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How To Safely Remove Vinyl Siding From Your Home

What’s your idea of the perfect day spent outdoors? Is it fishing on a lake? Going for a walk with…
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What’s your idea of the perfect day spent outdoors? Is it fishing on a lake? Going for a walk with a friend? Removing the siding from your home?

Okay, we feel pretty confident that removing your own siding probably isn’t your ideal way to spend a day (or a few days!). But if you’re committed to attempting this project yourself, you should feel well-informed before starting.

Use this guide to learn how to remove vinyl siding from your house to prepare for a new siding installation. It’s recommended across the board to hire a professional siding contractor for this task, but we know some DIY enthusiasts out there can’t be stopped, so the least we can do is ensure you remain safe.

5 Steps to Removing Vinyl Siding

Before you get started removing your siding, be sure to set up your working area. Clear out obstacles and random clutter close to the edge of your house. This can include:

  • Outdoor furniture 🪑
  • Children’s toys ⚽
  • Potted plants 🪴
  • Rocks and sticks 🪨

Lay out a tarp as a designated place to discard the old pieces of vinyl siding. Alternatively, you can rent a roll-off bin and discard the panels directly into it. (Keep in mind that siding panels are usually 10-12 feet long, so ensure you have a large enough area!)

Set up a sturdy ladder in a safe area. Lean it against your house at a 45-degree angle, and always have a buddy nearby for safety purposes. (This is only necessary if you plan to remove siding from your entire house, which are the steps we’ll go through below. If you’re only removing one piece of siding in the middle of your wall, you likely won’t need a ladder.)

Place a bucket or trash bin nearby to throw nails into as you work.

  • Safety Tip: Avoid doing this project during hazardous weather like rain, snow, or extreme temperatures. Be sure to wear sunscreen and a sun hat if you’re working on a sunny day.

1) Use a Zip Tool to Disconnect the Pieces

The first step to removing old vinyl siding is to use a zip tool to disconnect the siding panels from each other. Zip tools are specialized tools specifically made for disconnecting higher pieces of siding from lower pieces.

Start at the top of your wall and work your way down. Slide the zip tool sideways under the bottom of the panel above it and pry up to detach the pieces. Continue the sliding and prying process until the entire panel is unhooked from the piece underneath it.

  • Safety Tip: Wear work gloves during this project to protect your hands from scrapes and cuts.

2) Remove the Nails

Lift the upper panel up to expose the nails. Use a pry bar or claw hammer to pull out the nails from the wall. (Pry bars usually work best.) Drop the nails into the nearby bucket to the best of your ability to save you the cleanup effort later.

3) Push Down to Remove a Panel

Even when the nails are removed, the panel will be hooked to the piece below it. Push the vinyl siding panel downward with your palms to remove it. It should just pop free, but if it’s stubborn, you can gently pull it outward from the wall. If it still won’t budge, double-check that you didn’t miss any nails.

Repeat these first 3 steps on each and every siding panel around your home. We’ll warn you right now— this is a time-consuming and tiring task! Work with multiple people to help it go by faster and take lots of breaks.

4) Clean Up Nails

When it’s all said and done, it’s time to clean up! Even if you tried to toss all the spare nails into a bucket, it’s likely that some got scattered in your yard. Use a lawn magnet and walk around your yard with it. This tool will easily pick up nails you may have missed.

5) Dispose of the Siding

It’s safe to assume that you’ll have more scrap siding in your lawn than can fit in your regular trash bin. Thankfully, vinyl siding is completely recyclable, so you don’t need to toss it in a landfill. However, you’ll need to arrange for the recycling.

You can schedule large item pickup with your local recycling company or check the Vinyl Institute directory to locate a vinyl siding recycler near you.

Rather Spend Your Days Doing Something Else? Call ARCH Instead!

how to remove vinyl siding arch exteriors

Removing vinyl siding from your entire house will take at least a day (but probably closer to four). If you’d rather spend your outdoor time roasting marshmallows or going to the beach, we don’t blame you. Plus, making even a minor mistake on this project can have detrimental results on your home!

It’s easy to see why most homeowners leave this task to professional siding contractors. Before you bite the bullet on a DIY attempt, give ARCH Exteriors a call. We guarantee you’ll be so impressed by our experience, outstanding materials, and unbeatable warranties. We even offer financing so you can get the high-quality siding installation you deserve at a price that doesn’t break the bank!

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