Home Improvement Tips
Repairing Small Punctures and Holes in Vinyl Siding
1. Clean the siding surrounding a small puncture or hole. Wipe over the damaged area with a wet, soft cloth or sponge to remove surface dirt and debris that will interfere with patch bonding. If the siding is fairly dirty, however, the clean area will stick out like an eyesore. Scrub the entire wall instead. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with warm water. Add two-thirds cup TSP (trisodium phosphate) and about one-half cup powdered laundry detergent per gallon of water for a general purpose cleanser. Mix a solution of two-thirds water and one-third white vinegar or one-quarter bleach and three-quarters water to clean and treat stains or mold, alternatively. Spray the grass and any greenery below the wall until thoroughly drenched to prevent the grass from absorbing chemicals. Covering them with plastic sheeting also helps.
Spray the wall with a wide, gentle flow of water from a garden hose – the force behind a pressure washer can easily get behind vinyl siding, especially in damaged areas – always aim the stream directly at the siding as much as possible, rather than at an angle. Spray from the top of the wall down. Scrub the wall gently with the cleansing solution, working from the bottom to the top. Use a long-handled car brush or similar tool to reach high areas. Rinse again, from the top down, and allow the siding to dry completely.
2. Load a caulk gun with color-matched caulk or sealant. Trim the tip to an angle, using a utility knife, and insert the tube into a caulk gun. Squeeze the trigger until the caulk emerges. Wipe away the first squirt. Clear silicone caulk will also work, but colored products blend in better. Look for color-matched caulks, designed to blend with many shades of vinyl siding, at siding wholesalers or specialty stores. Home improvement centers may also have a selection. If possible, take a sample of your siding with you to obtain the best match, or record the manufacturer and color name and inquire about specialty matches.
3. Fill the hole with caulk. Hold the gun so the tip is against the hole and squirt the caulk into the hole like you’re filling a doughnut with jelly. As the caulk fills the space between the siding and sheathing, draw the gun away to leave a slight mound over the surface. Avoid spreading or smearing the caulk over the surrounding siding. The messier the caulk job, the more obvious the repair will appear.
4. Trim away excess caulk. Cure the caulk – allow the chemicals to react and the formula to dry completely – for several days, or as specified on the product. Use a utility knife to carefully shave across the top of the repair, leaving it flush with the surrounding siding. The hole is now waterproof and weather resistant.