Exterior Aluminum Siding
Aluminum Siding for Your Home
Aluminum siding became popular after World War II, when aluminum began to be produced in such abundance that people started to think of new ways to use it. Still a very popular type of siding, it was one of the first ’newer’ siding options as an alternative to wood and still has something to offer.
There are several advantages of aluminum, if you're comparing different types of siding. Aluminum siding offers better insulation than vinyl and is fireproof and waterproof. It cannot rot or attract termites like wood, and it won't rust like steel. It's also very lightweight and easy to handle. One of the negative aspects of aluminum siding is that it will dent easily and is not very fun to replace. Aluminum may also get scratched. Scratches show more in aluminum siding as compared to vinyl siding (where color is the same in every layer). Aluminum siding has an enamel coating baked onto the surface. This coating can be flat or shaped, providing opportunity for several different looks, including an imitation wood surface. Aluminum can be painted any color, to reflect the homeowner's style and personality. Aluminum siding needs to be cleaned once a year and repainted every so often typically 5-10 years.
For two or three years after you have aluminum siding installed, you shouldn't have to worry much about serious maintenance (other than cleaning). After that you should start checking for cracks, dents, and scratches. Aluminum siding will typically last between 40 years to as long as the building stands. Any type of metal siding is usually higer on the siding costs scale than materials, like vinyl, but it tends to save in the long run because of its energy efficiency. You may pay more up front, but expect your heating and cooling bills to be lower for years to come. Depending on your needs, the extra cost may be worth it.
You can install aluminum siding yourself with a few tools normally used in any carpentry project and some basic skills, or you can have it professionally installed. The siding comes in kits that include the panels as well as the other pieces needed, such as attachment strips and trim. Unlike steel siding, which is always best installed by a professional manufacturing company, aluminum is lightweight and easy to cut and nail. The manufacturer should provide installation instructions that you can get at the time of purchase. Because aluminum, like vinyl, expands and contracts with changes in temperature, you have to allow for these changes during installation, depending on the season.
There are two kinds of repairs you may have to do: repairing dents on existing siding panels and actually replacing panels.
Major supplier of aluminum siding: Alcoa Building Products
Aluminum Siding :
Longevity: 40 years for most products.
Maintenance: Like wood will require painting every 5-10 years
Cost: A little lower than average
If you're looking for other metal siding options consider seamless steel.
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