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Old 06-25-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
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Capping Headache


My Dad had seamless steel siding put on 12 years ago, and in the process, they capped all the wooden trim with aluminum coil. It saved him a painting cycle or two, but now things need to be redone. Capping coating failure, dings/dents, and sealant failure have taken their toll over the years. The aluminum capping was sold to him as a no maintenance item.... What seems scary, is that the installers seem to have relied on the housewrap to prevent water damage rather than to try and keep water out from behind the siding in the first place. Ie the capping and trim channels seem to be installed in such a fashion as to capture, retain, and or redirect water under the siding and trim rather than keeping it away.

In addition, I looked at the seamless steel installer manual, and it appears that once unlocked, it cannot be relocked, so they recommend cutting off part of the old and bonding a new piece minus nail strip in place. Color matching, even if I could get a coil and a mobile roll former to make up new siding strips make this a scary deal. As I cant see how I can get the capping out from behind the j channel without pulling the siding... this appears a big problem.

It seems to me wood and 5 year painting cycles would be a lot less maintenance than this capping mess I have to deal with now. In a similar vein I think the potential for water damage would have been a whole lot less had they not done so. I'm a bit fearful as to what I will find once I start digging into this. Alas it is what it is and I need to do something.

If it turns out that I have major water damage, and need to rip out and redo everything, it will be outside the scope for me as DIY. On the other hand, the seamless steel siding still looks good, just faded a bit. I'm thinking if their is no water damage, if I could redo the trim while leaving the siding in place, I could take this on... but i am not quite sure how to go about doing this.

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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Capping Headache


12 years? Sounds like a hack job. Was the contractor licensed, bonded, insured? Does he have a signed contract with a warranty? That kind of stuff should be maintenance free. What "brand" of metal was used? If it is reputable then they have manufactures warranties for things like that. Lot's of fine print that goes along with them.

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:08 PM   #3
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Sure would help if you were to post some pictures.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:47 PM   #4
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The siding was private labeled US Seamless, the capping and other bits were likely private labeled from Emco (verbal recollection only from an ex-employee of the defunct installer). The installer did not provide manufacturer warranty cards, but instead provided their own really impressive looking 50 year warranty with a ton of fine print making it nice looking paper, but in general pretty useless. Beyond that, the installer has been out of business for a number of years. I'm going to bug US Seamless and Emco... but I think they will say I'm up a creek without a paddle being it was private labeled to an out of business firm and I have no paper trail back to them.

My Dad was a civil engineer, but he designed roads and bridges. Siding was far outside his skill set... I'm a materials guy/EE and its been quite the learning curve for me, so I dont blame him for relying on the installer and their impressive documentation and testimonials. Certainly the siding was well made... but the trim and its install, egads.

I'll shoot some photos and get them posted.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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We offer a Lifetime Non-Prorated, Transferable Limited Warranty, and a Lifetime Transferable Non-Prorated Hail Warranty, along with a labor warranty. We also offer and unprecedented Lifetime No Fade Warranty on our Platinum Series™, Mountain Cedar® and Northwoods Collections™. You won't find a better.. Seems like they "say" that. My first step would be to call them up and have a representative come out.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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Capping Headache


Quote:
Originally Posted by mnphysicist View Post
... What seems scary, is that the installers seem to have relied on the housewrap to prevent water damage rather than to try and keep water out from behind the siding in the first place. Ie the capping and trim channels seem to be installed in such a fashion as to capture, retain, and or redirect water under the siding and trim rather than keeping it away.
The house-wrap is indeed the weather resistant barrier (WRB). Pretty much any siding system will have some degree of moisture that gets behind it and the housewrap and flashing work together to protect the home and direct that moisture outward... That said, it is impossible to comment on whether or not it was done properly without seeing pictures of the details.
On the capping, I'd have to agree with an earlier poster that it was probably some inferior grade material if it looks terrible after 12 years. I've seen high grade coil and caulk that still looks very good after 20. In addition, you can probably have that capping redone in a much simpler method than you'd expect, retaining the existing water management system (assuming that it is correct). It would probably be cheaper than painting and even at 12 years it is still longer than 5. Don't get me wrong, painting is fine and it offers a higher-end, detailed look that you can't get from a wrap job, but to think that it will be cheaper or anywhere near the same level of maintenance is misguided.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:28 PM   #7
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Here are some photos. To me, it looks like the install is 100% dependent upon the WRB as water seems actually channel to go behind the siding itself.

I am interested in this simpler method of capping if indeed it will last. Repainting trim every 5 years is no fun... but ripping out capping and possibly siding every 10 seems a whole lot more expensive. In addition, whatever type caulk they used ended up turning into a major dirt magnet to say nothing of how it discolored from the sun.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #8
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lotta caulk on some of that,wrapping those type of windows where the removable screen sits right on the aluminum never come out good,see how he just wrapped the face and left the return wood?

whats your concern? the J channel?
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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everybody always says they will repaint every 5 years but they almost never do

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