Metal siding comes in diverse shapes and sizes. This largely depends on the material being used and the clients’ preferences in terms of durability and aesthetic appeal.
Corrugated, Batten, Standing Seam, Box Rib, All Purpose and Flat metal siding are examples of its most common finishes.
Mostly made of either Aluminum or Steel, metal siding is an exterior cladding option that offers massive strength and durability against environmental elements. This, coupled with the ease it offers in installation make it rather popular among residential clients.
What are the Different Types of Metal Siding?
Corrugated Metal Siding
The wavy design of corrugated metal siding has made it one of the most popular forms of metal siding. This is because it adds both personality and durability to a building’s exterior by hiding any tiny flaws that may have been caused by harsh weather conditions and direct force.
It is also quite versatile and can be used on a wide range of buildings including residential, agricultural, commercial and storage facilities.
Batten Metal Siding
Batten metal siding panels are normally made to resemble those of the traditional board and batten siding technique. They are however more durable since they are usually made of steel as opposed to wood or vinyl.
They also offer a clean and continuous look as a result of both their large width and the hidden fastener clips that hold them together. This has made them more popular among clients in search of contemporary and modern siding designs.
Box Rib Metal Siding
Box Rib metal siding is a great option to consider when looking for a type of siding that offers strength and visual appeal in equal measure.
It usually consists of metal panels with exposed fasteners that run along their replicated box-shaped ribs. Such panels are rather easy to install. Their sharp-edged angles which usually stand in their recurrent folded pattern also make them quite visually attractive.
Flat Metal Siding
Flat metal siding panels usually offer a stylish contemporary look through the conspicuously clean lines that run either horizontally or vertically along their width.
These lines coupled with their ability to create a variety of different looks make them a great option for clients looking for a modern exterior look.
Metal Siding Maintenance
Maintaining metal siding is a relatively easy process. It is however quite dependent on the type of metal the siding is made up of.
Annual hose pipe rinsing using a non-abrasive cleaning agent is normally recommended for Aluminum siding. Painting at least once a decade using manufacturer-approved paint also goes a long way in ensuring that such siding lasts for up to 40 years.
What are the Pros of Metal Siding?
It is Long-lasting
The durability of metal siding is based upon the fact that it is one of the strongest and hardest cladding materials available. This makes it able to withstand threats such as adverse weather conditions and direct force which easily damage other siding alternatives like wood and vinyl.
It is Easy to Maintain
Metal siding is arguably the most low-maintenance siding alternative available. This is because it usually does not require activities such as sealing and staining to keep it in good condition. Well-installed metal siding only requires a quick yearly inspection.
This is because it is not vulnerable to problems that affect other types of siding such as mold infestation, rotting, and warping as a result of excessive moisture retention. This makes it quite easy to maintain.
It is Energy Efficient
The ability of metal siding to reflect ultraviolet rays instead of absorbing them makes it quite energy efficient. This is because such reflection not only improves the degree of comfortability in any given space but also reduces its heating and cooling expenses.
It is Versatile and Aesthetically Pleasing
Metal siding can be applied in various styles including shiplap, corrugated panels, batten, and rib. It is also available in a wide range of colors and profiles thus making it extremely flexible for modern applications.
It is Pest Repellent
Unlike other types of siding like wood, metal cladding is completely pest repellent. This means that it cannot harbor insects underneath its exterior because it is neither soft nor edible.
Owners of metal siding can thus save on the bug removal costs that are otherwise incurred by those who own other types of siding such as natural wood, composite, and vinyl.
It is Eco-Friendly
Metal is usually regarded as an eco-friendly siding material since it is entirely recyclable. This means that any waste that is a result of either construction or demolition of metal siding can be reused for an alternative purpose such as roofing or rain harvesting.
What are the Cons of Metal Siding?
It is Prone to Denting
The durability of metal siding does not mean that it is not susceptible to denting when sufficient force is applied to it. The degree of denting often depends on the type and gauge of metal used. Gauge in this case refers to the thickness of the panels used.
The lower the gauge, the thicker the panel, and the higher the gauge, the thinner the panel. A 28g panel, for example, is thicker than its 30g counterpart.
A panel’s gauge is important since it determines its strength against and resistance to denting when exposed to direct force such as that of a power washer.
It is Costly to Purchase and Install
Although metal is not the most expensive siding option available, it is certainly on the higher side as far as the initial buying and installation costs are concerned.
Aluminum and Steel which are the most common metal siding options often cost between $3 and $8 per square foot to install. This translates to between $4200 and $14400 in total for houses that measure between 1200 to 1800 square feet in size.
Zinc and Copper which are also used in metal siding usually cost between $15 and $35 per square foot to install. This normally translates to between $21000 and $63000 in total for a standard 1500-square foot house.
The high-end nature of Zinc and Copper siding coupled with their superior rust resistance features make them more expensive than Steel and Aluminum cladding. All these siding options have insulated versions which usually cost about $1 more per square foot.
Even though metal siding carries a high initial cost, its low-maintenance nature makes it a lot cheaper in the long run since it is quite durable.
It is Difficult to Replace
Aluminum siding can be extremely difficult to replace especially if only a small section of it has been damaged. This is because it is prone to either losing color or becoming chalky after long-term exposure to the weather elements.
This makes it rather hard to obtain replacement panels that match the original siding in appearance. In most cases, owners are often forced to replace the entire siding with the help of professionals.
It is Prone to Rusting When Scratched
Rusting is known to occur on steel metal siding that has either been scratched or exposed to extremely salty conditions like those found in coastal areas. When scratched, steel siding should be immediately painted to keep it from rusting.
It is Difficult to Install
This is particularly true for steel siding since its panels are rather thick and heavy. This makes it quite time-consuming and labor-intensive to install.
It Does Not Insulate Well
Metal siding cannot effectively insulate against both unwanted sound and heat unless insulation is fitted underneath it.
Can You Use Metal Roof Panels for Siding?
Yes, you can. Although using Steel and Aluminum metal roof panels for siding is totally acceptable, it should be done while putting into consideration a variety of factors such as whether to use stainless steel fasteners over galvanized nails and screws.
How Can I Make Metal Siding Look Better?
Painting is the most common way used to make metal siding look better. This is despite the fact that paint usually loses adherence to metal surfaces within 5 to 10 years after being applied.
Prefinished metal siding can retain paint for a longer period of time than its unfinished counterpart even though its coloring will still eventually wear out. Poor preparation in terms of rust and grease removal, dusting, and de-glossing can however quicken such paint erosion.
Acrylic paint usually supersedes its latex and oil-based counterparts when it comes to painting metal siding since it is known to last longer. It should be applied from one side of the wall to another using an airless spray when looking to achieve a beautiful even finish.
What is Metal Panel Siding?
Metal panel siding is an exterior cladding material that is quite common in both residential and commercial construction. This is because of its versatility and durability when it comes to installation.
Steel, Aluminum, Zinc, and Copper are the most common materials used to manufacture metal panel siding. This is because they can easily be tailored to fit traditional, modern, and industrial designs.
This tailoring is normally done by applying different styles and techniques to these materials. Such techniques include corrugation, standing seam, board and batten, bevel-style, box rib, and flat metal siding among others.
How Long Will Metal Siding Last?
Metal siding can effectively serve its purpose for about 40 to 50 years depending on the type of metal in question and the degree of maintenance. Aluminum siding will last for an average of 40 years provided it is painted at least once every ten years.
Steel siding on the other hand often lasts for up to 50 years with very minimal maintenance. This is because it is made up of extremely strong and durable galvanized steel which can withstand destructive elements such as fire, excessive moisture, mold, heat and direct force.
How Can I Tell if My Siding is Aluminum or Steel?
Most people differentiate between Aluminum and Steel siding by striking. Aluminum is known to produce a hollower and more metallic sound than Steel when struck. Magnets are also quite effective in differentiating the two since they often attract Steel instead of Aluminum.
Is Metal Siding Fireproof?
Metal siding is usually considered to be non-combustible when it comes to fire rating. This means that it neither ignites nor spreads flames hence the reason why experts regard it to be virtually fireproof.