Fixing a hole in wood siding | Columnists |

2022-07-15 22:43:26 By : Ms. Anna Wei

Scattered thunderstorms this evening followed by occasional showers overnight. Low around 65F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%..

Scattered thunderstorms this evening followed by occasional showers overnight. Low around 65F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.

Q: We have a 30-year-old cedar wood-sided house that sits in the woods. We have always had a problem with woodpeckers and other birds building nests and pecking and making holes in the siding. We have managed to keep up with simply stuffing the holes with insulation and then caulking closed the holes. The holes to this point have been fairly small and maybe we have caught them earlier than this time.

Now the holes are a little larger than in the past and I don’t know whether they are birds or squirrels. The problem is that the larger holes are harder to fix. I need to replace some siding pieces but also, I have a couple of holes in the soffit that is a T-111 siding that came in 4x8’ sheets, making it hard to repair or replace a whole piece of soffit. Any suggestion as to how to repair these? Janet in Angola

A: There are many bees, birds and squirrels that can wreak havoc on wood siding and often bees or woodpeckers will start the holes and birds and squirrels will expand them for their own use.

Over the years we have fixed this type of damage many times, and sometimes after several years of repair we have removed the siding and installed either composite siding or vinyl siding.

The bigger holes are definitely harder to repair without replacing the whole piece of wood, and yes, replacing a piece of lap siding is not as big of a problem. When you get a larger hole in either board and batten siding, or in wood soffit that would require removing and replacing, sometimes a whole piece means a lot of work. Sometimes we will drill a hole large enough to encompass the hole so that we can insert a matching material drilled the same size in its place.

The problem is drilling a hole without being able to have the pilot drill guide the hole saw. Simply drill the same hole in a scrap piece of wood and then position the scrap piece over the bird hole, then use the hole in the scrap piece to guide the hole saw, so that a clean hole can be drilled, encompassing the bird hole. Now you can insert the repair piece into the hole and caulk and stain to match.

Jeff Deahl is past president of the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana. Questions for the Square Corners column may be submitted to

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