Choice is good at least in theory.  But for the homeowner trying to decide on the type of siding for a home, the number of choices can be overwhelming, to say the least.  The purpose of this article is to provide the homeowner with unbiased information regarding one of those choices: aluminum siding.

Depending on the location of the home, as well as other factors, aluminum can be an excellent siding choice.  However, as with any siding, there are both positives as well as negatives when it comes time to clad your home with aluminum.  Let us now examine some of the primary aluminum siding pros and cons.

Let’s start with thickness. Aluminum is a soft metal, which means the thickness of your siding makes a tremendous difference.  Cheap aluminum siding is 0.4 inches thick, commonly referred to as 40-gauge aluminum.  The standard is 44 gauge, but homeowners who wish for the best in this type of siding will purchase the 53-gauge siding.  53-gauge siding is more expensive but the cost is outweighed by the life expectancy of the siding.  A home sided with 53-gauge aluminum should not require residing again for at least 35 years, and quite possibly longer although the home will probably require painting two or three times during the lifetime of the siding in order to keep it looking fresh and new.

Aluminum panels come in both a horizontal format and a vertical format, allowing the homeowner complete freedom in designing the outward appearance of a home.

Aluminum provides excellent insulating properties, especially the heavier-gauge metal. In fact, aluminum siding insulates a home better than vinyl siding and can save the homeowner a considerable amount on heating and cooling costs over the lifetime of the product. The fact that the product is extremely light and easy to install also generally translates into savings on labor when it is installed and that is certainly an advantage.

Aluminum is also an excellent choice for people living in coastal communities with lots of moisture or even salt spray in the air.  Wood and many other siding products absorb moisture, causing a wide range of problems many of them health related, but aluminum siding does not swell, rot or encourage the growth of mildew.  Unlike steel siding, aluminum does not rust.  In fact, aluminum is completely waterproof and provides excellent home protection against moisture problems.

For homeowners who live in areas of extreme cold, aluminum is a better choice than vinyl due to the fact that aluminum is not affected by extreme cold, whereas vinyl can become brittle during severe cold snaps and can easily crack. Once a crack appears, water can get under the siding and can cause severe problems. Aluminum eliminates water problems virtually entirely.

Aluminum is also recyclable. It requires little energy to manufacture, it need never end up in a landfill and it can be remelted and remade into new objects when the time comes. For the homeowner straining to be “green,” aluminum cladding for the home makes perfect sense.

Aluminum is not just insect-resistant; it is insect-proof.  This one fact alone can mean a great amount of time savings as well as cost savings for the homeowner over many other types of siding.  Aluminum is also fire-resistant almost fireproof. This fact may save the homeowner a considerable amount on monthly homeowner insurance premiums, although it is advisable for homeowners to consult with several insurers to confirm the savings in any given area.

Aluminum comes in a variety of textures and patterns, many mimicking wood.  Aluminum can come pre-painted in a wide choice of baked-on colors or the homeowner can paint the siding any color.  And, finally, aluminum is a generally low-maintenance choice a lot more low-maintenance than most other siding choices.  Other than possibly hosing it off once a year and wiping it down with a soft, damp cloth, there really is not much work that needs to be put into aluminum siding with the possible exception of painting it every ten to twelve years.

There are some drawbacks to aluminum, just as there are drawbacks to any siding choice.  For one thing, aluminum tends to dent easily, and replacing a single panel or even a section of panels can prove difficult both from a construction standpoint as well as from the point of view of matching existing colors.  The reason for this is that the colors baked onto aluminum siding tend to fade over time, preventing an easy match-up.  Also, exposure to the elements often causes aluminum to become chalky and dull its colors.  Aluminum is also easily scratched.  The good news when it comes to scratching is that the underlying metal will not rust, as is the case with steel siding.

Aluminum simply does not have a substantial “look” for some people. Even though aluminum comes in a variety of patterns and textures, and may look good from a distance, some people simply do not like the aesthetics of aluminum up-close.

An even larger concern for some people is the fact that, in high winds especially, aluminum may make a variety of “pinging” noises.  This metal “serenade” is something that some homeowners object to with aluminum.  The hot sun can also produce a variety of “pings” as the metal expands with the heat.

There are many considerations when it comes to choosing a siding.  Aluminum can be an excellent choice, especially high-grade aluminum, and especially if the home is situated in an area of extreme moisture or extreme cold.  Homeowners who have been plagued by insect problems in the past may also look with great interest at aluminum.  While it is true that aluminum is prone to becoming disfigured over time, its insulating properties and its ability to keep water away from a home’s framework should weigh heavily in aluminum’s favor.  Also, keep in mind that aluminum is a healthy choice for many people who are sensitive to mold and mildew whose growth is limited on aluminum and which are easily removed if they do appear.

Obviously, each homeowner must do his or her own due diligence when it comes to siding a home, but for many, the clear choice remains aluminum.

When it becomes time for you to make the decision in outfitting your house with a long-term, low maintenance and beautiful siding options; United Home Experts will be glad to assist you in creating a home you’ll love to coming back to every day. To schedule your free, no hassle estimate with us, please call us at 1-888-724-6865, or click here to ping our office and we’ll call you to schedule at your convenience.

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