Siding 101: Aluminum Composite Siding

Everyone has heard of aluminum siding, but what about aluminum composite siding? As exterior siding technologies have advanced, a number of different siding options are now available to consumers. Aluminum composite siding is an up-and-coming product that offers some great benefits. Let’s explore.

Aluminum Composite Siding – Benefits

Durability is a key asset inherent to aluminum composite siding, and its superior “impact resistance” means a notable decrease in siding repair compared to other siding types. Flexibility is another big plus: with aluminum composite siding, homeowners have substantial latitude in terms of producing odd/unusual shapes that fulfill their unique vision for a custom siding installation. And along these lines, the fact that aluminum composite panels are post-painted means homeowners have a broad color palette at their disposal. Moreover, myriad shades and patterns are possible in order to create the appearance of a different material, i.e. wood or marble.

Few siding options compare to aluminum composite siding when it comes to combining lightweight with rigidity and resistance. This low weight makes it easier for siding contractors to install aluminum composite siding as opposed to other siding choices, and the inherent rigidity allows for easy maintenance. As far as resistance is concerned, it’s not uncommon for aluminum composite siding manufacturers to offer generous warranties, upwards of 30 years.

Aluminum Composite Siding – Customization

The ease of customizing aluminum composite siding is a key contributor to its affordability. Ordinary metalworking tools/systems are all that’s required, with no need for specialized, expensive tools that might add to this siding’s overall cost. As mentioned earlier, aluminum composite siding’s flexibility is a big bonus, with homeowners having almost limitless options for customization. This is down to the fact that aluminum composite siding is amenable to dozens of different fabrication techniques, including rolling, bending, drilling, cutting, grooving, and punching. The result is an incredibly diverse array of potential forms and shapes, ranging from very simple to exceptionally complex.

Aluminum Composite Siding – Fabrication

Before being delivered to exterior siding contractors in its versatile, customizable form, aluminum composite siding goes through a relatively simple fabrication process. The exact fabrication steps may vary by manufacturer, but in general aluminum composite siding is produced by continuously bonding two thin aluminum sheets on either side (a “sandwich” approach) of either an extruded thermoplastic core or a fire-retardant, mineral-filled thermoplastic core. Prior to the bonding process, the aluminum sheets are pre-finished and coil-coated in a number of paint finishes.

Another fabrication-related bonus is that many aluminum composite siding panels can be constructed from recycled materials, with some panels approaching 50% recycled composition.

Aluminum Composite Siding – Installation

Though the exact method of installation varies by manufacturer, by all accounts aluminum composite siding can be easily and efficiently installed, making for an altogether cost-effective process. Most aluminum composite panels are installed bottom-up, just like regular aluminum siding, and in an overlapping manner. Other panel systems are cut to fit and snap together onsite. Of course, the size of the aluminum composite siding you require will influence how the panels are installed.

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