Vinyl siding problems can cost a lot of money depending on where you live and the specific vinyl material. If you find yourself with a vinyl siding top piece that keeps falling off, it’s important to know your options and choose the best solution.
To fix the top piece of vinyl siding that keeps falling off, you may need to have it replaced or repaired. Weather, aging, improper installation, and the wrong underlining can all contribute to this issue. Solutions include applying silicone caulk along the connections or replacing the nail hem.
Knowing the necessary repair job will be useful whether you plan on making it a DIY project, hiring a siding contractor, or asking for help from the neighborhood handyman. This article will explore possible reasons the top piece of your vinyl siding keeps falling off, along with some solutions.
Replace Damaged and Old Vinyl Siding
The top piece of your vinyl siding may be so damaged that it needs to be replaced. Houses are no strangers to strong winds that can take off pieces of your house, including your siding. Water damage and deformation from heavy hail can also be culprits. House materials can weaken and crack with age.
In addition to the vinyl panels, here is a list of materials and tools you may need to replace damaged vinyl siding:
- Work gloves and safety glasses
- Chalk line
- Measuring tape
- Table saw or power saw
- Snap lock Punch
- Utility trim
- Utility knife
- Tin snips
- Snap lock punch
- Nail hole slot punch
- VSRT (Vinyl Siding Removal Tool)
Note that you don’t necessarily need a VSRT to remove the siding. Here’s a video showing how to remove siding without a vinyl siding removal tool:
Vinyl Siding Institute Video: Finishing the Top of the Wall Best Practices
Assuming the rest of the vinyl siding is already installed correctly, this great video from Vinyl Siding Institute will show you how to install the top piece:
Here are the eight steps outlined in that video:
- Measure the required width for the last piece in several locations along the top of the wall.
- Subtract 1/4 inch for panel movement.
- With these measurements, cut the panel to the desired height.
- Install the J-channel.
- Make tabs in the cut edge of the vinyl panel every six inches with the snap lock punch.
- Install utility trim into the J-channel at the top of the wall.
- Install the panel and make sure it locks into the previous course.
- Snap the panel firmly into the utility trim.
You may have to shim the last piece or use a double utility trim. Shims are wedges used for leveling.
For a big job, you can use this siding cost calculator to get an idea of how much you’ll be spending. If you’re new to this and don’t own any of the tools mentioned above, those alone can cost between $600 to $800. This is in addition to the vinyl siding that can cost between $4 to $8 per square foot ($43 to $86 per square meter).
Reinstall Vinyl Siding Piece That Keeps Falling Off
Sometimes, the loose top piece of vinyl siding doesn’t need to be replaced. It may have been installed incorrectly, the joints are not aligned right, or the panel is loose and requires a nail in the nail hem to be replaced.
To reinstall a loose vinyl siding piece, you may need these items:
- Work Gloves
- Vinyl Siding Removal Tool (VSRT)
Follow these steps to reinstall a loose vinyl siding panel:
- Fit the VSRT (Vinyl Siding Removal Tool) under the bottom of the loose vinyl panel.
- Gently pull with the VSRT along the piece to find the full extent of looseness between pieces.
- Snap the loose edge back into the locking ridge.
Replace Loose Nails on the Vinyl Siding’s Nail Hem
The top piece of your vinyl siding can come loose and fall off due to a nail coming undone. If the rest of your vinyl siding is in good shape, check the piece that is loose to make sure all of the nails are still in place. You may be able to spot an individual nail or two that are no longer securing the panel in place. In this case, you should replace these loose nails immediately.
Follow these three steps to replace a nail in your vinyl siding’s nail hem:
- Use the VSRT to expose the nail hem.
- Drive the corrosion-resistant roofing nail into the center of the nail hem slot.
- Snap the bottom edge of the vinyl siding panel into the top locking ridge over the nail hem.
This was the problem we had in our house. One of the top vinyl siding panels kept falling off, and I was able to place it back in, but it kept falling off with the wind.
I decided to call the local Ferris Home Improvements to help me with it. The guy took less than 15 minutes to replace the loose nails and charged me $249.00.
It was an expensive lesson learned for me, and this will be the last time I use this company for any repairs.
Apply a Small Amount of Silicone Caulk Along Loose Connections
You can use tiny beads of silicone caulk to secure loose vinyl siding back in place and make sure it remains firmly fixed. This last fix is an optional measure to help the connection stick better.
Caulking doesn’t take long at all, so don’t worry if you don’t have much experience in DIY repairs. All you need is a tube of silicone caulk and a few basic tools.
Before applying the silicone caulk, clean up any debris or dirt on or around the loose connection where the siding has come off. You want to create a smooth surface so that it seals properly when you apply the caulk.
Start by applying a small amount of caulk along any loose connections where the top piece meets the other parts of your vinyl siding. This will help create an extra layer of protection against water damage while securing the siding firmly.
Fixing a top piece of vinyl siding that keeps falling off is a common and relatively easy project for most homeowners. It can easily be replaced or reinstalled with a few simple steps. When fixing the issue yourself, it’s important to check if any nails have become loose or if there is any damage caused by water or extreme weather.
If you’re not up for a DIY repair job, consider outsourcing with a professional siding contractor before hiring your local handyman.