Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
Vinyl siding is a popular fixture on home exteriors because it’s generally durable and maintenance-free. However, a single sheet of siding may fall off from time to time due to unfavorable weather conditions or other such reasons. How can you fix the siding and return it to perfect form?
Here’s how to fix siding that has fallen off:
- Get the measurements.
- Cut out a portion of the siding.
- Climb to the affected area.
- Reinstall the siding, ensuring an overlap.
- Hold the siding in place with a zip tool.
The rest of the article will look at the above steps in more detail. You’ll also learn the top factors that can make a siding fall off.
Follow These 5 Steps to Fix Siding
1. Get the Measurements – The first step to fixing siding that has fallen off is to get a measurement. Take out your tape measure and check the length and width of both the piece of siding that has fallen off and the space it left behind. Make a note of both measurements, as you’ll need them to find the right size of siding to plug the resultant gap.
2. Cut Out a Portion of the Siding – Cut out a small part of the fallen siding with a utility knife or a similar sharp tool. Alternatively, you can take a clear picture of the siding with your smartphone camera. The goal is to make finding the color of your siding easier when you’re at the shop. The replacement piece has to fit if you want a seamless appearance after your repair.
3. Climb to the Affected Area – After you’ve taken delivery of the siding, you can proceed to the replacement. Climb to the affected area with a ladder. You’ll need extra help to hold the ladder in position. Once in position, ask your assistant to hand over the replacement siding. Hold the siding with both hands to ensure it doesn’t fall off from a height and crack.
4. Reinstall the Siding Ensuring an Overlap – Holding the replacement siding parallel to the rest of the existing pieces, connect the top and bottom edges into the existing setup. Raise the siding piece overhanging the new siding and secure the replacement piece using one and a half-inch nails. Nail down the siding every 16 inches (40.64 cm) to ensure it’s adequately secured.
5. Hold the Siding in Place With a Zip Tool – Using a zip tool, hold the siding in place. The hook blade of the zip tool will help hold the siding to the house. Insert the zip tool under the new siding’s top panel and then pull downward while pushing the bottom edge of the replacement siding inwards. This will put the new vinyl into position and ensure your home is weatherproof.
If the fallen siding panel is still good enough for use, you can mount it again using the steps above. However, a fallen siding is rarely good enough for reuse if it falls off without extra help.
Factors That Can Make a Siding Fall Off
The major factors that can make a siding fall off include the following:
Inclement Weather – Strong winds, hail, and heavy rains can cause your siding to fall off. That’s especially true if the siding has cracks or aging fasteners. Hailstorms can knock your sidings out of shape, leading to more pressure on the nails, which can cause them to pull out.
Your home’s weatherproofing should reflect the climate of your region. If you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, you need to ensure your siding is strong enough to withstand heavy winds. In areas that see a lot of heavy rainfall, your siding should effectively keep out water and moisture.
Improper Installation – Any improperly installed siding will fall off under a little bit of wind or harsh weather. Your siding should be installed level horizontally without any tilt. Laser levels deliver the best results in this regard.
If the siding pieces aren’t level, you’ll end up with joints that are improperly aligned, giving room for gaps where water can get through. You also need space between your roofing material and the siding. The ideal gap is 2-inches (5.08-cm). Any closer and the siding may come in contact with rainwater, wearing down your siding a lot faster.
Improper Underlining – You need to install paper wrap, paper seams, or metal sheeting under your siding to keep out moisture and prevent leaks. With leaks in the siding, the structure will lose its durability, increasing the probability of pieces falling off. Expert installers know that every siding joint is a possible water leak loophole. Therefore the underlining provides the needed protection to keep the water out.
Wear and Tear – Most siding can last decades, but they all get worn out after some time. If pieces are falling off your siding and you’re unsure of the age, it could be that the house is just old. Before you reinstall the pieces that have fallen off, you should get a proper evaluation from a qualified professional to ensure the siding isn’t exposing your home to the risk of mold and other problems caused by water leaks.
Is Fixing a Fallen Siding Panel a DIY Project?
Fixing a fallen siding panel is a DIY project if you have the right tools for the job. With a ladder, a hammer, some nails, and a zip tool, you can complete the project without hiring professional help.
However, it’s easy to get the siding installation process wrong, and any mistake can lead to bigger problems in the future.
You can fix a panel siding that has fallen off quickly. The majority of the siding panels in the market today come with interlocking strips, which ensure a mesh between individual panels. The key to replacing the affected panel in this situation is to choose a matching piece and retain the overlap.
If you’re unsure about effectively replacing fallen siding, don’t hesitate to call in a professional to take care of the project. If the job isn’t done correctly, you’ll have more than one siding panel to fix the next time the winds hit.
- Fine HomeBuilding: How to Remove and Replace a Section of Vinyl Siding
- Family Handyman: How to Replace Vinyl Siding
- Engineer Supply: Laser Levels Explained
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