“Is aluminum siding good for a house?” That’s a question we hear year after year. For a time, aluminum siding panels lined the walls of every house on the street. They provided years of capable protection for millions of people. Nowadays, vinyl siding has become a more common staple in the housing industry, but aluminum still sticks around. Here are some key reasons why aluminum siding is still a top choice for homeowners in Dundalk, MD.
Benefits of Aluminum House Siding
When it comes to siding, the most convenient materials are those that require little maintenance but come available in a variety of colors. Aluminum resists corrosion and ultraviolet radiation in a way that few metals can. It doesn’t rot like wood siding does when confronted by moisture. While aluminum may gradually fade over time, all it takes is a professional paint job to refresh your exterior colors.
How long will aluminum siding last? The average lifetime is around 40 years, though the exact time will depend on how well the siding is maintained. You’ll likely need to repaint the siding every 5-10 years. That’s a pretty small cost for years of protection!
Key Perks of Aluminum
- Practically immune to corrosion and UV rays
- Requires little maintenance work
- Easily painted
- Lasts for up to 40 years
Aluminum vs Vinyl Siding
Vinyl (a plastic derivative) provides a very price-competitive alternative to aluminum, though the metal comes out at a slightly lower price average. While vinyl siding is generally colored through, aluminum is usually painted on site. Vinyl isn’t vulnerable to dings like aluminum, but sometimes it struggles with extreme temperatures.
While aluminum siding generally lasts for 40 years, vinyl’s lifetime varies based on the thickness of the material, ranging from 20-40 years. Because aluminum is a metal, it requires an acrylic coating to avoid absorbing too much heat.
Aluminum Siding Colors
As we mentioned earlier, aluminum can be painted very easily. Many homeowners choose to paint their aluminum siding white to improve the metal’s reflective capabilities. This reduces the amount of external heat (or cold) that passes through the siding, which in turn reduces the amount of conditioned air wasted inside your home.
Considering your HVAC system has to work harder whenever heat or cold slips in from the outside, well insulated aluminum siding is good news for your Carrier or Bryant gas furnace! Of course, there are countless colors available on the housing market if you want something a little more striking. Aluminum is very receptive to paint, so you don’t have to worry about blotching.
How Aluminum Siding is Installed
The installation process for aluminum siding isn’t particularly complicated.
- First, the old siding will need to be removed and the area beneath it cleaned.
- Second, an underlying layer is installed to boost insulation.
- Next, footer and corner posts are placed.
- Caulking and trimming is then prepared for any windows and doors.
- Finally, aluminum siding panels are installed from the ground up.
Why Aluminum Siding Should be Installed by a Pro
Because gaps in the siding panels may lead to moisture getting trapped against the underlayment, it’s critical that they be installed correctly. The consequences of installation error could be mold growth and ruined insulation. A professional will ensure that each panel is fitted correctly to eliminate any gaps. They will also guarantee that the trimming and caulking around your windows is installed properly.
Precision installation is one of the most crucial factors that determine how long your siding will last. Faulty work could lead to siding replacement well in advance of the materials expiration time. Unless you are a home exterior specialist, it’s typically best to let a professional handle your aluminum siding installation.
How to Care for Aluminum Siding Panels
First, it’s important that you understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of aluminum. While the material is almost invulnerable to corrosion and ultraviolet rays, aluminum may start to fade after 5 years or so. Because aluminum siding is notably thinner than aluminum that’s used for roofing, it is vulnerable to dents if struck by hail or the odd baseball.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s important that your aluminum siding is repainted every 5-10 years. This will not only rejuvenate the siding paneling’s color, but it will also preserve energy. For that purpose, it’s also highly recommended that you choose a lighter color for your siding.
Make sure you take special care when playing around the sides of your home. While dinged panels can easily be replaced, it’s less expensive to avoid playing catch next to the siding. If well kept clean and cared for, your aluminum siding will last you for several decades. The savings earned from maintaining it will certainly be worth the effort!
What is the Best Way to Clean Aluminum Siding?
While painting and installation may be jobs for the professionals, the cleaning routine for aluminum siding is simple enough for any homeowner to do it. According to the DIY experts, you only need to wash off your siding once each year. Before you get started, you’ll need a few supplies, including:
- A water hose
- Household laundry detergent
- A gentle scrubbing brush
- Protective gloves
- Bleach or vinegar (optional)
Start by making sure that any plants, exposed windows, and doors in your working area are covered to prevent chemical exposure. You’ll also want to use clothes you don’t mind ruining accidentally.
Start by gently hosing down the target area before you apply any detergent. Afterwards, you can applying the detergent and scrub from the top down. Softer brushing will ensure that you don’t accidentally scratch the siding to hard and leave a mark. If you notice any mold or mildew growing on your aluminum siding, you should apply bleach to the affected areas.
Once brushing is complete, be sure to rinse off the affected area one more time. You don’t want any stains from leftover detergent of bleach! Once you’ve finished, congratulations. You shouldn’t have to wash off the siding for a whole year.
If you’d like to learn more about aluminum siding in Dundalk, MD or a nearby city, our team at Recovery Roofing & Home Improvement, Inc. would be happy to provide you with further details. Give us a call at (410) 288-1633!