I followed this YouTube tutorial on removing vinyl siding and my results were nowhere near as successful: https://youtu.be/hM0LLNZqv1s

When I attempted this, the vinyl immediately cracked away. I can confirm that I tried to wedge the tool between two separate courses (rather than in the middle of a single course, since each siding piece "looks" like two courses). I think where I might have gone wrong is that rather than pull "down" I pulled more "out". However, with relatively little force the course cracked and broke. The course I tackled was very short (2 ft) between a corner and a hose spigot.

Was this an issue of poor technique on my end? Or does vinyl become old and brittle with age? Or is some vinyl poor quality and prone to cracking open?

The particular area does endure some extreme weather, it gets intense direct sunlight for 8 hours during the summer, and the gas water heater vents right on there. In fact, all up and down this particular area of the house, the vinyl appears "bowed" outward. This may be due to a bad install, or (my worst fear), I've recently come to realize the gutters may be poorly aligned or poorly installed and they're shedding water behind the wall. I wouldn't expect the vinyl to warp from moisture, except if the sheathing behind was beginning to warp from repeated moisture issues.

  • Usually bowing is from setting the nails too deep. Which is really hard to make yourself not do. If it can't slide back and forth it's too tight.
    – Mazura
    Feb 23, 2022 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


You don't indicate which piece of siding (the one you were removing or the one below it) cracked, but yes, pulling out instead of down could cause the locking channel to break.

If you're working on a repair in the winter during cold weather, the siding will be more stiff and brittle than if you're working on a hot summers day.

Additionally, vinyl siding can chip or crack - I discovered a couple of small holes in a piece of 20-year-old siding on the back of my garage. It's a north facing wall that gets the majority of the wind and snow, but not much sun. It's possible that it could have been caused by a tree branch falling,

Additionally, there's just not as much flex in a 2' piece of siding as there is in a 12' piece, and the fact that it was probably held down by the spigot mounting meant that there was even less room for it to give.

Add these factors to your inexperience (I'm assuming this is the first time you've tried, otherwise you wouldn't have been watching videos on how to) causing "rookie errors", and having a cracked piece isn't surprising.

  • Damn, so it really is a triple crown: old and warped siding, short run, and complete noobie homeowner.
    – AdamO
    Feb 23, 2022 at 17:32
  • Sadly, @AdamO, this probably takes some practice and skill, but it's the kind of job that a typical homeowner/DIYer just isn't going to get much practice at. If you installed/repaired siding for a living you'd get enough practice. At your own house, you don't want to have the opportunity to practice.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 23, 2022 at 17:34
  • 1
    Additional thought: If it's cold, as much of the northern US is at this time, the vinyl siding will be more brittle, even if brand new, than if you're doing the work on a hot 90°F summers day.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 23, 2022 at 17:35
  • @AdamO - don't beat yourself up too much. I try to forgo the stupid tool thing and just bang it down with my palm. That would've cracked it too, because it was going to no matter what if it's brittle and you go at it. When you do siding you always buy one more box then you need and put it in storage. Because this happens. So, yes and yes: brittle with age and it all sucks in the first place.
    – Mazura
    Feb 23, 2022 at 21:34

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