LESLIE: Joan in New Jersey, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
JOAN: Yes. Hi, Leslie. Enjoy the show. I have a question in reference to 40-year-old aluminum siding.
JOAN: Now what – perhaps if I can paint over it, what are the steps? Should it be latex, oil? Should it be primed? Should it be sanded?
LESLIE: Is the siding in pretty good shape? You’re just tired of the color?
JOAN: Well, it is white. It looks as though – if I do power wash it, it looks as though that it’s probably going to be, you know, maybe a little bit chalking. I’m afraid I’m going to be losing probably some of the color if I do try to power wash it.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Well, if you want to paint it you’re going to want to lose some of that paint that’s on the surface.
LESLIE: You know, so many times we see with aluminum siding, as the paint starts to deteriorate it sort of flakes off and becomes very chalky.
JOAN: Well, it looks as though like it’s getting like a lot of black marks around – you know, closer to the ground level.
LESLIE: When you say “black marks” are you seeing sort of speckled-looking mold?
JOAN: I guess that’s what it would be called then. I never really figured that’s what it was so – OK.
LESLIE: Well, do you have a lot of mulch in the area on the ground where the siding and where you’re seeing this sort of dotting?
JOAN: Yes. Not a lot but definitely it’s in front of the house, yes.
LESLIE: Because Tom and I always talk about – there’s something called artillery fungus …
LESLIE: … or shotgun mold and it appears, a lot of times, on siding and on the siding of homes when you have mulch in your garden and your flower beds – especially right up next to the home – and it’s terribly difficult to get rid of. Does bleach and water work on that one as well, Tom?
TOM: Yeah, it will. A siding wash or bleach and water will do it but in terms of painting the aluminum siding …
TOM: … essentially what you’re going to want to do is try to sand as much of the old paint off as possible. You could wire brush it; you could power wash it.
LESLIE: Be careful with the power washer, though.
TOM: Yeah, you want to get as much loose stuff off as you possibly can.
TOM: And then I would recommend an oil-based primer because you get really good adhesion that way …
TOM: … and then you can use a latex topcoat and if you can, I would recommend spraying the paint; not just brushing it.
LESLIE: This way you’re not seeing any brush marks and there are so many nooks and crannies it would just be a wrist nightmare.
JOAN: Oh, OK. Alright, that certainly sounds like very good advice.
TOM: Alright, well good luck with that project, Joan.
JOAN: Alright, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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