When deciding on the suitable exterior cladding for your home, homeowners must weigh the factors of lifespan, environmental impact, appearance, and efficiency. The metal siding you choose not only gives your home its own personality but also serves as the first line of defense against the weather. Here, we look at the benefits and drawbacks of aluminum siding panels and Steel Claddings panels to give you some idea of which option is best for you.
What’s The Difference between Building Cladding and Siding?
- Direct vs. Indirect Application: Put simply, siding is applied to a wall directly, and cladding is used indirectly. Furring strips separate the cladding from the outer sheathing, forming a vented drainage plane and a water-resistive barrier. However, siding can be attached directly to sheathing or insulating foam board.
- Use in Rain screen Systems: A rain screen system consists of the outer sheathing, ventilated drainage plane, and cladding. The additional air gap between the building’s cladding and the wall creates ventilation and drainage routes.
- Thickness: A cladding board’s average thickness is roughly 0.9 inches (22mm), although siding boards can be as thin as 0.04 inches (1mm).
- Design Versatility: Cladding boards can be placed in various ways and are frequently used in multidimensional application designs. Building designers can mix and match colors and orient them differently using the ventilated drainage plane area to alter the depth of a façade.
Aluminum Siding Panels:
There is no doubt that aluminum siding panels are a better choice when it comes to resilience to the elements. Although aluminum composite panel or ACM panel building claddings have been the most preferred external cladding solution for years, customers can choose from different metal wall system options. Most builders recommend aluminum claddings. However, aluminum siding panels and other metal cladding systems are used in many new structures.
The Pros of Aluminum Siding Panels:
- Aluminum siding is exceptionally long-lasting. Because it is more robust and lighter in weight than other forms of siding, it has a lower replacement cost. It doesn’t decay nor deform when exposed to water.
- Available in a range of colors, Aluminum siding panels allow you to select the one that best compliments your home’s design scheme. Aluminum cladding does not require as much maintenance as wooden siding.
- Aluminum siding panels reduce heat loss significantly and are resistant to severe temperatures, which can cause other forms of exterior wall finish to crack or peel off.
- Aluminum siding panels do not need to be washed or repainted regularly, unlike wooden exterior siding, which must be stained every few years.
- It also does not rot when exposed to moisture, so you don’t have to replace the entire wall because a small portion is damaged.
- Because aluminum siding panels are one of the most heat-resistant sidings available, this type of external wall treatment is less likely to melt or burn if there is a small fire on your property.
- When exposed to high temperatures for a long time, aluminum siding panels do not emit harmful vapors as some other forms of siding do.
- Ideal for residences in seismic zones because the sidings are unlikely to come off or be damaged during an earthquake.
- Aluminum siding panels also reduce noise pollution from outside your property since it does not rattle and generate noise when exposed to loud sounds such as thunder or heavy traffic.
- It is not affected by pests such as termites, carpenter ants, woodpeckers, rats, etc. This is due to the aluminum siding panel material’s low moisture absorbent properties, making it unattractive to these insects that feed on damp wood.
- Aluminum siding panels complement brick, stucco, or stone exteriors since they’re available in various colors.
The Cons of Aluminum Siding Panels:
- Aluminum siding panels are more expensive to install and maintain than fiber cement, vinyl siding, and stucco exterior wall treatments.
- Aluminum siding panels, due to their lightweight and lack of insulating properties, are not as good at preventing air infiltration as other exterior wall treatments such as cedar or fiber cement.
- Aluminum siding panels will rust if left untreated for an extended period due to exposure to rainwater or humidity. To prevent this, galvanize the material or paint it with rust-resistant paint, though you may need to repaint it more frequently if your climate is primarily humid and damp.
Steel Cladding Systems
When it comes to repairing or building a home, homeowners should be aware of their alternatives.
Pros of Steel Cladding Systems
- Steel cladding requires less maintenance than traditional siding materials like cedar shake or vinyl.
- Steel cladding is resistant to extreme weather conditions such as snow, frost, and sun heat.
- Moisture causes mold, mildew, and fungus problems, but this will not be the case with steel cladding.
- When old vinyl siding is removed, it is rarely recycled and is instead discarded in a landfill. Steel claddings are almost usually recyclable and re-usable.
- Steel siding is pest resistant, saving you time and money on repairs and preventative maintenance.
- Steel cladding comes in a range of textures and tones. When coupled with timber, this siding gives versatile and contemporary styles to your home.
- Steel cladding provides fire protection. Steel walls keep the fire from spreading quickly. Buildings are also completely lightning-proof.
Cons of Steel Siding:
- Rust may damage steel siding. If not correctly maintained, rust concerns with steel cladding are to be expected in wetter climes.
- Steel surfaces can be harmed, causing the paint to peel and rust to form. Steel siding can be protected using spray treatments to increase its lifespan.
- Steel cladding materials are typically more expensive than other siding options. Steel cladding’s high initial costs are offset by long-term savings from lower maintenance and a longer lifespan compared to cheaper materials.
- Steel cladding might make noise. When it rains, you will undoubtedly hear it.