Vinyl siding is very durable, but it can still be damaged under the right circumstances. The panels could crack or chip if a big limb slams into your home during a bad storm. Fortunately, you can replace individual vinyl panels. It's a fairly easy DIY project, especially when the damaged panels are close to the bottom of your home, so you don't have to climb a ladder to do repairs. This is a quick overview of how it's done.
Remove The Damaged Panels
The first step is to pull out the cracked or chipped panels. To do this, you need to buy a vinyl siding removal tool from a hardware or home improvement store. This is also called a zip tool. It is a small, inexpensive device with a curved blade that is used to pry up vinyl siding panels. Whether you are removing one panel or multiple panels, the procedure is the same.
Slide the zip tool under one bottom corner of a damaged panel and push up, so the panel pops loose. You'll have to walk the length of the panel, prying it up as you go. Once that's done, the row of nails holding the panel in place is exposed. Use the claw end of a hammer to pull out the nails, then you'll be able to slide out the panel.
Buy Replacement Panels
Unless you know the exact brand and color of your vinyl siding, you'll need to take one of your panels to a business that sells vinyl siding, so you can find replacement panels that match the color and texture of your existing siding. This part is trickier than it sounds.
If your siding has been on for a few years, that particular line may be discontinued. Also, if your siding is old, it may be faded and no longer match the color that was originally installed. You'll probably have to place the panels side by side and choose the best match by sight.
Install New Panels
Before you put on the new panels, you have to cut them to the same size as the old ones. Vinyl is easy to cut with a hand saw. Be sure to draw the cut line so you don't cut at an angle. To install the new panel, slide it into place and secure it with nails in the original nail holes. Keep in mind, the panels are nailed along the top, and the bottom interlocks with the panel below it.
If you have several damaged panels on your house, you may want to hire a contractor to do the repairs. Another problem you may run into when you replace several panels is an eyesore created by slightly mismatched colors. You can fix this by painting your whole house, or at least an entire side, so the colors match.