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Repair Vinyl Siding

 

 

 

Shoring Up a Sagging Gate



Maintenance Schedule: Summer

Vinyl Siding Repair

You didn't confuse low-maintenance with no-maintenance, did you? Take some time to inspect your vinyl siding and make sure it's in good shape. Hail, wind, and errant baseballs can all take their toll.

If you find a damaged piece of vinyl siding, use a zip tool to unlock it from the course above it, then pull out the nails holding it in place. You can take out the entire section or simply cut it off past the damaged area with snips or a hacksaw. Cut a new piece of siding that's two inches longer then the area to be covered and fit it in place making sure the seams overlap the same direction as the existing seams. Nail the new piece of siding loosely in place—vinyl moves as it expands and contracts so should never be tightly nailed in place. Use the zip tool to lock the new section of siding to the one above it.

 

Shoring Up a Sagging Gate

Do some investigating to try and determine the cause of the problem. Here are solutions to several likely sources of trouble.


Strengthen Wobbly Posts

If the post is sound (not rotted), the solution is to reset it. Dig the post out to below the frost line. Set the post on a bed of gravel, plumb it, and temporarily brace it in position. Fill the hole the rest of the way with concrete and let it completely cure before removing the bracing.

If the post has rotted at ground level, you could cut off the old post at ground level and sister on a new post, digging a new hole for it as described above, but it will look better if you replace the entire post.


Tighten Loose Screws

Sometimes you get off easy and all that's needed is to tighten the hinge screws. If the holes are stripped, though, you'll need to give the screws something to bite into. Remove the screws and pack each hole with wood toothpicks dipped in wood glue. After the glue has dried trim the toothpicks flush and reinstall the hinges.


Crossbracing and Turnbuckles

A properly built wooden gate has a crosspiece that runs from high on the latch side to low on the hinge side to help keep the gate square. If yours doesn't, this is a likely culprit. Your options are to rebuild the gate, incorporating a crossbrace, or add a turnbuckle. Note that a turnbuckle runs on the opposite diagonal as a crossbrace—it should be installed so it is high on the hinge stile running down to the lower rail on the latch side.

 

Take a Break, Enjoy the Summer!

 

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