If you notice split or cracked clapboard siding, it doesn't have to be replaced, which can be a challenge. Clapboard siding same dates back to when pine, spruce, and hemlock were horizontally cut into boards that overlapped, and they are still installed the same way today.
It is essential to maintain clapboards, but they still get damaged because of their thinness. It is possible to fix clapboard siding without replacing entire boards by following this guide.
Fix Small Cracks in the Clapboard
To complete this siding repair, you need to gather:
- work gloves
- eye goggles
- tape measure
- galvanized nails
- exterior wood glue
- epoxy filler (optional)
- drill (optional)
- exterior caulk
- cross-cut saw
- ¾ inch by 2-inch piece of scrap board
- replacement clapboard
You may be able to fix small cracks with wood glue. Slightly open the crack with the pry bar, and spread wood glue until it overflows.
Trim a scrap piece of clapboard with the saw to three-fourths inch by two inches. Press the scrap clapboard piece into the glue, and nail it in place. After the glue sets, remove the board and nail.
Remove Split Clap Board Sections
Look for split or cracked clapboards, mark them, then pull off as many broken pieces a possible. Insert the prybar into the hole at the bottom lip, and tap it with a hammer to push it in the space. Loosen vertical caulk joints with a utility knife between the siding and board ends to reduce the number of paint touch ups in this area.
Remove the pry bar, and use it to pull out nails. If you have trouble removing the nails, slide the tip of the reciprocating saw. below the nails, and cut them.
Slide the pry bar under the top section, tap it with the hammer to bend nails, Pound the board back in place, which should pop the nails. Grab the board from below and wiggle it out.
Repair the Split
Use the old section of clapboard to measure and mark on the new board. Place the new board on a flat surface or sawhorse, and cut it to fit.
Insert the cut board under the board above the damaged area, and hammer the nails to a depth of an eighth-inch. To make the board sturdier, drill smal holes around the edges, and fill them with epoxy after hammering in the nails.
Hammer all loose nails back in place. Seal the joints with caulk, but avoid caulking the lower and upper edges to allow breathing room. If desired, prime and paint the repaired section that matches the rest of the siding.