All About Aluminum Siding
Aluminium siding is a popular choice for external cladding because it is cheap, easy to install and takes very little effort to maintain.
How Do I Install Aluminium Siding?
One of the many benefits of aluminium is that it is a very light material, and can be handled easily by any do-it-yourself enthusiast.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions for precise installation advice. Generally, metal siding kits contain prepared aluminium sheets which are easy to cut using a standard circular saw. For precise small cuts, use tin snips or even a standard utility knife. If you need to bend the aluminium sheets, you may have to hire a specialist tool to get a professional finish. Most tool hire stores have them. As with all do-it-yourself jobs, your safety is of paramount importance so be sure to use gloves and protective glasses.
To start the job, first apply the trim to the windows, doors and gables. You may need to use a small amount of general purpose sealant around windows and door to ensure a waterproof join. Let the sealant go off before you fix the panels.
The metal sheets are usually then fixed onto foam insulation board backing. These boards have the dual use of providing a level surface for you to work on and conserving the energy from your home. For aluminium siding, you must use aluminium nails. Do not forget that aluminium expands and contracts in the heat and cold, so allow approximately 1/8 inch tolerance for this.
How Do I Clean Aluminium Siding?
You might be really tempted to pressure wash your metal siding. After all, it would only take half an hour, right? Resist the temptation, as pressure washing would ruin your existing paint job. Instead, get a clean long handled brush and a bucket of warm soapy water. Dishwashing soap is adequate for this task. Brush the soap solution over the siding thoroughly, and rinse with a garden hose. This method will remove dirt and grime but preserve your current paint job.
Some metal siding suffers from chalking, where deposits of chemicals are left where the wall is exposed to the weather. If this is the case, you will need to go up a ladder and physically scrub the surface of the siding with a non-metallic abrasive substance before pressure washing it.
How Do I Paint Aluminium Siding?
Whilst pressure washing is an ideal way to destroy an old paint job, it is the perfect way to prepare a surface for repainting.
We know that aluminium expands and contracts with temperature variations. That is why it’s so important to choose a paint that does the same. Otherwise, the paint will crack after just one season. Acrylic latex paint is the best product for this job, as it has the elasticity that is required. Apply the paint using a spray gun for an even finish. For the best results, paint the aluminium siding on a cool day, out of the direct sun. The more slowly the paint dries, the smoother the finish will be.