How To Repair Vinyl Siding Holes? (6-Step Guide)

Vinyl siding is a very popular product that is inexpensive and looks great when properly taken care of. There isn’t a type of siding out there that is completely impervious to the elements, so don’t get yourself down if your vinyl siding gets damaged. More often than not, repairing vinyl siding holes is an easy process that any DIY enthusiast can handle.

What You Need To Know About Repairing Holes In Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is surprisingly resilient, especially considering its low price point. That said, enough direct sunlight will eventually make vinyl brittle and prone to cracking or breaking. If you live in an area with frequent hailstorms, then you have probably noticed holes in your vinyl siding at some point.

Problems From Holes In Vinyl Siding

If holes are left unrepaired, they can lead to much bigger and more expensive problems. That is why it is imperative to repair these holes as soon as possible.

  • Water damage– These holes will undoubtedly let water seep underneath the siding. Best case scenario, you will have smelly mold and mildew problems to deal with. More realistically, this can lead to expensive structural damage that should be avoided at all costs. 
  • Energy efficiency– Your siding helps regulate the temperature within your home, so having holes in your vinyl will lead to higher heating and cooling costs.
  • Aesthetics– Having a bunch of holes in your siding is an eyesore. Just ask yourself, would you want to buy a home that was covered in unsightly holes?

Considerations Before You Get Started

  • Size of the holes– How you choose to repair this damage will depend on the size of the holes in the siding. Small holes can usually be masked with a color-matched caulk. Medium-sized holes can be hidden with a similar colored patch. Large holes will usually require replacing entire pieces of the siding.
  • Color– Like any other siding, vinyl will fade over time due to prolonged exposure to UV rays. There isn’t really a way to realistically combat this, but you should keep it in mind if you need to replace entire pieces of siding. Even if you happen to have the right product number from the manufacturer, it may not match the siding on your home if it has been many years since you originally installed it.

Supplies You’ll Need For Repairing Holes In Vinyl Siding

  • Dish soap or laundry detergent
  • Bucket
  • Sponge or soft-bristled brush
  • Caulk gun
  • Color-matched caulk
  • Patch kit
  • Replacement siding
  • Utility Knife or Tin snips
  • Pry bar
  • Galvanized nails
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder or scaffolding

How To Repair Holes In Vinyl Siding? (6 Steps)

Step 1: Assess The Damage

The first step of any project should consist of assessing the problem areas so that you can get a better idea of what you are up against. Taking the time to size up the situation will save you money and unnecessary trips to the hardware store.

If the holes are small (around the size of a nail head), you can most likely get away with using caulk to fill the hole. If the holes are slightly larger (golf ball-sized), caulk will be hard to apply and look sloppy. A patch will work better in this situation. Holes that are bigger than a baseball will require that you replace the piece of siding. Trying to patch large holes will be noticeable to the naked eye and be especially prone to moisture penetration. 

Step 1a: Safety First!

Before you dive into this process, make sure you have all the tools to stay as safe as possible. There is a good chance that you will need a ladder or scaffolding to get up to those hard-to-reach holes. Make sure you have a sturdy ladder that you are comfortable using. If the ground is uneven or soft, you can use scrap wood to achieve a flat surface that the ladder won’t sink into. It’s always nice to have an extra set of hands during DIY projects, so if you have a buddy to help hold the ladder, give them a call.

Step 2: Prepare And Clean The Affected Area

Since vinyl siding is made to withstand Mother Nature, you can clean it pretty easily without worrying about staining or damaging the finish. 99% of the time, soap and water will do just fine. Spray it down with your garden hose or prepare a bucket with dish soap and water. This isn’t as important if you have to replace the entire piece of siding, but it will help caulk or patches adhere much better if the surface is clean.

Step 3: Dealing With Small Holes In Vinyl Siding

If you are dealing with pea-sized holes in your vinyl siding, then caulk is the cheapest and easiest way to repair them. Caulk is meant to keep moisture out, and that is the most important thing we want to accomplish with this process. The toughest part of this is going to be color-matching the siding. Your best bet is to contact the siding manufacturer or bring a sample to your local hardware/paint store to try and color-match the vinyl.

Slowly fill the hole with the caulk and wipe away any excess to achieve a smooth surface. If the hole is slightly too big to fill in one pass, it is OK to partially fill the hole, let it dry, and apply a top layer for the smoothest finish. The initial layer will act as a backer, so don’t worry about how pretty it looks; the top layer will be the only visible part. Give the product ample time to dry before adding a new layer (24 hours should be plenty of time for most products). Sometimes, caulk can shrink when it dries, so you may have to come back and apply a second layer if this happens.

Step 4: Fixing medium-sized Holes in Vinyl Siding

Filling a slightly larger hole with caulk is tough if you aren’t very experienced. This is where patch kits come in handy. All vinyl siding manufacturers will sell patch kits, and most hardware stores will carry them. Going with the manufacturer is usually the best choice because they can guarantee that the patch color will match the siding. 

Any patch kit will come with directions, but generally, it will involve inserting a sheathing or tape into the hole as a backer and cutting a patch that is slightly larger than the hole. You will want to make sure the area is clean and dry so that the patch adheres perfectly. The majority of kits will come with the proper adhesive, but if they don’t, most exterior construction adhesives will do.

Step 5: How To Fix Large Holes In Vinyl Siding

Severe weather is notorious for leaving large holes in vinyl siding, so don’t fret if you have large baseball-sized holes in your siding. When dealing with holes of this size, it is very hard to patch the holes without them being very noticeable and ugly. Your best bet here is to just replace the broken pieces.

As we mentioned earlier, the toughest part of this process is going to be color-matching the replacement vinyl to blend in with the old siding. Your best chance to match the siding is to contact the manufacturer or bring a sample to your local hardware store.

First, remove the broken piece using your pry bar or hammer. Gently wedge underneath the nailing flange and work the affected piece out of place. Once the piece is free, measure it. Chances are, your replacement vinyl will need to be cut to fit. You can cut the replacement using a utility knife or tin snips. Secure the new vinyl using galvanized nails, and move on to the next piece. 

Step 6: Inspect Your Work

Take a step back and take a good hard look at your work. If you are worried about water leaking underneath the replacement siding, it is OK to lay a thin bead of caulk to help seal the edges.

Final Thoughts On Repairing Holes In Vinyl Siding

There you have it: 6 easy steps to repair unsightly holes in vinyl siding. Before you go ahead and start tearing off old, damaged pieces of siding, assess the damage so that you know how the repair process will go. Smaller holes will be easier to repair than larger ones, but with the proper knowledge and preparation, you can easily get your home or business looking beautiful again.

Meet your Flooring Expert

Travis McCullough

Travis McCullough

Travis is a lifelong jack-of-all-trades in the construction industry with 20 years of experience in a variety of fields. He’s tackled flooring, carpentry, and everything in between on residential and commercial projects of all shapes and sizes.
Working independently and as part of a crew has equipped him with the know-how to not only complete a project but also teach others the finer points within most building professions. When he isn’t out hanging off of a ladder or crawling around on a roof, Travis spends his time educating people about the construction industry.

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