By John Nalley

Angie’s List

A rock spits from your lawn mower, hurtling toward the side of your house. Someone overthrows a baseball during a game of catch, striking your home.

No matter how it happened, you now have a nasty crack in your vinyl siding to fix. Now what?

The good news is you have a quick and easy vinyl siding repair option when such mishaps occur. You can likely at least patch the damage and protect your home until a siding pro comes out to replace the panel.

Why should siding be fixed ASAP?

Siding acts as a first layer of defense against the elements, so leaving any hole or crack open exposes your home’s envelope to water, wind and pests, according to Amy Grishman of Coastal Windows & Exteriors in Beverly, Massachusetts. Water trapped beneath the siding panels can also lead to mold or rot over time.

Also, a crack or hole in the siding could expand, turning what started out as a minor issue into a bigger problem down the road.

What’s the best way to patch cracked vinyl siding?

Grishman recommends using a Tear-Aid “Type B” vinyl repair patch kit, which can be found at hardware and sporting goods stores for about $10.

This ultra-adhesive clear tape, designed specifically for vinyl products, will quickly bind to the siding, creating a strong weatherproof seal and giving you time to schedule a permanent siding replacement with a pro.

Be sure to clean the surface with a damp cloth and dry it thoroughly before applying the tape. Follow the instructions on the package and be careful when applying, as the adhesive is strong.

Other clear strong-adhesive tapes may also do the trick, but be sure the tape is designed to stick to vinyl before buying it.

How can you prevent siding cracks and holes?

Vinyl siding is susceptible to holes and cracks because there’s a small but hollow space between the siding and the home’s wall sheathing.

The solution: Next time you get a siding installation or repair, ask your pro about contoured progressive foam insulation, which conforms to the style of the panels and supports your vinyl siding.

Essentially, you get a double bonus of better insulation and increased impact resistance since the insulation helps to absorb the blow. “So when you and junior are outside playing baseball,” Grishman says, “all you have to worry about is breaking windows, not siding.”

— John Nalley is a reporter for Angie’s List, a provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers.

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