged panels of siding. Although vinyl siding can last about 60 years, the material is still rather fragile and can be easily damaged if your children accidentally kick a soccer ball or throw a baseball at it. Accidents are unavoidable, so you need to learn how to replace damaged vinyl siding panels. Here are three tips on how you can replace damaged panels flawlessly by yourself.
Slide the Vinyl Siding Tool Under a Loose Spot
When the soccer ball hits the vinyl siding, it will create a dent in the siding. This is means that some spots will be looser than others. When removing damaged panels, you want to insert the vinyl siding tool, which can be purchased at most hardware stores for under $10, under the loose spots only. Some homeowners make the mistake of sliding the tool underneath the panel without checking which spots may be loose. If you do this, you might end up scratching the undamaged panels underneath.
If that happens, you'll have to repaint over the scratched areas later on. This means that you'll have to do more work. if you don't repaint the area, the scratch marks might make it painfully obvious which panels were damaged and replaced.
Bring the Piece of Damaged Siding to the Hardware Store
Don't assume that all of the vinyl siding panels found at the hardware store have the same dimensions and overall texture or style. You don't want one of the panels to stick out like a sore thumb. Because of this, avoid buying the replacement vinyl siding ahead of time. Instead, you'll want to bring the damaged piece of siding with you to the store in order to get a correct match.
The hardware store will also be able to recreate the paint colors of the damaged siding. Even though you might know what color paint you used years ago, exposure to the elements will have aged the color of the paint. The colors may have become more faded or may have a certain tint to it. It's better to get a custom color that can mimic the effects of aging. If you don't want to bother with this, you can also purchase a new can of paint and repaint your entire house.
Caulk All the Joints
Once you have inserted the replacement siding into position, apply caulk to all of the joints and openings in order to create an impenetrable air-tight seal. This will prevent water and even insects from being able to get underneath the siding. If moisture is able to penetrate within the vinyl siding, it opens up the potential for mold to grow. Caulking up holes and openings will also help to secure the vinyl siding down so that it cannot be lifted by strong winds.
There are different types of caulk that you can choose from. For exterior applications, choose acrylic caulk. You can paint over acrylic caulk so that it has the same finish as the siding and will blend in effortlessly. This will make your house look more aesthetically pleasing in general.
Replace damaged vinyl siding panels as soon as you notice the damage in order to prevent moisture and insects from being able to enter through holes or cracks. Vinyl siding panels are relatively easy to replace, and you should be able to find matching panels and the equipment and tools that you need at a home hardware store nearby.