Blog & Tips

Blog & Tips

How to Make Lap Siding Repairs

When clapboards or shakes are rotten or broken, your home’s siding can no longer do the job it’s meant to do.

Damaged siding lets air, water, dirt, and insects through to the inside. It also allows decay and further damage in the wood around it. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can repair damaged areas or individual shingles yourself, which can save you money and head off problems before they become too serious.

When you notice a bad spot in your home’s siding, repair it as soon as you can.

The damaged board or shake is the only part that must be replaced, and the job goes fairly quickly. Replace the old board with a new one of the same size and shape. Here’s how to repair damaged clapboards (also known as bevel or lap siding):

Step 1:

Wedge the board away from the house by driving wedges up under the damaged board to pull it out from the sheathing below. Look for the nails in this section of clapboard and pull them out. If you can’t remove them with a claw hammer or pliers, use a hacksaw to cut them off flush with the sheathing. To release the top of the board, drive wedges under the clapboard that overlaps the damaged board and remove the nails from the top of the board.

Step 2:

Cut through the board on each side of the damaged area, using a backsaw or a hacksaw. If you don’t have enough room to use a saw conveniently, use a hacksaw blade with one end wrapped with electrical tape to protect your hand. Cut all the way through the board to include the damaged area.

If necessary, move the wedges to make room for the saw, but leave the wedges under the clapboard. When the board is completely cut through on both sides of the damage, the damaged section should pull down and out fairly easily. If it won’t come out, break it up with a hammer and chisel, and remove it in pieces. Be careful not to damage the surrounding boards.

Step 3:

Cut the new clapboard to fit the opening and test it for fit. It should slide right into place, with its top edge under the board above and its bottom edge over the board below. Plane the edges for an exact fit, if necessary.  Slide the new clapboard into the gap, with its top edge under the board  above and its bottom edge over the board below.

Step 4:

When the new board fits well, paint it with a primer coat. Make sure both sides and all edges are covered. Also paint the raw edges of the opening, where the old siding was cut out. Let the paint dry completely.

Step 5:

Set the new board into the opening and adjust it so that it fits perfectly. Nail the board into place with 16d nails, driven through the bottom and through the board above into the top edge. Caulk the edges of the patch with acrylic latex caulk. When the caulk is dry, paint the new siding to match the rest of the house.

Slide the new clapboard into the gap, with its top edge under the board above and its bottom edge over the board below.
Shakes or Shingles

Damaged shakes or shingles are replaced the same way clapboards are. If they’re natural unstained cedar, however, it’s a good idea to take your replacement shakes from an inconspicuous area of the house and to use the new shingles on that spot. This trick eliminates a new-looking unweathered patch in the repair area.

Wedge each damaged shake or shingle out, driving wedges under the damaged shake and under the shakes that overlap it. Pull out or cut off all nails, as above. Then remove the damaged shake. If it doesn’t come out easily, split it into several pieces with a hammer and chisel and remove the pieces. Insert the new shake and nail it into place with 16d aluminum nails; do not use steel nails. If the shake doesn’t have predrilled nail holes, drill pilot holes for the nails to keep the wood from splitting.

Replacing shingles or clapboards as they become damaged will keep your siding from deteriorating quickly and better protect your home from the elements.

Are you experiencing these problems ? Contact Us Today!


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Fixture Installation In Bathrooms

I am seeing a lot of dangerous bathroom fixture installations that is addressed by the National Electrical Code.  Please keep in mind that the Code is not there to increase the cost of a home, to make contractors rich, or keep homeowners from doing their own electrical work.  The Code is designed for your protection and your home’s protection.  Note: the definition of a luminary is “a body that gives light”, I’ll let you determine if it’s celestial or man made.

“No part of a chain, cable or cord-suspended luminaries, track luminaries, or ceiling paddle fans can be located within 3′ horizontally and 8′ vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or shower stall threshold.  Luminaries located within the actual outside  dimensions of a bathtub or shower to a height of 8 ft from the top of the bathtub rim or shower threshold must be marked for damp locations. Where subject to shower spray, the luminaires must be marked for wet locations [410.10(D)].”

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Screen comes in fiberglass, aluminum, and bronze.  Colors available are gray, charcoal, black, and bronze.  Fiberglass charcoal screen is preferred and recommended.   Charcoal screen, often referred to black, becomes practically invisible from the inside looking out.

For flat table top repairs: Do long side first usually along salvage edge, short side keeping it square to long side, other long side, then short side last.  Be careful to stretch screen perpendicular to frame, not at an angle.
For vertical in place screen installation: Do horizontal top side first keeping edge square to weave.  Fasten vertical side keeping edge square to weave and top side.  Fasten second vertical side pulling (perpendicular to frame) tight.  Fasten bottom pulling screen tight as fastened.
Waves, flops, and loose screen is not acceptable.
When using rubber spline, spline must be replaced if changing from aluminum to fiberglass screen.
Rapid Repairs recommends the Screentight screening system.  See

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Water Heater Odors

Water Heater Odors
Bradford White


Hydrogen Sulfide Odor and Chlorinating Water Heaters (#109)

Three ingredients are required to generate hydrogen sulfide odor that gives water its rotten egg smell: sulfur, hydrogen, and bacteria.

If any of the above elements are removed there should be no odor. It is not always possible to remove the trace of sulfur that is present in most water, and corroding metals generate hydrogen. Sulfur eating bacteria are resistant to heat up to approximately 225ºF. They are both water borne and air borne. A perfect glass lined tank, without an anode rod, would generate such a small quantity of hydrogen that it would not create an odor. However, there would be some corrosion and it would penetrate the steel in a period of time. The magnesium anode installed in the tank protects the tank surface but generates enough hydrogen to crate an odor problem when the hydrogen reacts with sulfur and bacteria. Removal of the magnesium anode and replacement with a Bradford White A420 anode rod may minimize the problem. Complete removal of the anode (magnesium or aluminum) will void the warranty and shorten tank life. The only satisfactory method to control the hydrogen sulfide odor is to control the bacteria. As a rule, public water supplies that are properly chlorinated will kill the bacteria. A private well system may be contaminated but, as a rule, it is the pneumatic tank and piping that is contaminated. A contaminated system can be decontaminated by use of a chlorine injector or other purification systems such as ultraviolet. This will destroy the bacteria.

The following steps outline the proper procedure for chlorinating a water heater:

Turn off the water and power supply or gas supply to the water heater.
Drain several gallons of water from the drain valve on the water heater.
Remove the Magnesium anode rod.
Pour a ½ to 1 gallon of bleach into the water heater through the hot water outlet opening.
Install the A420 anode rod.
Re-connect the hot water supply line to the hot water outlet on the water heater.
Turn on water supply and draw water at each hot water faucet in the residence until a Chlorine odor is noticed.
Once the Chlorine odor is noticed turn off the faucets and allow the bleach to sit in the water heater and water lines for a minimum of 3 hours, but a full day is desired.
After Step 8 has been satisfied turn on and draw water at each hot water faucet in the residence until a Chlorine odor is no longer present.
Turn on the power, or gas supply to the water heater.

Once all of these steps have been followed the water heater can be restored to its normal operating function. If you need to chlorinate your well system or other water system(s) consult Rapid Repairs or other licensed plumbing professional. If you have any additional questions you can call Bradford White’s Technical Support Personnel at 800-334-3393 for assistance.

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