Durable, low-maintenance vinyl siding is highly resistant to damages, but a major wind storm may be too much. Wind damage can be a concern, so it's important to know how to handle it.
Types of Wind Damage
Wind damage can be direct or indirect. Direct damage is caused when the wind gets beneath the siding and breaks it free from its fasteners. The damage may be minor, such as a loose or broken fastener. It can also be major, as in some cases wind can rip siding panels off completely or cause them to crack or crease.
Indirect damage is caused when the wind blows items against the siding. Sandblasting damage, for example, is from dirt and grit blown at high speeds against the siding during major windstorms. It can abrade the surface of the siding, causing it to look dirty and dingy, even when clean. The wind can also turn items into projectiles, such as tree branches, which will puncture or crack the siding when an impact is made.
Other than appearances, the most pressing concern is that broken siding will not protect your home from moisture and the elements. Even small punctures or cracks allow moisture behind the siding, which can then lead to mold growth or even wood rot on the main structural supports of your home. Insects and other pests may also be able to make their way into the home through damaged siding, which can be a major nuisance.
Minor damages, like loose panels or broken hardware, can quickly become major damage if not repaired. Future windy days will pull on the loose siding, dislodging it further, and possibly even causing damage to neighboring panels or trim pieces. Not to mention, a loose piece of siding flying off can bang against windows and other items, which can lead to even more severe damages elsewhere.
For minor damages like loose panels and broken hardware, repair is usually simple. The hardware will be replaced so the panel can be secured back in place. Minor sandblasting damage is also easy to repair, as it can be buffed out. Major sand damage, on the other hand, may mean it's time to replace the siding.
Punctures, creases, and cracks can't be repaired as easily. It is possible to patch a hole or a crack in vinyl siding, but the patch will be visibly obvious, so it isn't the ideal solution for siding on the highly-visible front face of the home. In visible locations, the entire broken panel must be replaced. This can be a challenge if your siding color is no longer being manufactured. In this case, you will have to either take the closest match possible or re-side the entire home.
Contact a local repair service if you have wind damage issues with your vinyl siding and need siding repair.