How To Repair Damage To, Clean, And Repaint Your Home’s Vinyl Siding

As your home ages, vinyl siding on its exterior can become faded, worn-looking, and damaged. You can help your home look brand-new again by repairing its siding and painting it a new color. Here are instructions to help you repair any damage to your siding, then how to clean and repaint its exterior.

Repair Damaged Siding 

Any section on your home's siding that has damage from a crack or a hole can and should be replaced prior to painting your vinyl siding. It is a good idea to do the replacement of any siding sections in warm weather, versus cold weather. The warm temperature will help the vinyl remain flexible during its replacement, helping you avoid any further cracking. 

First, buy a replacement piece of siding from a local siding retailer. Finding a replacement piece in the exact color and shade is not necessary, as you will be painting over the siding. Next, you will need a zip tool to remove the section of damaged siding. Slip the zip tool up under the siding until you feel it catch on the bottom lip of the siding section. Maneuver the zip tool down and away from the house to pull the siding free. Then, slide the tool sideways under the siding to release the rest of the siding section. 

With a utility knife, make vertical cuts on either side of the damaged siding area, then use the zip tool to release the section of siding above the damaged area. This will allow you access to use a lever bar to pry the top of the siding loose of its nails holding it onto your house. 

Measure and cut the replacement section two inches longer than the damaged area. Slip the new piece of vinyl, bottom first, onto the house. Next, attach the top of the siding onto the nailing flange using 1 1/4-inch-long nails, using the old nail holes as a guide. Don't secure the nails flush with the home's exterior, but leave 1/32-inch of space between the nail and the house to allow for expansion and contraction of the siding in the changing temperature. 

Clean Siding

When you wash your siding to prepare it for painting, it is not recommended to use a pressure washer. A pressure washer can force water beneath the panels of your siding, causing problems later on. Instead, in a large bucket combine one-third cup of laundry detergent with two-thirds cup powdered household cleaner, such as Comet, and one quart of liquid laundry bleach to one gallon of water. Use a soft bristled brush with this cleaner to scrub the exterior of your home's vinyl siding to remove any chalky residue, mold, mildew, rust, and dirt. It can be helpful to wash and rinse your home's exterior in sections so the cleaning solution does not have time to dry and adhere onto the siding.

After you clean your home's siding, rinse it clean with your garden hose, spraying from the top to the bottom. Wait for your siding to dry completely before you prepare it for painting.

Paint Siding

As you select your siding's new color, it is recommended to select a light-colored paint. If you apply a dark color on your siding, the paint will absorb too much heat from the sun, causing the siding to expand and buckle. Also make sure to choose a latex urethane exterior paint, which contains ingredients to help it adhere to your siding as the siding expands and contracts.

Next, use masking tape and plastic or paper to cover the windows and any trim on your home you don't want to paint. Also, spread tarps on the ground around your home to help protect any landscaping from paint drips. You can use a traditional paint roller or rent a paint sprayer to apply the paint onto your home. Apply the paint onto your siding in two or more coatings, being sure to evenly distribute it over the entire surface. Applying the paint too thickly can cause the paint to drip and run, making your siding look uneven. 

Remove the masking tape and plastic as soon as you are finished painting. This will prevent the paint from peeling when you remove the tape, and will help prevent the tape from leaving a sticky residue on your home's exterior.

Use this information to repair and repaint your home's old vinyl siding. For more information on vinyl siding, contact a company like Allstate Gutter & Siding.