Wood siding repair is not as hard as many people may think. As siding ages, it will crack, rot, and dry out. Small problems can become large ones if you don’t do a little bit of maintenance. Cracks are the easiest to fix, but rotting isn’t hard to fix either. In fact, you can do your very own wood siding repair with just a few tools and these simple tips.
Wood siding can become cracked for a number of reasons, including age and direct impacts. If you notice cracking on your wood siding, it’s important that you repair the cracks before they expand and require replacing. Repairing cracked siding is the easiest wood siding repair job you can do. If you notice a small crack, fill the crack with clear caulk or epoxy wood filler. Scrape off the excess filler so that the seal is flush. After you do this, the filler may dry and shrink, if this is the case, repeat the process until it is flush again. If the crack is too large to repair with filler, you’ll have to replace the section following the instructions below.
Dry rot occurs when fungi decays your wood siding and causes the wood to crumble. Wood can also rot from excess moisture. Wood siding repair for rotting pieces requires a complete replacement of the siding.
First, you’ll have to remove the rotting section using a saw to cut the section and a zip tool or pry bar to remove it. After the wood is removed, you should remove the nails that held it in place.
Next, find a piece of wood siding that best matches the size and material of the removed piece. Cut it to the exact length of the piece you want to remove. Cover all sides of the wood with primer to prevent future rotting if the wood has already been dried by the manufacture. If it hasn’t, don’t apply primer, and read the “Drying the Wood” section below.
After the siding is ready to be installed, cover the back with a perimeter of caulk to prevent moisture from seeping in. Finally, using galvanized nails, nail the panel into the plywood and again place clear caulk along the perimeter for moisture protection. You should also nail the ends of the old siding that you cut so they are firmly in place. Fill all the nail holes with wood filler to prevent moisture from seeping in. At this point, you can paint or stain the new wood siding if it has already been dried.
Drying the Wood
If you installed non-dried “green” wood, you’ll have to wait for it to dry out before you apply a stain or paint. You’ll have to wait a few months for the moisture to leave the wood and for it to dry out. This will take longer if it is rainy or humid, so this is best done during hot and dry months. It’s easiest to buy pre-seasoned wood to avoid this step.
Painting vs. Staining
Now that the wood siding repair is almost complete, you can choose to either paint or stain the wood. Solid stains and paints are similar in that they create a solid coat over the wood for protection. Stains will expand and contract naturally with the wood, while paint will not and may crack. Stains also allow the wood to breathe better than paint, allowing it to dry out easier. However, a paint barrier is much stronger than a stain and may increase the life of the wood siding.
There is also a third option, a semi-transparent stain. This will look the most like real wood. Rather than make a thick barrier, it brings out the natural color and texture of the wood. However, these offer less protection and will need to be reapplied more often.
Wood siding repair does not have to be a stressful process. It actually can be easy and rewarding. Wood siding repair costs are much cheaper than allowing the problem to fester and having to do a complete replacement of the wood siding panels. The next time you notice damage on your home, use these tips for an easy wood siding repair.
Contact Kopeck Custom Painting with any questions you may have about wood siding repair!