Practical tips for repairing wood siding

August 13, 2015

If you're comfortable using basic woodworking tools such as saws, hammers and nails, then you'll be able to make repairs to your wood siding. Here are a few practical tips to help you out.

Practical tips for repairing wood siding

What you will need

  • Hammer
  • Small wedges of scrap wood and piece of scrap board
  • Tenon saw
  • Keyhole saw
  • Pinch bar
  • Hacksaw
  • New wood siding
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Wood preservative
  • Galvanized nails
  • Sealant or putty
  • Exterior-grade primer and paint
  • Paintbrush

A few things to consider

  • Before you tear off your old siding, check the price of its replacement. Wood can be very expensive so it might be worth your while to work slowly, saving as many of the old boards as possible.
  • Stroll around the perimeter of your home periodically to look for pockets of rotten wood. If you find any, insert a screwdriver or awl to determine the depth of the decay, then make the necessary repairs before small problems turn into big ones.
  • Rain that runs off of your roof might splash back to the base of the wall and cause the siding there to rot. Before replacing your siding when this happens, fix blocked or leaky gutters so that water is caught and channelled away from vulnerable wood.
  • Matching the particular profile of bevelled siding can be difficult. One option is to replace all the boards on one side with a non-matching profile. Save any good boards that you remove as they can be used to patch the other sides, if necessary.
  • Always use galvanized brad nails to fix your new boards in place. These nails won't corrode and cause rust stains as ungalvanized steel nails do. Punch the nail heads in slightly and fill the dimple with exterior filler for a neat and watertight finish.
  • If you discover areas of rot in your bevelled siding, don't waste time trying to patch the damage. Rot is a type of fungal attack that will ultimately destroy the wood. And once the wood has gone soft, the rot is already well advanced. Your best bet is to remove and replace the affected bevelled siding or sections of bevelled siding. Doing so will save time and effort in the long run.
  • Rainwater tends to cling to vegetation and brings moisture into contact with wood siding. Keep plants and shrubs away from walls so that boards are less susceptible to rot. Trim back any existing plants and position all new plants away from the house.

Keep these practical tips in mind and you'll  be more likely to make better repairs to your wood siding.

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