Homeowners have many choices when it comes to the exterior of their home. Each approach, from wood siding and traditional painted wood to aluminum and vinyl siding, has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.
There are many advantages to aluminum and vinyl siding, including its relatively low cost, but one of the chief benefits is its remarkable durability. Unlike many other home exterior choices, which require frequent painting and lots of ongoing maintenance, aluminum and vinyl siding are generally quite durable, requiring little in the way of ongoing maintenance and of course no need for painting.
Even so, problems do crop up with aluminum siding from time to time, and it is important for homeowners to know how to perform small repairs on their own. One of the most common issues encountered by owners of aluminum sided houses is that of dents, and the good news is that most of these dents are fairly easy to repair.
From hailstorms to the neighborhood kids, it would be nearly impossible to completely avoid problems with dents in aluminum siding. These dents are all but inevitable, and in order to repair them properly, perform the following steps:
- Drill a couple of 1/8 inch holes in the part of the siding that contains the dent.
- Place a flat washer onto a sheet metal screw, and then screw it part of the way into one of the holes you drilled.
- Next, pull on the screw with a pair of pliers. Hopefully the dent will pop out and the siding will be good as new. The purpose of the washer is to prevent you from inadvertently scratching the siding while pulling with the pliers.
- Take some Bondo or another brand of body filler and mix up enough to fill in the dent in the siding.
- Remove the screws that were inserted, then use a putty knife to apply the body filler to the holes and the dent.
- Be sure that the body filler you use dries even with the siding surface. Keep in mind that it often takes more than one application of body filler to completely cover the dent. When applying multiple coatings, allow the previous coat to dry completely before applying additional filler.
- After the dent has been completely filled in and you are satisfied with the results, the entire area should be sanded. Be sure that the filler you have applied is completely dry before sanding the surface.
- The next step is to apply a coat of a high quality metal primer. Spray the primer on the area evenly and make sure the area is covered completely.
- The final step is to apply two coats of a paint designed specifically for use on aluminum siding.
Aluminum siding repairs made by professional contractors can be quite expensive, but by knowing how to do it yourself, you'll spend next to nothing. A single can of Bondo or an equivalent body filler can repair a great many dents, and these materials are cheap, easy to find and very easy to use. While very large dents or cracks may require the assistance of a contactor, most common dents, such as those made by baseballs, hailstones and other environmental hazards, can be patched quite quickly and easily.