Replacing or repairing wood shingles
By Tom Phelan - ReminderNews
Home & Garden - posted Mon., May. 7, 2012
If it’s time to paint your house, before you start, survey the siding to see if repairs are in order. Cracked, broken or damaged wood siding or wood shingles should be replaced as part of the surface preparation.
Before you set about the repair job, give a little thought to why or how the siding or shingle was damaged. Woodpeckers have been known to sink their talons into a house, and peck away, looking for something to eat. That could be a sign that your house is also a home to insects. If you are suspicious, call in a professional exterminator to investigate.
If you find that you have to replace or repair too many damaged pieces, you might not like the finished result. Think about residing instead. Sometimes one wall of a house – maybe west or north facing – will wear more quickly than other walls. Persistent paint problems also point to the residing option.
Assuming that you can find no reason not to go ahead with the repair, measure the area to be replaced, and determine exactly what type of material you will need. Many houses are finished with long clapboard strips that overlap each other or with rows of wooden shingles. Though these materials are rapidly being abandoned in favor of vinyl or aluminum siding, the material is still available. Be sure you can get replacements that will match the material it is replacing. Take a sample to the supplier, or bring close-up pictures.
When you get the repair material, also be sure to get the proper nails, appropriate caulking material and perhaps a bit of sheathing paper to underlay the siding.
For shingles, use a utility knife and a straightedge to score the seam with adjoining shingles. For wood siding, use a box saw to cut a neat, straight edge on either side of the damaged area. Slide a shim under the overlapping board or shingle to the left and right of the area being replaced. Slip a flat pry bar under the board being removed, and pull toward you; do not press against the good siding, as it might crack. Your aim is to loosen the nails that hold the damaged piece in place. Try to pop them out, and remove them with a hammer claw or pliers. Remove concealed nails by slipping a hacksaw blade underneath the siding, and cutting them. The piece should eventually slide out easily.
If you have damaged the sheathing fabric, replace it with similar material. A building adhesive applied to the back of the new material will add to the stability of the repair. Nail the repair in place to match the original, and finish with paint or stain.