Last modified: 2020-02-21 | Approximate reading time 3 mins
Aluminum cladding was used as early as 1920 for the construction of the Empire State Building. It remained popular until the 1970s. Nowadays, despite its great qualities, aluminum is one of the least popular options due to its cost, which is superior to that of other materials.
Aluminum has great inherent qualities. First and foremost, it is both very light and very durable. It has a lifespan of more than forty years and with a little bit of maintenance, it can last much longer than that. It is very resistant to rust and is non-combustible: contrary to many other wall cladding materials, it doesn’t burn and doesn’t melt.
It is waterproof and rot-proof, which mean that is doesn’t decay, doesn’t develop mould and has nothing to fear about harmful insects like rodents and termites. This comes from the fact that it doesn’t contain any organic matter. Furthermore, aluminum cladding doesn’t absorb water and is stable when faced with variations in humidity.
Aluminum cladding is available in a wide array of finishes. Paint adheres well to this type of surface; therefore, it can be painted in an endless variety of colours. It is also possible to give it an anodized finish. Also: applying cooked enamel or wood grain on the surface can imitate the appearance of other materials and give a more traditional look.
Aluminum is expensive, both for purchase and for renovations. Since the manufacturing of aluminum requires large amounts of energy and raw materials, this type of exterior cladding is 15 to 20% more expensive than other materials from the same category.
For all these reasons, it is used almost exclusively for soffits, mouldings or flashings and rarely for exterior wall cladding. This means that other materials such as vinyl products, wood fibre, fibro-cement, acrylic coating, wood and brick are more popular.
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Aluminum is also susceptible to damage. Moreover, the paint on this type of wall cladding will have to be re-applied every 5 to 10 years, because as time passes, small chips become visible due to the fact that we can see the metal surface underneath. Restoring the paint will require you to remove any traces of oxidation, which takes a lot of time and makes things more complicated.
What is more, repairing and replacing certain pieces can turn out to be difficult. However, due to the fact that it has plenty of great qualities; it is a great option for exterior wall cladding. Lastly, another important fact is that aluminum can be recycled, which means that this material can be used for an environmentally friendly home.
In the previous paragraphs, we have presented the pros and cons of aluminum cladding. This material is very popular because its benefits can be very interesting. Of course, some people will feel that the disadvantages are too important to ignore. It is up to you to determine whether this material meets your needs and if you find that the disadvantages will not bother you.
To ensure that the installation process of the material is completed according to the best practices possible, it is necessary to call on a specialist. Some contractors have gained a lot of experience with this type of siding and will be able to make sure the siding on the exterior walls is strong and durable. Do you have an installation or renovation project that involves aluminum siding? It is strongly advised that you entrust this task to a contractor.
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