Although aluminum is known for being an incredibly tough surface, every once in a while it can become damaged. Damage can happen because of a severe hailstorm or even a group of children who are playing an innocent neighborhood baseball game. If you’ve noticed dents, dings or loose sections on your home’s exterior, learn how to make your house look new again.
How To Fix Panels
Even if the damage is limited to the lower panels, it’s important that you start at the top and work your way down. Use a tool that’s especially designed for removing siding to pull out the bottom locking edge to expose the nails. Be very, very careful not to bend the panel upward as this could cause it to crease permanently, which means you’ll need to replace it entirely.
Next, use a pair of pliers and remove all the visible nails, discard them and take care not to press down on the panel. Remove the loosened section and make a note of where it goes so you can put it back in the correct place. It’s a good idea to wear heavy-duty work gloves while you work with the panels because the corners can be extremely sharp.
Once all your panels are removed from the home, wash them thoroughly to remove the dirt, dust and even mold that can accumulate on them. Once everything is removed, inspect the flashing, trim and edging and replace anything that’s damaged. Then turn to the panels. Use steel wool to buff out corrosion and pop out dents using a drill, a wood screw, pliers and some filler.
Once everything is installed, you can either paint the repaired panels to match the existing ones or give them all a fresh coat of paint using acrylic primer and two coats of acrylic paint.
What Not To Do
There are a few things that you need to be especially careful to avoid! The first is vitally important — don’t bend the siding! Creases cannot be smoothed out and if a panel becomes bent, it needs to be replaced entirely. Another thing that’s important is to ensure that you’re using new siding nails because the old ones could be corroded. Lastly, ensure that you’re not nailing the panels on too tightly. If they’re installed too tightly, there won’t be space for the expansion and contraction that will occur due to outdoor temperature changes.
Does Your Siding Company Have A Better Option Than Aluminum?
For years, siding contractors recommended that homeowners use aluminum on their homes. However, many siding contractors are now recommending other surfaces, including vinyl and fiber cement. If you’ve recently had a storm and your insurance company is willing to redo the exterior of your home, consider upgrading to one of these other surfaces. Fiber cement, for instance, can increase the value of your house dramatically and is one of the best home improvement projects a homeowner can do in terms of return on investment. Before going with the same old surfaces, investigate to see if there’s a better option for your house.
Repairing aluminum siding can certainly be time consuming, but it’s a project that savvy homeowners can complete themselves. However, if you’ve had a recent storm that’s damaged a large section of your house, consider calling a siding company to see if they recommend replacing the panels with another surface such as vinyl or fiber cement. If you’re filing an insurance claim for the damage, the cost — and return on your investment — might be better than you expect.