Repairing Aluminum Siding

This story shows you how make repairs to aluminum siding.

Intro

Most aluminum siding joins together much like vinyl. Patch a damaged area or replace a panel.

Metal corner caps are sometimes used instead of corner posts for aluminum siding, and in older installations they were often used for wood or hardboard lap siding as well. If your local supplier does not have caps to match the ones on your house, check online sources; it helps if you know the manufacturer's name. In a pinch you can cut and shape a piece of sheet metal to fit, using an old cap as a template.

Aluminum siding can and should be painted. Scrape any flaking paint, and sand smooth. Pressure-wash and allow to dry. Apply an alcohol-base primer, or an oil-base primer that has been thinned with 2 cups of thinner per gallon of primer. Apply acrylic paint.

Prestart Checklist

Time
Less than an hour for most repairs

Tools
Hammer, tape measure, pliers, putty knife, nail set, linemen's pliers, taping blade, flat pry bar, tin snips, hacksaw, sanding block, caulking gun, ladder

Skills
Simple cutting and measuring skills

Prep
Check the siding closely for further damage to determine how large a section of siding needs to be replaced.

Materials
Butyl (gutter) caulk, replacement end caps, auto-body filler, scraper, sandpaper

Small Patch: Step 1

Tap with a hammer to indent the damaged area or use tin snips or a utility knife to cut it out.

Small Patch: Step 2

Cut a patch 4 inches longer than the damage and cut off the nailing flange. Test the fit; the patch should just slip under the siding above.

Small Patch: Step 3

Apply beads of butyl caulk on each side of the patch area and around the hole. Press the patch into place. Use duct tape to hold it in place while the caulk dries.

Filling a Dent: Step 1

If a dent is deep, partially drive a coarse-threaded screw into the center and pull it partway out with a pair of pliers. If part of the damaged area protrudes, tap with a hammer to indent it slightly.

Filling a Dent: Step 2

Scrape and sand away any loose paint. Clean with a mild detergent solution, rinse, and allow to dry thoroughly. Mix a batch of auto-body filler and apply it over the indentation, using the plastic scraper that comes with the filler.

Filling a Dent: Step 3

When it gets hard but not dry, generally shape the filler with a scraper. When it dries use a hand sander to smooth the patch. Prime and paint.


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