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Community and Q&A

Removing aluminum siding

johns3km | Posted in General Questions on

Anyone have advice for removing aluminum siding off of a 1940s era home outside of Boston? A couple articles I’ve read have mentioned to allow the cedar shake siding to dry out a couple months before painting? Should the siding be in decent shape underneath? I’m guessing the aluminum was installed 70s or 80s, so the original siding is probably 40-50 years old of exposure. 

Any condensation issues to be concerned with? Home was uninsulated for 75 years, blown in insulation added to walls 5 years ago.



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  1. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #1

    Hi Kevin.

    I don't think you'll know the scope of work until you remove all of the aluminum and inspect the cedar siding. I have talked to people who plan to remove aluminum or vinyl siding and refinish the siding beneath based on removing a small section of the siding. Then when they start to take it all off they realize that other areas are in much worse condition and require much more work.

    You can check moisture content of the cedar siding with a moisture meter instead of putting an arbitrary length of time on it drying out. I refinished a deck a few years a go and if I remember correctly, I was able to get a moisture content recommendation from the stain manufacturer.

    You shouldn't have any condensation issues as a result of this work.

    1. johns3km | | #2

      Thanks Brian. It's tough because you need to work from the top down if you want to pull back some of the siding to test. I've got a small section in the rear that I was able to peek in to- just saw old peeling paint.

      That said, the original window trim, fascia, soffits etc are all in poor condition and in need of replacement, along with roof. I was hoping I could re-trim and pull back the aluminum and restore the original look. Sounds like you need to dive in and be prepared for the worst. My neighbors sidings have all held up pretty well.

  2. walta100 | | #3

    You will have no way of knowing if the siding was installed because it needed a coat of paint or if the siding was rotten and could not be painted again until you risk opening a can of worms and pull some down.

    Some of the siding installers have been known to simplify the trim around windows and doors with a sawzall, making it easier to wrap in aluminum coil stock.

    If you are going to go exploring start on the north side as it seems most likely to be in the worst shape.


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