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Aluminum Siding: Repair or Replace?

Aluminum Sheets

Aluminum siding became very popular in the 1940s and is still found on many homes today.  At the time, aluminum was an alternative to traditional wood siding and popular because it was easier to maintain and less expensive.  But maintenance aside, aluminum siding has its share of drawbacks.

  1. Aluminum is not good at holding colors well. As a result, the color on aluminum siding typically fades over time, as well as turning chalky after exposure to the elements.  If you need to replace a section of aluminum siding, it will be almost impossible to match the color to your existing siding.  Aluminum is susceptible to dents, scratches, and even holes if hit with a sharp object.  Aluminum siding does not insulate as well as other types of siding, and it also does a poorer job at blocking outside noise.
  2. Aluminum siding is hard to repair. If you have aluminum siding on your home that's seen better days, your options are to repair or replace it.  You can try to repair dents and gashes.  But this requires drilling a hole through the dent, pulling it out, then patching with auto body filler and applying two coats of primer paint. 
  3. Replacing a section of aluminum siding is no easy task. As mentioned, it's often difficult to replace a section because the colors probably won't match exactly.  One benefit that aluminum has over some other types of siding is that it can be painted, so you could choose to replace damaged boards and paint your entire house.

Rather than attempt to repair and repaint your aluminum siding, you can consider replacing it with vinyl siding.  The Vinyl Siding Institute says that vinyl siding is the number one exterior cladding choice in the United States for new construction and remodeling.

Vinyl can be an easy choice for many reasons: 

  • Vinyl is very low maintenance, requiring no more than periodic inspection and occasional hosing off.
  • It’s much less expensive to maintain because it doesn’t require repainting.
  • Today’s vinyl siding is built to withstand years of effects from weather – it is impact-resistant and the color won’t fade over time.
  • With many manufacturers offering foam-backed insulation, new vinyl siding better insulates your home, making it more energy efficient and saving you money on utility bills.
  • Added insulation also makes your home quieter inside as it protects from outside noises better than aluminum.

When you're faced with aging aluminum siding on your home, the decision to repair or replace might be difficult.  You have to weigh the pros and cons of keeping your old siding on your home and attempting to repair and repaint.  Replacing old aluminum siding with vinyl siding will look better, insulate better, requires no painting or maintenance, and will start saving you money right away in the form of lower utility bills.

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