How do I reattach loose aluminum siding

Old 12-16-09, 06:49 PM
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How do I reattach loose aluminum siding

A while back, a strong storm knocked loose some of the siding on my house. It's not completely off, but you can tell that it is bowed out and loose from the house. Is there a way to reattach it with out taking a large section down?
Old 12-16-09, 07:23 PM
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Aluminum siding is pretty tricky to reattach. It's similar to vinyl siding in the way it locks together, but often aluminum/steel siding is too rigid to lock and unlock without bending it up.

If the bottom of the siding has come unhooked, a siding unlock tool will help you reattach it.

Image credit: Malco

You need to start working the tool right next to where the siding is still hooked. You need to tug down on the tool with one hand while gently pushing in with the other. Work in one direction until you succeed in reattaching the piece you are working on. Working from both ends of one piece of siding rarely works well, because it will bend the siding in the middle. So work from one end to the other, being careful not to bend the bottom lip of the siding. If it gets bent, it will come loose all the time. A dot of clear silicone here and there (right below the nails on the bottom of the interlock) might also help prevent it from coming unhooked in the future.

If all your siding is still hooked together, but it's loose, (bows away from the house in places) then it probably has either pulled off of the nails (siding sometimes does this if the installers used small 6d or 7d galv. nails) or the nails were not nailed into something solid (studs) and they have actually pulled out of the sheathing. In this case, there isn't much you can do other than try to tap the siding back flat again. Lay a block of wood lengthwise along the bottom of one of the laps and tap the block of wood gently with a hammer. You might succeed in tapping the siding back if the nails have pulled out of the sheathing. But if the siding has actually come unhooked from the nails, the only thing that can be done is to remove a large section of siding and rehang it.

This might be something you'd want to contact your insurance agent about if it is storm damage. Removing a large section of siding could prove costly.

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