Siding Contractor

The Importance of Siding Repair

Charleston Siding Repair┬áincreases your home’s aesthetic value and improves energy efficiency. It’s a great investment for your home. Gaps can be filled with caulk for a quick and easy fix. Gaps should be less than a quarter inch wide for best results.

Siding ContractorSoft spots indicate rot behind the siding and should be repaired immediately. Paint color matching can be difficult as new paint tends to stand out more than older coats.

Siding cracks allow moisture to penetrate and cause rot and mold. Moisture that invades your home’s interior wall systems can damage the structure, reduce your home’s energy efficiency, and amplify respiratory problems in residents. Cracked siding should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Cracks and splits are often caused by impact damage or by stress over time. They are also often a result of incorrectly installed flashings or building paper. If you notice any cracks or splits in your siding, contact a local contractor immediately to assess and repair the problem before it becomes more serious.

If the cracks are confined to a small area, it may be enough to repair them with caulk. You’ll need to replace the damaged section of siding for more extensive damage.

A patch is an easy and effective way to fix holes or dings for vinyl siding. Most kits contain two or more durable, super-sticky patches covering a divot or hole up to about the size of a baseball. These patches are colored to match the siding so they will blend in. They can be applied with a caulking gun or a putty knife.

If you have wood siding, a more extensive repair will be needed. A local contractor will need to remove and replace the affected boards. You can apply epoxy putty to fill the crack or hole for a less costly alternative. When the putty dries, sand it smooth and touch up the area with paint to match the siding. A good coat of quality exterior paint will help protect the repairs and extend their life.

Gaps

When a gap appears between the siding and foundation, it opens up the exterior to pests, rain water, mildew and cold drafts. Gaps are easily repaired with caulk, a mixture of latex and acrylic materials. However, it is best to check for gaps before caulking to make sure the gap is less than a quarter inch wide.

If a gap is larger than that, it may be necessary to install a backer rod. These are flexible pieces of foam that create a “backing” inside the gap and control how much sealant is applied. These can be purchased at any hardware store and are relatively inexpensive. Gaps can also be fixed with a piece of scrap vinyl siding. To do this, the face of the damaged siding must be sanded down, making it a smooth surface. The patch should be cut so that it is slightly larger than the hole or crack and is trimmed down to remove the curved lip. Then the patch can be glued to the siding using a special putty. Once dry it can be sanded and painted.

Fiber cement lap siding is often advertised as a 100 year product, so why would it need to be repaired? While the benefits of this durable and fire-resistant material are undisputed, there are many variables that can affect its longevity. These include faulty installation, gapping, rot, rust or corrosion, weather damage and improper backer flashing. If left unchecked, these problems can lead to the deterioration of the wood beneath the surface, which will eventually cause the siding to rot. When this happens, moisture can penetrate the siding and reach the wood framing underneath, causing it to swell and push out nails. Moisture penetration can also cause deicing salts to corrode the metal components of your home.

Holes

Holes in vinyl siding can compromise the integrity of your home, letting in the moisture that leads to mildew and mold. A hole is also an invitation for pests, such as insects and mice, to find their way into your house. And it can reduce your home’s energy efficiency by allowing cold air to escape.

If the hole is small enough, you can fill it with caulking that closely matches your vinyl siding, then paint it to conceal it. This is especially effective if the spot is not visible from the ground or driveway.

For larger holes or to replace a damaged section of vinyl, you’ll need a new piece of siding that will match the rest. You can use a full-length piece of vinyl to replace a section that’s been damaged or lost over time, or you can patch the damage with a patch.

Start by finding an inconspicuous place to remove a two-foot segment of the existing vinyl. Remove the nails that fasten it in place with a pry bar. Then, using a zip tool (available at most hardware stores and home centers), disengage the section above it. Next, cut a patch of vinyl 2 inches wider than the section you removed by holding it up to the segment you’ve just removed and marking points 2 inches away on either side with straight tin snips.

Once you’ve cut the patch, install it where the damaged section was in the wall, snapping the lower edge of the patch to the lip of the existing vinyl above it. If you used a full-length section of vinyl to replace the damaged area, you can nail it in place or attach it with screws.

Soft Spots

The siding on your home is meant to protect it, but the weather and other forces can wear out this layer of protection. It takes a beating every year from wind, rain, the blazing sun and freezing cold. It’s no wonder it needs to be repaired or replaced at some point.

The biggest sign that your siding has issues is water damage. If you see any stains, streaks or discoloration, that’s an indicator that the siding is leaking and soaking the underlying structure and, in some cases, the interior drywall. Paint and housewrap help to prevent this, but if the siding is not interlocked properly with the underlying framing, it can become a sponge and soak up moisture.

One of the most common soft spots we see in wood siding are rotted or soft boards below bay windows and at wood chimney chases. These areas receive the most splashing and tend to get wet from rain runoff, so they’re prone to mildew and rot. If left unchecked, this rotting can spread to other parts of your home’s walls and frame, so it’s important to fix these areas quickly.

To repair these soft spots, first clean the area with a sponge and soapy water and let it dry before proceeding. Then, remove a section of the damaged board and cut a patch piece from a different panel that spans the gap (or if you have a full length leftover, simply slide it into place). Apply a bead of caulk around the edges of the replacement piece, making sure to choose a color that matches your existing vinyl siding. Finally, trim and sand the visible caulk for a finished look.

Building Paper

Keeping your siding in good condition is important for preserving the value and function of your home or building. Often, this means repairing or replacing your building paper. In addition, understanding the role that building paper plays in protecting your structure and minimizing moisture damage will help you determine the best way to maintain or repair it.

In frame construction, a building paper is a protective barrier layer that is installed between the exterior sheathing and the wall cladding such as stucco, masonry, or wood or vinyl siding. It is also used as a separation later to prevent stresses that are created between the sheathing and the exterior cladding.

It is saturated with asphalt and has been in use for more than a century, originally called “building felt.” It slows the rot process a bit because it allows water to flow out of the wall or roof sheathing, but does not allow the air behind it to condense (dew point). It acts as a drainage layer for moisture that is absorbed by sheathing and keeps building materials dry, which inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, rot, and insects inside walls.

The normal installation method is to overlap successive sheets, with loose seams. This greatly reduces the effectiveness of building paper as a moisture and vapor barrier, but it may be able to provide a better air barrier than house wrap if it is taped or sealed.

There are a variety of brands and sizes of building papers available, including Novia’s FF1 and FRX premium foil faced building papers and Dupont Tyvek. Regardless of brand or size, all building paper should be lapped at least 6 inches vertically and horizontally to seal the seams and improve protection. The paper should also be pulled tight to prevent creases and wrinkles and tucked or stapled tightly to the sheathing to minimize gaps or voids in the barrier layer.