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How to Replace Aluminum Siding Panels

Replacing aluminum siding

Serious damage to a section of aluminum siding calls for replacement. This can be problematic if your siding manufacturer is no longer in business, which is often the case with sidings installed 30 or 40 years ago. If you can’t find a perfect match, consider stealing a piece from an inconspicuous place, such as the back side of the garage, and replacing that piece with a compatible but inexact match.

tin snips for repairing aluminum siding

Use tin snips to cut aluminum siding.

1) Using tin snips, make a vertical cut at each end of the damaged piece. Then cut horizontally along the center of the piece.

2) Leave the nailed upper section in place, and remove the lower half.

3) Cut the nailing tab off the top of the replacement piece.

4) Spread butyl gutter seal generously along the upper nailed section.

5) Fit the lower replacement piece into place, and press it firmly into the gutter seal.

6) Caulk the joints with silicone caulking compound or butyl gutter seal.

If you feel this job is too much to handle yourself, you can always get a quote from a local siding contractor.

Aluminum Siding Repairs

Expert do-it-yourself tips for repairing common aluminum siding problems, as well as instructions on how to replace entire panels and flash siding.

Though aluminum siding won’t rust, rot, blister, burn, or get eaten by termites, it can dent and scratch and in time fade and corrode. Fortunately, repairs are fairly simple, even including how to replace a damaged panel.

Use 100% acrylic latex finish to revive a finish on aluminum siding.

Use 100% acrylic paint to revive a finish on aluminum siding.

Repairing Corroded or Scratched Aluminum Siding

If aluminum siding has corroded or been scratched down to the bare metal but the panel is still intact, it can be repaired. Lightly sand the problem area, apply a metal primer, and allow the area to dry. Then apply 100% acrylic latex paint.

Fixing Dented Aluminum Siding

Repairing a dent in aluminum siding is a little bit like doing body work on a ca–in most cases, you can simply pull the dent out. Here’s how to do this:[GARD align=”right”]

1Drill a 1/8-inch hole into the center of the dent.

 

2Put a washer onto a 1-inch self-tapping screw, and drive the screw into the hole.

3Gently pull the washer until the dent pops back into position.

 

4Remove the screw, and then use plastic aluminum filler to patch the hole.

 

5Lightly sand the patch, if necessary, and touch up with paint that matches the siding.

Refreshing Faded Siding

The factory coating on most metal siding is very durable, but the surface can fade over time. Sometimes power washing the siding is enough to refresh it; other times the siding may need a new coat of paint.

When painting, don’t use oil/alkyd-based paints or dark colors, which can cause the metal to expand excessively. Instead, choose a light tone of high-quality 100% acrylic latex paint. Most houses look best with the slight luster of an eggshell finish.

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Metal Siding Repair Pro

Aluminum & Steel Siding

In This Article:

Aluminum Siding
Steel Siding

Expert advice about aluminum and steel siding, the benefits and drawbacks of metal siding, with tips on installation, maintenance and care.

Metal siding is a popular alternative to wood, vinyl, and other materials in situations where durability is a top priority. The two types of metal used in the manufacture of siding are aluminum and steel. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

Both aluminum and steel siding are durable, low- maintenance, and fire-resistant. For house cladding, they have been used since the 1940s. They grew significantly in popularity in the 1980s, when the quality and look gained a new sophistication with embossing and coatings realistically simulating wood.

But aluminum and steel siding have negative traits, too. They are energy-intensive to manufacture, the metals are not a renewable resource (though some can be recycled), and the products often require shipping.

For more on painting or repairing aluminum siding, see How to Paint Aluminum Siding and Aluminum Siding Repairs.

Aluminum is a durable, easy-to-install material. Photo: Alcoa

Aluminum Siding

The virtues of aluminum siding are that it won’t rot, rust, or blister and that it is fireproof and impervious to termites. Its drawbacks are that it dents and scratches easily and may corrode without proper care.

Aluminum siding comes as extruded panels in a wide range of factory-baked colors and textures. Styles and dimensions are similar to those for vinyl, though some 12-by-36-inch and 12-by-48-inch panels simulate cedar shakes. If cared for properly, aluminum siding can last from 40 years up to the life of the house.

Maintaining aluminum siding consists of little more than hosing it off annually, cleaning surface stains with non-abrasive detergent, and periodically refinishing with paint recommended by the manufacturer.

Because aluminum is lightweight and easy to handle, installation is very manageable by do-it-yourselfers with mostly basic skills and tools.

Steel Siding

Steel siding has similar benefits to aluminum—it rejects insects and rot and is resistant to fire—but it can be scratched and rust. It is stronger, heavier, and more resistant to denting than aluminum. Professional installation is recommended.

Steel siding panels are extruded in the same types of panels as aluminum (and vinyl) siding. The material is given a baked-on, guaranteed finish in a broad array of colors in textures that are smooth or mimic the look of wood grain.

Maintenance is easy—you just hose it down once a year. If scratches appear, prime and paint the material before rust can develop. With basic care and maintenance, this siding will last 40 years or more.

Find a Pre-Screened Local Metal Siding Contractor

Aluminum & Steel Siding

In This Article:

Aluminum Siding
Steel Siding

Expert advice about aluminum and steel siding, the benefits and drawbacks of metal siding, with tips on installation, maintenance and care.

Metal siding is a popular alternative to wood, vinyl, and other materials in situations where durability is a top priority. The two types of metal used in the manufacture of siding are aluminum and steel. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.

Both aluminum and steel siding are durable, low- maintenance, and fire-resistant. For house cladding, they have been used since the 1940s. They grew significantly in popularity in the 1980s, when the quality and look gained a new sophistication with embossing and coatings realistically simulating wood.

But aluminum and steel siding have negative traits, too. They are energy-intensive to manufacture, the metals are not a renewable resource (though some can be recycled), and the products often require shipping.

For more on painting or repairing aluminum siding, see How to Paint Aluminum Siding and Aluminum Siding Repairs.

Aluminum is a durable, easy-to-install material. Photo: Alcoa

Aluminum Siding

The virtues of aluminum siding are that it won’t rot, rust, or blister and that it is fireproof and impervious to termites. Its drawbacks are that it dents and scratches easily and may corrode without proper care.

Aluminum siding comes as extruded panels in a wide range of factory-baked colors and textures. Styles and dimensions are similar to those for vinyl, though some 12-by-36-inch and 12-by-48-inch panels simulate cedar shakes. If cared for properly, aluminum siding can last from 40 years up to the life of the house.

Maintaining aluminum siding consists of little more than hosing it off annually, cleaning surface stains with non-abrasive detergent, and periodically refinishing with paint recommended by the manufacturer.

Because aluminum is lightweight and easy to handle, installation is very manageable by do-it-yourselfers with mostly basic skills and tools.

Steel Siding

Steel siding has similar benefits to aluminum—it rejects insects and rot and is resistant to fire—but it can be scratched and rust. It is stronger, heavier, and more resistant to denting than aluminum. Professional installation is recommended.

Steel siding panels are extruded in the same types of panels as aluminum (and vinyl) siding. The material is given a baked-on, guaranteed finish in a broad array of colors in textures that are smooth or mimic the look of wood grain.

Maintenance is easy—you just hose it down once a year. If scratches appear, prime and paint the material before rust can develop. With basic care and maintenance, this siding will last 40 years or more.

Find a Pre-Screened Local Metal Siding Contractor

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