Heating ducts are made out of light-gauge metal, which is great for pushing heated air throughout your home. However, light-gauge metal is not that strong. If you bump into it while working on your heating system, you can easily dent it or even put a hole through it. Here is what you need to do if an area of your heating duct is badly dented or has a hole in it.
Remove The Damaged Section
The first thing you need to do in order to repair your heating duct is to remove the damage section. Take a permanent marker and draw either a square or a rectangle around the damaged area; you will use these lines to help you cut out the damaged area.
Take a sharp knife or razor blade and cut along the lines that you drew for yourself around the damaged area. Once you make a cut into your duct with a straight-edged cutting tool, you may want to switch to some snips or heavy-duty scissors to more easily cut out the rest of the damaged area.
After you have cut out the damaged area, place it inside of a trash bag.
Measure The Hole
Next, you need to get out your tape measure and write down the measurements for the length and width of the hole. If you cut the hole out in the shape of a rectangle or square as recommended, this should be pretty easy to do.
Once you have written down the measurements, add two inches to both the length and the width. This new measurement is going to be the size of the patch you'll be applying. You need to add the extra two inches in order to ensure that the patch properly covers the hole you created.
Cut Sheet Metal Down To Size
You will repair the hole with a sheet metal patch. You will want to cut the sheet metal to the size of the second set of measurements that you calculated above. You may want to mark the measurements on the sheet metal with your permanent marker first, and then use your cutting tool to cut the patch down to size.
Apply Caulk To The Sheet Metal
Once you have cut the sheet metal to the correct size, take some silicone caulk and apply beads of it around the outer edge of the sheet metal patch. Make sure that the beads of caulk go around the entire perimeter and that there are not any gaps in the caulking.
Place The Sheet Metal
Now that the sheet metal has been caulked, take the patch and place it over the hole. The side with the caulking should face the duct work. Make sure that the patch is centered up and that there is the same amount of extra space on all four sides. When you are sure the patch is even, push it into place. Run your fingers around the entire perimeter to make sure that the caulking sticks to the duct work.
Secure With Sheet Metal Screws
Allow the caulking to dry according to the directions on the package you purchased. Once it has dried, you can further secure the patch by placing sheet metal screws on each side of the patch. You should place a screw every couple of inches in order to ensure that your patch stays secure all around the perimeter of your patch. The easiest way to apply the sheet metal screws is with a cordless drill.
Once you complete all the steps above, your heating duct should be free of dents and both working and looking great. If you have a more complicatedheating repair job, contact a local professional for information or assistance.