Aluminum siding panels are popular construction materials that are used for creating modern buildings. Other building materials are growing along aluminum sidings, such as Aluminum composite panels, also known as ACP materials. However, modern architecture currently benefits these cladding materials as they provide various advantages over other construction materials.
Aluminum siding panels were first introduced in the 1940s, and they were applied to many affordable homes through the 1970s. Reliable contractors and construction material suppliers will encounter aluminum siding panels on many building facades and benefit from knowing more about standard and functional forms of cladding systems. Most homeowners are interested in both advantages and drawbacks of these aluminum claddings when tending to buy a cladding system for their upcoming construction project.
Aluminum Siding panels are produced with rolled pure aluminum coil stocks. They are coated with special chemicals to provide extra protection, and then siding manufacturers apply paint for both protective and aesthetic characteristics. For better durability, these construction materials are baked in high temperatures with enamel, adding desired textures.
One of the earliest usages of aluminum siding exteriors in the architecture world was in the 1920s, when it was practical to create ornamental spandrel boards for the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. By the 1940s, aluminum siding panels were being developed for residential facilities over other products.
Aluminum siding exteriors remained popular until the 1970s during the crisis of energy. These aluminum cladding products required a tremendous amount of energy for being produced with good qualities. Additionally, at that time, raw materials were consumed a lot for making architectural materials. Thus, these factors largely contributed to their decline in usage as other types of exterior sidings were produced.
Aluminum Siding Panels Advantages and Disadvantages
Although ACM panels usage is more than aluminum siding panels currently, these aesthetic yet straightforward cladding materials possess some attributes that may be seen as beneficial over other traditional building facades. However, there are some usages where these sidings do not stack up quite as well as ACM panels. Here are the crucial advantages and drawbacks of aluminum siding panels.
Aluminum Siding Panels Advantages
- Aluminum sidings are easy to install due to their lightweight characteristic.
- They are durable and can last longer than 40 years if maintained and clean properly.
- Aluminum is corrosion resistant and will not rust.
- ACM panels and Aluminum sidings are fireproof, and they will not melt or burn like other traditional claddings.
- They are waterproof construction materials, and with the proper installation, they will provide excellent water-resistant qualities for building facades.
- Since these modern architectural materials do not contain organic substances in their structure, they will no rot or be food for insects and termites.
- The enamel coating applied to the product’s surface can mimic other materials such as wood grains known as aluminum wood sidings and are perfect for clients who prefer a more traditional look for their buildings.
- They are entirely recyclable, making them environmentally friendly building cladding systems.
Aluminum Siding Panels Disadvantages
- Metal sidings can be dent easily, and repairing the damaged area can be challenging. Most aluminum siding manufacturers offer a thin backing panel of insulation that fits each cladding part protecting the cladding from denting.
- Although metal cladding materials take the paint finishes nicely, they may require repainting every five to ten years. If there is oxidization occurred, the aluminum sidings must be removed or repaired with a new painting. Generally, repainting them will need preparation similar to painting other industrial materials.
- Scratches on the siding surface are noticeable and can reveal the metal existing below the paint finish.
- Despite the anti-corrosion characteristic of aluminum siding panels, they can be stained by the rust on adjacent substances.
- The sound of raindrops on the cladding can be so loud that some people prefer using aluminum composite panels (ACM panels) due to their soundproof characteristics.
- Aluminum siding panels production requires a large number of raw materials and energy.
Aluminum Cladding Inspection Tips
The followings are some factors that inspectors can keep in mind while examining the aluminum siding claddings for the building’s facade.
- Checking with local authorities having jurisdiction is essential to determine if grounding is a requirement for a safety measure.
- Always check for dents before buying aluminum siding panels.
- Tapping on these cladding materials can help in determining the material used in their production. Aluminum metal has a metallic and hollow sound when struck.
- To distinguish between aluminum sidings and steel claddings, check for rust spots that show steel is the primary material.
- Sidings that are properly installed should not have a contact point with the ground.