Repairing minor dings and cracks in siding

Cracks, dents and scratches in vinyl and aluminum siding can be eyesores! The good news is it's an easy repair job when following these three steps.

Repairing minor dings and cracks in siding

1. Repairing small and large cracks in siding

  • You can repair scratches or small cracks without removing the panel of siding from the wall.
  • To fix a small scratch in aluminum siding, simply sand it, apply metal primer, and brush on a dab of matching acrylic latex paint.
  • To repair a shallow crack in vinyl siding, use a toothpick to gently pry up one side of the crack, apply a bit of PVC cement from a vinyl-siding repair kit, then press the crack closed.
  • For a larger crack in vinyl siding, put a patch on the back of the panel using a vinyl-siding repair kit. Remove the damaged panel and turn it over. Prepare the back of the panel with PVC cleaner, apply some PVC cement and press on the patch, finished side down. Replace the panel.

2. Removing a dent

  • It's not unusual for aluminum siding to get dented, but removing a dent is easy. Just drill a three millimetre (1/8 inch) hole in the deepest part of the dent, install a sheet-metal screw with a flat washer, and use pliers to pull the screw toward you, bringing the dent out with it.
  • Remove the screw, fill the screw hole and any remaining depression with auto-body filler and sand it smooth.
  • Apply metal primer and two coats of matching spray paint.

3. Patch and paint vinyl

  • To fix a small, damaged area of vinyl siding, cut a flat piece from an opaque plastic milk jug or laundry detergent bottle and use it as a patch.
  • Prepare the area with PVC cleaner and attach the patch with PVC cement.
  • If the patch is low on the wall, you may be able to plant a shrub to hide the not-quite-perfect match. If your vinyl is not white, paint the patch to match the surrounding wall.
  • One of the great things about vinyl and aluminum siding is that they don't need to be painted. Aluminum siding comes with a factory finish, and vinyl siding is manufactured with colour infused throughout. But years after you install it, when either of these types of siding begins to show its age, you may want to freshen it by painting it. But be warned: once you start painting, you'll have to keep doing it every five or six years, just as you would with wood siding.
  • Before painting, clean the siding thoroughly so the paint will adhere well.
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