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.

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.

Use 100% acrylic latex finish to revive a finish on aluminum siding.
Use 100% acrylic paint to revive a finish on aluminum siding. GeoffreyWhiteway | FreeRangeStock

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:

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

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

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

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

5 Lightly 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.

How to Replace Aluminum Siding Panels

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
Use tin snips to cut aluminum siding. Buy on Amazon. Tekton

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.

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

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” served as MSN’s home expert for several years, and is featured as Yelp's home improvement expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort