responds: Whenever I am called to a job to
remove and replace vinyl siding, I follow these
I begin by looking over the job and figuring out
which panels need to be removed. Rule of thumb:
Always remove one course more than needed.
Starting from the weakest or loosest end of the
panels I need to remove, I separate one course from
the rest of the siding. While you can do this with
the claw of a hammer, I recommend the "zip tool"
(available from any vinyl siding supplier), which
looks like a butter knife with a hook on one end.
With this tool, you pry gently at the end of a
panel, hook the lock, and pull down. The panel will
come "unzipped" as you slide the hook along the
To replace siding panels after the work is all
done, follow these guidelines:
Pay attention to the original butt lines and
spacing. Lay up your panels and nail them in place.
Make sure you don’t over-nail. The siding
should be able to move under the head of the nail,
so it can expand and contract with changes in
temperature. If you pinch the panel tight,
preventing it from moving, it will buckle.
Once you’ve installed the last course,
close the seam by pulling down on the lock above
with the zip tool in one hand, while gently pushing
against the lock with your other hand.
Mark J. Katuzney is owner of Mar-Kay Siding
and Roofing Co. in Yalesville, Conn.