Here are some things that inspectors can keep in mind while examining exterior walls clad in aluminum siding:

  • Since metal siding can conduct electricity, some jurisdictions require that the siding be grounded as a safety measure.  Inspectors can check with the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to find out if grounding is a requirement.
  • Aluminum siding can be distinguished from vinyl siding by visual inspection.  Any dents in the siding are a clue that it is aluminum, as opposed to vinyl, which may show cracks or breaks.
  • Lightly tapping on the siding can also help determine what the material is.  Aluminum has a slightly hollow and metallic sound when struck.
  • Distinguishing between aluminum and steel siding can be more difficult and may require the use of a magnet, which will interact with steel but not aluminum.  Rust spots are another sign that the siding is steel.
  • Properly installed aluminum siding should not be in contact with the ground.  The AHJ can be consulted for the minimum required clearance.
  • If the siding has been installed in contact with the ground or below ground level, outward bulging at the bottom can be an indication that the building sills and/or lower walls have been damaged by rot or pests