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  • Transcript

    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.

    LESLIE: OK.

    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.

    JOAN: Right.

    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 …

    JOAN: Yes.

    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 …

    JOAN: Yes.

    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.

    JOAN: OK.

    TOM: And then I would recommend an oil-based primer because you get really good adhesion that way …

    JOAN: OK.

    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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