How to Repair a Damaged Clapboard

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Blog entry by Antoine Rizzoti posted 03-10-2015 02:47 AM 1811 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The wood siding clapboards on your house will expand during hot weather and shrink during cold weather. Over time, this repeated shrinking and expanding can cause the clapboards to warp, split, and crack. If you have damaged clapboards on your house, the easiest way to repair them is to replace them with new brand-new pieces. You’re going to need several different tools to do this job. You’ll need a pry bar, a hammer, a utility knife, a hand saw, some caulk, a box of siding nails, and your replacement board(s). So let’s get started!

Step One – Carefully remove any nails that are loose from the damaged clapboard with a pry bar

Step Two – Use a utility knife to score the damaged clapboard several times. You want to do this by running the knife from one end of the board to the other. You want to score in the area that is halfway up from the bottom of the cracked part of the board that you’re going to cut.

Step Three – Carefully insert the flattened end of a small pry bar under the damaged clapboard. You want to put the pry bar near the nail closest to the right part of the damaged clapboard where it meets the next adjacent board. Using a hammer, tap the small pry bar underneath the board and carefully pull the pry bar towards you.

Step Four – Place the pry bar into the next section of damaged clapboard and pry it towards you. Keep on prying the clapboard until it snaps off of the house. It should snap up along the scored lines you created with your utility knife in step two.

Step Five – Carefully pry off any nails that are holding the bottom edge of the damaged clapboard onto the adjacent clapboard. You want to make sure that you hold your pry bar horizontally when doing this. That means you should hold the end of the pry bar so that it’s facing the remaining top part of the damaged clapboard as you pry the nails out. You want to do this to prevent the end of the pry bar from digging into the neighboring clapboard and damaging it.

Step Six – Continuing to use your pry bar, carefully pry off the nails that are holding the top part of the damaged clapboard and then remove that top part.

Step Seven – Place the full-length bottom piece of the damaged clapboard over your new replacement board and make sure the ends are lined up. Next, you want to take your utility knife and run it along the end of the cracked and damaged clapboard to make a guide mark for cutting in the new replacement board. Next, make sure that you score the guide mark by running your utility knife along it three to five times. This scoring will keep the new replacement clapboard from chipping and splintering when you cut it down to the proper size.

Step Eight – Using a hand saw, cut down the new replacement clapboard to the correct size. Make sure that you use the scored guide mark as a cutting guide. While cutting, hold the hand saw at a slight angle to make the edge beveled. This will allow for caulk to fill in between the new clapboard and the side of your house.
Step Nine – Place a small bead of caulk on the ends of the adjacent clapboard pieces, or you can put the caulk on either side of the hole that you created in the siding by removing the old damaged clapboard. Place the caulk so that it totally covers the end of the clapboard, in the area below the back of the clapboard and the side of the house.

Step Ten – Carefully place the top thin edge of the new replacement clapboard 1 inch below the clapboard on the house. This clapboard is located above the hole in the siding that was created when you removed the old damaged clapboard. When placing this new replacement clapboard make sure that you line up the edges with the adjacent clapboards so that everything sits flush and straight.

Step Eleven – Insert one siding nail three quarters of an inch down from the top edge and one siding nail three quarters of an inch up from the bottom edge of the new replacement clapboard. You want to make sure that you hold the nails at a slight angle. This is to prevent the nails from going into the old nail holes left by the damaged clapboard. If you nail into these old holes, the new clapboard will pull out away from the house. Take care to hammer the nails into the new clapboard so that they are flush and not sticking out.

Step Twelve – Cover all the nail heads using a small dab of your caulk. Then carefully wipe off any excess caulk from the places where the new clapboard is touching the old clapboards on the side of the house.

Hopefully this short tutorial will be enough to get you out there to replace any damaged clapboards on your house. A quick tip to remember is that if you come across any siding nails it you simply can’t pry out using a pry bar, you can use a small hacksaw to cut off the nail heads and make them flush with the surface of the siding. This tip will save you a lot of time and headache, especially on older houses where the nails may be stubborn.

-- Antoine, Texas,

2 comments so far

View Joseph2016's profile


2 posts in 1387 days

#1 posted 04-07-2016 07:51 PM

Nice tutorial! Using all “tools”

View Joseph2016's profile


2 posts in 1387 days

#2 posted 04-07-2016 07:53 PM

If you want to read more about hand tools, visit this site

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