The siding of a home encounters various harsh elements daily. The heat from the sun, strong winds, snow, rain, and even hail at times. Siding should be tough and durable at all times and it should stay aesthetically appealing as well. There are various siding materials that homeowners may choose from. Making a smart decision on this aspect is critical to saving time and money.
Steel siding has been gaining popularity among homeowners, especially those who found out that wood and vinyl sliding are not the best options. Unfortunately, steel sliding also has problems that homeowners should know about.
Homeowners tend to pick materials over wood for their siding requirements due to lower maintenance aspects. Wood tends to peel, warp, and even rot. Wood is also prone to certain problems involving insect activity. Steel won’t have these same problems and that makes it more enticing to homeowners. Unfortunately, steel is not as low maintenance as it may seem. As a metal, steel siding tends to fade as time goes by. This leads to the color turning chalky.
Steel is more durable compared to wood. However, it can’t be considered a long-lasting product, especially when placed at this location of the home. Just like with any type of steel, rusting can occur if a portion gets left unpainted or scratched. As soon as rust begins to appear, the integrity of this steel siding already becomes compromised.
Denting is another reason that may affect the durability of a steel siding. A stray baseball or bigger-than-usual hailstones can easily damage a steel siding with unsightly marks. A siding is intended to hide unappealing elements on a structure but as soon as the siding gets damaged or dented, the purpose of the siding is no longer served.
Installation and Cost
When you compare steel to aluminum, its installation is more labor-intensive. The process of cutting steel is noisy as well and this may bother neighbors, especially if cutting needs to be done on-site. Installation of steel siding is rarely DIY. An experienced installer is required to get a steel siding properly installed. In addition, a damaged portion requires a whole metal sheet to be replaced, which is more expensive and more difficult compared to replacing just one piece of vinyl.
Considering something expensive may sound subjective but when comparing steel to other material types of siding, it’s definitely not the cheaper option. A steel siding can range from $5.00-$10.00 per square foot and when you compare it to vinyl siding, the latter only ranges from $3.00-$6.00. Different factors affecting the price include the gauge, panel profile, and paint system. As the steel gets thicker, the price increases with it. The paint systems affect price based on the higher quality applied.
When compared to other non-metal sidings, steel transfers heat much faster between the exterior and the living area. This leads to higher energy costs and requires more indoor temperature regulation. Placing an insulating material just beneath the steel could make the design of the house more energy-efficient. In addition, steel is a non-renewable resource. The manufacturing of steel requires a large amount of energy.
Coastal Climate Incompatibility
Homeowners living near the ocean would not benefit from having steel siding. It would not be a smart choice to install steel siding near the ocean because the salty air common in coastal regions causes corrosion damage. Rust will quickly appear on steel sidings and would need to be replaced more often and that would lead to more costly expenditures.
Steel may not be practical for coastal homes but there are other metals such as aluminum, stainless steel, and copper that are corrosion-resistant. Choosing the right materials is highly essential to save money. The maintenance and longevity of these materials should be a top priority wherever a house may be located.
A smart homeowner must know the importance of siding to a home. The reason for a siding should not just be aesthetic in purpose. As a result, knowing the best material option for a siding is essential to save on costs. Steel siding as an option may have some advantages but the disadvantages mentioned above should be glaring enough to come up with an assumption that there are better options compared to steel. The drawbacks of steel siding definitely outweigh the majority of its benefits.
Steel siding may seem enticing as a choice for homeowners but this should always be analyzed properly with the conditions and location of any house. Weather conditions for a certain location should never be underestimated when choosing materials for the exterior of a home. Selecting the right materials for the right conditions will serve a huge purpose for long-term use. Not only will homeowners benefit from fewer repairs or replacements but also have better peace of mind while staying inside their homes.