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Install & Replace

Attaching Exterior Aluminum Trim to Aluminum Windows

My house was constructed with aluminum framed windows with custom aluminum trim on the exterior.  The builder attached the aluminum trim to the windows with double sided tape.  My house is now about 11 years old and the tape is starting to fail so that the aluminum trim is falling off.  I would like to re-attach the trim to the windows using screws instead of double-sided tape.  Is this advisable?  I am concerned about possible leaks that might develop should I drill the necessary holes into the windows.  Note: my house is vinyl-sided. 

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Posted 2011-05-17T02:32:18+0000  by HBH HBH

Greetings HBH and welcome to the community.


Wow I’m surprised how long did that tape last for …11yrs :smileysurprised:


HBH I wouldn't recommend using screws to attach an aluminum trim to the window frames.  Attaching trim or coil with screws will lock in aluminum from any movement during contraction and expansion of the material during temperature changes possibly causing buckling.


For example with any new  coil or trim installation professional installers always nail their trim so they say “loosely” to the structure to avoid these problems.

In addition to the above explanation in my opinion, screws would also not look esthetically pleasing.


My advice would be to look for the self sealing rivets.

We do not carry this product but it can be found online searching for the “self sealing” rivets.






If this product cannot be found in your area you can also use a standard aluminum rivets that we do carry in our stores but you would have to seal each rivet with an exterior grade window and door caulking after installation.


rivet gun.jpegrivets.jpgdoor&window.jpg


During installation I would recommend drilling a hole in the trim slightly bigger that required for the rivet installation, so let’s say for example if the rivet is 1/8” you would need a 3/16” hole or a 1/16 larger to allow for the movement.

Drill an exact hole size in the frame there is no need going one size up on the frames.

From my experience this would be the a perfect solution for you project, with no concerns about damaging the window frames or creating possible water leaks down the road.


Hope that helps and good luck with your project!


Posted 2011-05-17T14:20:22+0000  by George_HD_CHI
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