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Fastener length - aluminum fascia over 1x6

11801 Views 15 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jagans
New here, and I hope my question is in the right area.
What I have is a block house with no overhang at the rakes. The house was sided about 30 years ago with vinyl, attached to furring strips. This brought the siding out further than the fascia boards at the rakes/gable. The contractor made pieces of aluminum coil stock, bent out, then down over the siding, to create a channel at the top of the siding.
This was nailed on with 1" or so white nails, face nailed.
Because of this arrangement, the aluminum fascia trim must be face nailed or screwed on. I don't really like it, but that's the only way to hold it on.
I have spent the past 20+ years renailing the nails, several times pieces have blown off and were straightened and renailed.
I decided that screws would be better, so I ran 1" number 6 stainless screws in through the fascia aluminum and board.

My questions are:
I think this will hold ok, but is this an acceptable solution? Is a 1" screw the right length for the 1x6, or should I used 3/4"? The screw apparently goes in through the fascia board to a rafter underneath? Is this screw going 1/4 inch into the rafter going to be an issue with water/rot, etc? Should I use a shorter screw with a 1x6?

Thanks for any advice. I am a little paranoid about rot because I just had the roof replaced, and saw the hidden damage water can do.
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Got a picture?
I've never once had a piece of coil stock fall off I've installed and I sure never used any screws when dealing with siding or coil stock.

#1 that wood under the trim should have been built out with more wood before the siding went up.
When I'm done wraping the fascia there might be less then 10 nails showing on the whole house.
I use a special oval punch to punch some holes in the bottom where it's bent to hold up the soffit. The nails go into the facia to keep it in place.
The top part should be slide in under the drip cap.
I also punch the top part with another punch that leaves a tab sticking out to lock it in place.
pictures to follow in just a minute. thanks

I just came down from getting pictures, will be just a minute. Thanks.



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Use 1 1/2 inch screws - Stainless steel or aluminum
Pre-drill the fascia with a drill-bit slightly larger then the shank of the screws -
Do not over-tighten the screws - get them snug.
It's Ok to hit the rafter underneath.
Don't nail(screw) through overlapping pieces - you'll "lock" them -
bad for expansion/contraction.

Aluminum fascia comes loose quite often - seen it a lot in the last
35 to 40 years.


Happy Holidays!
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That looks like poop.
Not sure why anyone would want to use screws to fix that.
Some white stainless steel , or even aluminum trim nails would look and work best.
Not sure why someones been putting the fastners in the middle of the facha.
Should have been at the bottom just above where it's bent out. The tops held in place with the drip cap.
Even that drip cap looks home made. Drip cap needs a small hook to cause the water to drip out away from the fachia, not run down the face of it.
If they installed that over rotten wood that would cause all your problums.
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It is my opinion that the existing rake cladding should have been removed and the rakes should have been packed out with pine flush with the face of the siding, then another larger piece of pine installed that shed down at least an inch over the siding. New rake cladding should have been broken and installed then the new roof with ice dams and drip edge should have been installed. When you are putting a new roof on was the time to fix the whole mess, not worry about which fastener to use to hold crap in place. The new roof could not have been cheap, what would a couple hundred more dollars to do it right matter. That return back out creates a trap for water. That should have been eliminated when the new roof was installed.
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So true.
If that did not get done I wonder if they padded out the window and door trim.
Just love it when it gets done like that, (by someone else) I get to go back and do all the repairs to the rotting walls where it's leaking around the J moulding.
thanks for the replies....more info...

Here's a little history on this...siding and aluminum wrap was done in 1983.

I agree with all of you that the job wasn't done right... it's different, and not the way I would have done it. Although it is sort of creative, it was not the best plan, that I now know.

Aluminum was originally nailed on with 1" white aluminum nails, in the center holes where most of the screws are. This held up for 20 years...

During Hurricane Isabel in 2003, one aluminum piece came loose and wrapped itself up over the roof, flexed until it was sheared off. That's the ripped up mess with no paint on it. As a temporary fix, I stuck a piece over it, and used Lexel to hold it, with two more nails. Never bothered with it again because it seemed to hold up ok.

A few years ago, another piece, on the other side of the house came off (different wind direction, of course). I straightened, painted and reinstalled it.

The roof needed replacement badly by 2011 (and WAY overdue)... so I got a new roof put on. Ice & water shield, drip edge, etc.

At the time, I assumed the aluminum and fascia could be dealt with later.

This past October, Hurricane Sandy blew my gable mounted tv antenna off, and with it, some of the aluminum you see here. By the next day, after 50-60 or better mph winds, all of these pieces were off the one side.

So, I straightened the pieces again, and put them back. Only this time, found the nails slid in to the holes, the holes had enlarged enough that the standard 1-1/4" trim nail no longer held.

I know it's not the greatest design, but now I have to work with it. My thinking is, that with conventionally installed fascia wrap (that did not act as a j channel for the top of the siding) a few trim nails were adequate. However, mine was designed by the installer to be a two function piece (wrong, yes, but it's the way it was done. It's needed to hold the siding and keep water from getting behind it. And screws would hold on better than nails, in this case).

So, my plan was to use a larger fastener. I put screws in the existing nail holes. I found a #4 was about the same as the trim nail, but some holes it didn't tighten well enough, so I went with #6, stainless steel, and I plan to paint them white. I believe a screw won't back out too easily. I plan to paint the trim white in the spring, should hide the screws well enough. I don't mind the screws, since it's not too noticeable on the side of the house.

But, I do plan to replace the worst of the bent aluminum, or at least cut and replace the ripped part. I know it's not the greatest, but have been out of work and have to make this work as inexpensively as possible. My main goal is durability (ie: the pieces can't blow off in the next windstorm), and keeping the siding on and the water out.

Thanks to all for the replies.
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almost forgot my one original question.....

My main original question was: is it ok to run the 1" screws through the aluminum, the 1x6 fascia, and on into whatever is behind the 1x6 (rafter, I assume)?
Or should the screw be shorter (1/2"-3/4") so as not to exit the back if the 1x6?

I want to avoid water getting to the rafter (and fascia wood, if I can help it). I would guess just having a fastener in the hole is just about enough, is that right? Or, does it need caulk or some other sealer (paint?).

It's holding just fine, and we've had a lot of wind in the past 24 hours. Just want to be water tight also. Like I said earlier, I had hidden water damage from the old roof, so I'm extra concerned (read: paranoid) about water getting into critical wood members.

Thanks again.
There's nothing behind it that going to be hurt with any size screw you choose. No need for anything under the screw.
Once things pick up for you I'd suggest you find a siding company or a buddy that owns a break and just bend some new metal to your profile.
will do, thanks Joe and Merry Christmas to you & also everyone else who replied.

Thanks! Much appreciated.
Merry Christmas to You and Yours, and also to all that replied, thanks very much.
we use 1 1/4 stainless steel ring shank nails and never have any issues. the aluminum nails are smooth shanked and more likely to loose their hold in the subfascia

we wouldnt be using hte stainless nails if they didnt work, our extierior finish work is what sets us apart from the rest of the contractors in our area. everyone knows our homes simply by the trim detail and cleanliness of our aluminum work,, pics attached


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Should be using ring shanks like these not screws.
pretty much what we use but by swanson.. these are teh nails only we use pre painted ones that match the color cladding were using

we use stainless screws all the time also but for anchoring house numbers to the siding or vent boxes
Maybe this will help: Aluminum moves quite a bit with temperature change. One thing that you do not want to do is to fasten consecutive lengths of any type of broken shape together. In other words, never fasten through overlaps. If it were me, I would use painted head Hex Washer Head screws with EPDM washers to hold your cladding in place. There are N. 12 Color cap "woodies" that work well for this. Secure the top end well, and secure the middle and bottom, centered through a slot, or larger hole so the metal can move around the fastener. Less is more. three per section max.

It has been my experience that residential siding contractors and even most commercial roofing and sheet metal contractors know little to nothing regarding the care and feeding of sheet metal, and think that SMACNA means hitting themselves in the head. This is not true of all, just most.

Metal expands and contracts rapidly with temperature change, when it is broken into a shape it becomes a column, and attains what is called columnar strength. Basically it becomes a structural member. Its going to move whether you like it or not, so you have to provide for it. This is best done with slip or retainer cleats. Remember, never fasten in the laps. This makes your 8 or 10 foot long piece, one big continuous piece, and it moves as if it were one section, wracking the heck out of fasteners. If you restrain the top, let the bottom move.
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