Q The former owner of our house had the aluminum siding painted prior to selling the house and now the paint has begun to peel. The most noticeable areas are those under the roof extensions. How can we remove the paint? S. V. Stickler Jr. Export, Pa. There is no easy answer to this problem, and removing the old paint will take a lot of scraping and sanding.
The problem could be twofold. I'm certain the original paint was oxidized and no one had taken the time to remove it prior to applying the new paint; and if this was a quick-fix job, the painter probably used inexpensive or improper paint for the job. If you can get down to tight, nonpowdering paint, you can prime and paint the siding with the appropriate product for the job; this is where the scraping and sanding come in. You need a paint which is elastic because the aluminum siding expands and contracts with any changes in the temperature. Check with a local paint store for an appropriate product among the brands in stock. You may still get some peeling over the years, but it should be minimal and can be readily touched up. Q The roof which I had installed on my house in 1968 supposedly has a 15-year lifespan. Since that time has already passed, I would like some advice on what to do about it. I could wait for the roof to leak, but would prefer to avoid that situation. What do you suggest? Edna Morse Linthicum, Md.
Since roofs are installed in a variety of weather-and-wear situations, the lifespan specified by a manufacturer does not mean the roof will perform for that length of time and then leak. Your roof may very well have several years of service remaining. A close inspection of the shingles should tell you how they look and feel. Are the shingles brittle, worn, and lifeless, or do they seem to be in good condition? Most roofs start to fail around penetrations, such as vents, chimneys, and the like, where the caulking has dried out or the flashing has pulled apart. If you have any doubts, ask a local respected roofing contractor for his opinion.
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