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Can Siding Be Repaired?

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Siding can be repaired, although it isn't always the best solution. How do you know whether a repair or complete replacement is right for you? Here's how to tell when to repair vs replace your siding:

When to Repair

Even if your siding is relatively new, accidents happen. We may accidentally kick our siding while walking by, or accidentally throw a fast ball and cause a small dent or small crack, or a falling tree branch might nick it. Whatever the cause may be, we want to make sure we fix it quickly to avoid water entering through the damaged area. A repair is minor and is usually just 1-2 boards. Small repair jobs can usually be done promptly.

The goal of siding is to provide protection to your home. But what good does a repair do, if in the end it will look unappealing and you will constantly be doing patch repairs? We want our siding to look aesthetically pleasing and to be efficient. Therefore, a repair might not be the best solution, especially if the cosmetic flaws or damage aren't minor. A repair wont always render a flawless final look. In this case, you can replace a couple of boards instead of patching it up with a repair kit.

When to do a partial replacement

A partial replacement is when you replace at least half or a full wall. You can do a partial wall replacement if you only have damage to the lower bottom half of the wall. For example, if the bottom 3ft-4ft of the siding is damaged due to water damage from the sprinklers but all the rest of the siding is relatively new, then you can replace the entire bottom wall and leave the upper wall intact. Keep in mind that if you decide to go down this route, you will need to select the same material type, brand, measurements as the previous siding so that the old and the new match together. If the siding on the upper wall is also damaged or old, then you should consider replacing the entire wall.

We only recommend a partial replacement if the rest of the siding is not old. If all siding is old then you will get the best value out of your money if you get a full siding replacement rather than doing patch replacements here and there. Here's why:

  • Discontinued Factory-Painted Siding: The issue with only replacing a few boards is that depending on the siding you have and the year it was made/installed and whether if it was factory painted, you might stumble upon the issue of finding that your siding color is no longer being produced. It is not uncommon for a custom color to stop being produced after years, which can be a hassle to find a similar match. If your siding was not factory painted, you will have an easier time replacing a few boards, as you can paint an entire wall with the paint you have on hand to match your new siding with the old.

  • Factory-Painted Siding in Stock: On the other hand, if your old factory-painted siding is in stock, you might have a hard time matching the new with the old. It could be the exact same product, but there might be a difference in the color shade if your siding has slightly faded due to the sun or water. Therefore, sometimes when new boards are installed, the color shades won't be an exact match, which is why we recommend a complete replacement. If all of your siding is old, your best bet might be to do a complete replacement so that you can have a seamless, aesthetically pleasing exterior that is fully protecting your home from potential element damage.

  • Not factory-painted Siding: If your siding came pre-primed and a contractor painted it, you will have an easier time replacing whatever boards you need, and painting the new siding to match the rest of your house. Most of the time you won't be able to see a significant difference between the new siding and the rest of the house, unless the rest of the house has old siding.

When to do a complete replacement

A complete replacement is when you remove all the siding and trim installed on your house. Before a contractor installs the new product, they will inspect the structure of your home (sheathing) to see if there's any mold or other damages. This is important because they are able to catch problematic damages early before it trespasses over to the interior of your home, which could also damage your flooring, drywall, molding and ceiling. If you have mold inside your home (especially along the lower walls) and you can't figure out where it's coming from, it might be your siding. Most of the time, sprinklers are installed too close to the siding, and they end up causing mold and damage, which usually makes it's way to the interior of your home. That is why you must solve the issue from the exterior before it becomes a more expensive headache.

If repairs are needed, you and your contractor can put together an action plan to get it taken care of before getting the new siding installed. Since these site conditions cannot be predicted beforehand, it might not be included in the contract, which means that there will be extra costs to repair any damage they find beneath the siding. Most contractors will talk to you about these potential scenarios before they start removing your siding, but it's not feasible to predict an exact cost as we don't know what we will uncover during demolition. It's not uncommon to find something, especially in older homes.

Once all repairs are done, your house will be wrapped in a protective plastic that acts as a barrier against water. The fiber glass plastic wrap is essential. If you are getting vinyl installed, you will be given the chance to get insulated foam installed instead. After that, the siding installation will start. Every nail hole and edge will be covered in a quality sealant to prevent water from enter. Appropriate flashing will be used over doors and windows to prevent water from sinking in those areas. All of these details are necessary to prolonging the life of your new siding and preventing water from doing damage. That is why it's important to get your siding replaced professionally.

In terms of value, a complete replacement is always the most beneficial solution when your siding is old, damaged, and inefficient. As a bonus, you can expect these benefits when getting a full, new fiber cement siding replacement:

  • Durable Paint: Minimize the hassle of wasting money re-painting your house every 2-3 years, only for your paint job to look bad again due to the old surface. With old siding, the paint is bound to look faded and uneven in a short amount of years. Whereas new siding prolongs the lifespan of paint, especially if it's factory painted.

  • Less Repairs: Say goodbye to wasting money on repair after repair. Get the most out of your money by minimizing repair costs when you get a complete replacement.

  • Utility Bill Savings: As a bonus, you can expect to experience an improvement in energy efficiency which can help your home feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

  • Increase Home Value: New siding helps increase the value of your property. In fact, it is one of the TOP home improvement projects with the highest Return on Investment (On average, fiber cement siding delivers a 68.3% - 74.9% ROI. ). Make the wise decision of investing in a high quality, durable product that will give you a nice return. The key is to get a quality replacement to make sure it lasts.

  • Lifestyle: When you transition to a new, modern exterior it has the potential of enhancing your quality of life. You can spruce up your home's exterior with your favorite paint colors and siding style to help influence your daily mood. In addition, you can boost your social gatherings with a stunning view.

In conclusion, each situation is different. Therefore, we encourage you to consult with a professional in your area to examine the problem. Make sure your valuable asset is fully protected.

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