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Can I safely attach strings for supporting morning glory vines to the aluminum siding ceiling/soffit of my balcony?

My apartment building has aluminum siding, which extends to the underside of the roof over my balcony. I want to train morning glories to climb up strings leading up from their pots to the balcony's "ceiling," but I need to know if i can attach hooks to the aluminum "siding" that forms the soffit of the roof overhang.
If so, does anyone know what kind of hooks (and where I might find them), and whether they could support the 10-20? pounds of tension that the strings & vines would put on them?

(Apparently, I also need to know whether it's called a "ceiling" when it's outdoors, and what to call "siding when it's on an outdoor ceiling/soffit. :)

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frollard7 years ago
Outdoors, that overhang covering is the 'soffit'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soffit

Inside the soffit will be the roof trusses overhanging the wall - and the aluminum covering will be stapled/screwed to these trusses. Punch a hole with a punch or nail, then screw in a hook - directly into the wood. If you live in a hi-rise, it may be concrete, but I doubt it.
Gorfram (author)  frollard7 years ago
Thanks, Froll. (May I call you "Froll"? :) (..."Frollie"? ..."F-Man"? ..."The Frollster"? ;) Of course the beam will be right over the balcony rail, in line with the rest of the framing for the balcony - it's utterly obvious now that you've pointed it out. :) OTOH, I have serious reservations about breaching the integrity of the siding by drilling into it. I'm a renter, which means that the siding/soffiting (along with the rest of the building) isn't mine to mess around with however I like. If drilling holes were to allow water damage, or black mold, or yellowjackets, or whatever to get under the siding and cause trouble, that would be seriously Not Good. I know that there are little hooks the you can slide in between the "boards" of side-of-the-house siding to hang your Christmas lights on. I was hoping that there would be something similar for the soffiting that would work for me, but it may not exist.
The soffit is open to air (notice those little vents) to prevent water damage. Don't put holes on the fascia - the vertical piece that you mount the rain gutters on. It wraps from near the shingles around to the soffit panels. It must stay intact. The hole you put in the soffit will be directly on the wood truss - you can screw a small hook (1/8 inch or 3/16) - and the hole will go from outside directly into wood, so even if you remove the hook, the hole will go to 'nowhere' and you're still protected - although I'd recommend filling the hole when you're don if you ever did remove it. Don't poke any holes where there is just 'air' underneath - you need something to screw to. LASTLY - Yes, Froll is okay Gorf. Commonly people mispronounce it however; it's frahl-erd - not frO-Lard - in case it matters :D
Goodhart7 years ago
Would it be possible to use small hooks that have a sticky backing on them, rather then breach the siding by drilling or shoving a hook through them?
Gorfram (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
Thanks for the thought. I haven't had such good luck with sticky-backed hooks. Every time, they last for a while, lulling me into complacency, and then some months later I suddenly hear a thud! :(

Am thinking of abandoning hooks altogether, and using a (small) wooden beam supported by brackets anchored in some nearby non-siding-sided uprights.
That would probably be one of the least invasive methods, for sure. Morning Glory's will curl around and climb nearly anything (I tried one year to have it curl around a chicken wire fence around my garden, only to have to keep removing it from the nearby tomatoes it really wanted to get to. :-) The seed pods will have them coming back triple strength the next year, if they fall into fertile soil.
goatgirly7 years ago
It's called a roof outdoors and i think it is still called siding although that seems odd because it is not on the side. I think it would be okay to put supports on it. It would look awesome to have morning glories growing up the wall.
iPodGuy7 years ago
I have gutter guards so no christmas light holders will work for me. I drilled small holes right in the lip of the soffit and put in s-hooks. Worked like a dream. Maybe try that with your morning glories. Also, now you've got me thinking about a good use for my hooks when its not winter!
PKTraceur7 years ago
Wow... I haven't an answer but that is one damn beautiful apartment if you get it to work! Perhaps drilling and folding rebar wire in half to make a kind of hook? -PKT
Gorfram (author)  PKTraceur7 years ago
Thanks :) If I ever get it all put together, it will be pretty nice. And it will shade my south-facing windows and screen me off from over-friendly neighbors. But I hope you're not envisioning the kind of balcony architecture associated with late-night serenades by secret admirers - it's not just the aluminum siding that makes my balcony a venue more likely to be associated with idling Diesel engines and the wailing laments of car alarms.