Holes, dents, and small areas of rot or other damage usually can be fixed quickly and inexpensively. A new generation of wood fillers, hardeners, and epoxies fill holes and firm up soft spots so they are as strong as the original wood. Metal and vinyl siding can be dented. Small repairs can add years to the life of the siding. Boards, shingles, and panels usually can be replaced without too much trouble. Often a major re-siding can be delayed by repairing sections of siding. Very likely you’ll find that damage is isolated. For example wood siding on the sunny side of the house takes a beating. This chapter shows how to repair most types of siding, including stucco.
A generous coat of exterior paint will spruce up a home’s appearance and protect the siding from weather and time. Though it requires only basic skills, a paint job (including preparing the walls, which is often more work than the actual painting) must be approached with careful planning and attacked with diligence and attention to detail.
Preventing serious damage
If your siding is buckling, splitting, warping, delaminating, or coming loose in large areas, or if you see mold or other signs of moisture inside the siding, remove a section and take a look. If you find plenty of moisture, the building paper and flashings may not have been installed correctly. Consult with a professional. The solution may be as simple as caulking an opening or replacing a damaged or incorrectly installed piece of flashing. You may need to replace the felt or building paper, the flashings, and the siding, and perhaps the sheathing as well. A rain-screen installation may be indicated.
Windows and doors present special problems. Building paper, flashings, and trim must be installed around them correctly or water can seep behind the trim and the window or door, damaging the house framing.