Five Tips to Repair Shingle Siding

Big repairs on shingle siding are much more manageable when the basics are mastered. Unless a significant amount of the wood siding needs to be replaced due to rot, you can usually patch it well and make it look like new.

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Tips to Repair Shingle Siding Yourself

Here are a few tips on how to repair shingle siding as a simple do-it-yourself project:

  • Pre-drill nail holes. Use a drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the nail. This is the most successful way to avoid splitting wood shingle siding on those close-to-the edge spots. Blunting the tip of the nail with the hammer before using it works part of the time.
  • Use removed shingle siding and boards as templates. Save time and mistakes in measuring by using removed siding as a template for the new piece. Allow a fraction of an inch for shrinkage.
  • Use preservative on sawed edges. Pre-treated wood siding and boards don't need additional wood preservative, but the new cuts do. The raw wood soaks up moisture and allows access to insects and damaging weather.
  • Imitate the grain. When using wood putty or filler on an exposed piece of wood siding or clapboard, the smooth surface will be unsightly. Use a comb, wire brush or some other sharp object to create an imitation wood grain in the patch. The repair will be less likely to catch someone's eye.
  • Safely remove old nails. Create a fulcrum point for your claw hammer or crowbar with a small piece of old wood shingle. You can pull up on the nail and rock the tool on the old wood. This prevents damaging the area around the nail and gives you a powerful pull.

Working to repair shingle siding can be an aggravating process if you're not prepared. Follow these tips to make the job a lot easier.

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