Aluminum siding is manufactured using aluminum coil stock. Siding planks are coated with chemicals to protect the metal and covered with paint for visual purposes. Each siding piece is baked to increase its durability, and manufacturers may add enamel to give the pieces texture. Aluminum siding rose to popularity in the 1940s and was a common choice until its decline in the 1970s. Today, aluminum siding still offers several benefits over other materials.
One of the primary concerns for aluminum siding durability is denting. In thinner panels, strong hail may be enough to leave dimples. For thicker types, a stray baseball or falling tree limb could leave a mark. You may also experience scratching if you brush the siding with the lawnmower or other sharp objects.
The longevity of a siding material gives you insight into how long your investment will last. When you put effort into choosing the perfect siding type and finding the right durability, you want that decision to pay off for many years. Both aluminum and vinyl have impressive lifespans.
Aluminum siding became very popular in the 1940s and is still found on many homes today. At the time, aluminum was an alternative to traditional wood siding and popular because it was easier to maintain and less expensive. But maintenance aside, aluminum siding has its share of drawbacks.
Rather than attempt to repair and repaint your aluminum siding, you can consider replacing it with vinyl siding. The Vinyl Siding Institute says that vinyl siding is the number one exterior cladding choice in the United States for new construction and remodeling.
A common type of siding material used to cover homes, aluminum siding is durable and long lasting when it is installed properly. However, just like any other type of exterior home covering, it is subject to wear and tear as well as the elements, and eventually it may break down. Removing and reinstalling new pieces to fix up old areas is a common maintenance aspect of owning a home that uses aluminum siding, and requires only a few basic hand tools.
Note: Remember that with aluminum siding you can replace sections, such as damaged spots, rather than needing to remove/replace an entire wall of siding. If you must remove an entire wall, start from the top section and work your way downward to the bottom, removing each row via its nails and working slowly to salvage the pieces as they will bend if you are not careful.
Place scraps of wood underneath the edge of the upper piece to expose the nail flange of the piece that you are removing. The wood will hold the upper piece of siding out of the way. Carefully pry loose the nails holding the strip of siding in place, using the pry bar and hammer, instructs Upgraded Home. Remove the piece of aluminum siding.
Reconnect all of the interlocking pieces, using the siding tool to help you. Hook the bottom edge of your replacement piece over the upper edge of the piece below, says Home Tips. Do the same for the bottom edge of the piece above your replacement piece of aluminum siding.
Aluminum siding is installed in an interlocking pattern where the upper edge of each piece has a flange for nails which also has a lip (like a backward, upside-down \"J\") that serves as the locking mechanism for the piece above. The next piece installed is also nailed into place, but the bottom edge of that piece has a similar J-piece that locks into place with the lip on the lower piece. These two edges snap together with the lips of the \"J\" pieces interlocking and can be separated using a special tool designed for this purpose, which is found at any home improvement store.
While aluminum siding has affordability and low maintenance going for it, this material suffers from many drawbacks, such as noisiness and vulnerability to dents. Furthermore, if aluminum siding gets damaged, it can be a major pain to replace. For these reasons, when it comes time to repair your aluminum siding, we recommend you replace it with a higher-quality alternative.
One of the biggest disadvantages associated with aluminum siding is its vulnerability to dents and scratches, which can be a big problem if you have kids around in the yard or live in a region that experiences hailstorms. Some other issues commonly encountered with aluminum siding include the following:
Many homeowners use this material for its lack of required maintenance, as the only thing you have to do is wash it several times a year and take out any debris lodged in between the pieces of siding. Some other features of aluminum siding include:
The other alternative to aluminum siding that we recommend is James Hardie fiber cement, which can mimic virtually any other type of siding material, including cedar shingles, wood shake siding and wood lap boards. Some other benefits of James Hardie fiber cement siding include:
The good news: Due to a hail storm, insurance will replace our full house of 1971 aluminum siding. Our insurance adjuster wrote the $20K damage estimate for replacement aluminum siding (.024 thickness). Ugh! The last thing we want to do is put aluminum siding back on our house due to the chalking, upkeep (painting), and denting (we have small children that kick and throw balls around). Plus, it just looks DATED. I know that an insurance company does not care what our house looks like, but I do.
When I talked to the insurance company about allowing us to replace with a nice vinyl or cement board instead, they said that we'd have to prove that aluminum siding is no longer available before they'd pay for vinyl or cement board. They also suggested that we send our sample to ITEL Labs so that this lab could determine what the comparable product is. We'd have to have their documentation as support for our assertion.
I have no experience with the aluminum sidings on the market, however all metal exterior building products are being coated with much better finishes than years ago. I'll bet you'll be able to get a 20 year guarantee from chalking or fading.
Aluminum is also resistant to exposure and wear, but is particularly susceptible to scratching and denting. On the plus side, aluminum is more fire-resistant than vinyl, as vinyl tends to melt when exposed to a fire. The Federal Emergency Management Agency discourages those living in wildfire-prone areas from installing vinyl siding on their homes due to its lack of fire resistance. That also means you should keep your grill away from your vinyl siding.
Likewise, we also strongly discourage homeowners from painting over their aluminum siding. The primary reason is that when your aluminum siding gets to the point where you want to update its appearance, painting it will not be cost-effective. Painting aluminum siding is unfeasible if:
If your siding looks old, dingy or moldy, it may not necessarily need a full replacement to improve its appearance. Sometimes, all it needs is a thorough cleaning. It is not uncommon for homeowners to quickly realize a simple wash is enough of an improvement to give the siding new life.
In the process of removing siding for complete replacement or patching, the best strategy for siding replacement is to cut the damaged section of siding out completely. Then, for the replacement piece, to measure it so it is about two inches longer than what was removed. This spacing on the replacement piece should mean it will fit properly into the patch, and overlap to hide the end.
If you had your aluminum siding installed several decades ago, there is a chance your manufacturer is no longer in business. A professional construction company like Add Ventures can help you find new siding that matches your existing siding, or help you utilize a piece from an inconspicuous spot and then replace that section with newer, close-match piece.
Aluminum siding costs anywhere between $5.60 and $10.30 per square foot to install on a home. For a 2,500 square foot home, the national average replacement cost is $22,738 or approximately $7.90 per sq. ft. Project costs will vary depending on the size and design of your house, additional materials needed, local labor rates, and the cost to remove old siding if necessary. Aluminum siding is usually just slightly more expensive than a standard vinyl siding replacement. However, aluminum has significant advantages over vinyl, discussed below.
Aluminum siding is a great option if you want to give your home a fresh look, as well as long lasting protection from the elements. Believe it or not, aluminum siding does not simply come in metallic, silver planks that look like industrial buildings. This siding comes in a wide variety of colors and can convincingly create the look of more expensive wood siding, as well as other high-quality types of siding, at a much lower cost.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, aluminum siding provides additional noteworthy benefits. Whether or not you have considered aluminum siding for your home, be sure to take note of the following benefits:
While modern aluminum siding is significantly more dent-resistant than it was in the past, dents can still be a problem depending on the area where your home is located. If you live in an area that is prone to storms, especially hail, denting can still be a problem.
That said, severely dented panels can be easily replaced with an aluminum siding repair. Scratching and fading paint are also common concerns, but these issues can be fixed by repainting using quality, color-matched house paint.
Modernize recommends working with a professional siding contractor to install aluminum siding. However, if you are an experienced DIYer, here are the recommended steps to take to efficiently install the siding:
If you are not experienced in installing home siding, we highly suggest finding a reliable home siding installer near you to ensure you are handling the project properly. A contractor will also help you get the project done for the best price, recommend types and styles of siding, and prep your home for the best energy efficiency. Using a professional will also prevent future repairs or replacement down the road due to improper installation. Talk to a Modernize contractor today and compare quotes from up to four local installers. 59ce067264