A key contributor to your home’s curb appeal is the status of your aluminum siding. Still, as the years pass, the shiny, metallic finish of aluminum siding can fade or become patchy due to weathering or oxidation. Many homeowners, faced with a dull, weather-beaten exterior, believe their only recourse is an expensive siding replacement. However, a more cost-effective solution exists: painting your aluminum siding.
In this blog post, we will delve into the economic benefits of painting aluminum siding and just how it can save you thousands of dollars.
Understanding the Costs of Siding Replacement
To appreciate the cost-saving nature of painting, it’s vital to understand the significant expenses involved in replacing aluminum siding.
- Material Costs: Aluminum siding panels can vary greatly in price, depending on the brand, thickness, and style. The average price of aluminum siding panels ranges from $3 to $6 per square foot.
- Labour Costs: Installing new siding is not a do-it-yourself type of job for most. It requires the skills of a professional siding contractor, who typically charges between $40 and $50 per hour.
- Additional Expenses: There can be several hidden costs, such as removal and disposal of the old siding, extra materials (nails, trim, etc.), and potentially repairing any damage discovered during the process.
Adding these together, the cost of siding replacement for a standard two-story house can easily exceed several thousand dollars.
Painting Aluminum Siding Pros and Cons
Some of the advantages of this type of metal siding are:
Aluminum is one of the cheapest siding materials available. You can expect to pay about $2.20 per sq. ft. for aluminum siding. The heaviest-gauge metal will cost about $5 per sq. ft. The total cost is $5 to $9 per square foot installed.
All you need to do is rinse it off about once a year to make sure there is no debris lodged in seams or window sills. Once the enamel has faded (usually after 12 to 15 years), you’ll need to repaint it.
Unlike other forms of siding, aluminum is a good insulator, and heavier aluminum provides more insulation than a thinner gauge. Bare aluminum has an R-Value of .61. If you add insulation to the back of it, it provides an R-value of 2 to 5. It keeps heat out in the summer and keeps warmth in during the winter. As for insulation, metal does a better job than vinyl does, saving you money on your utility bills.
Aluminum siding is considered a “green” siding product. It is 100% recyclable, so there is no need for it to ever go to a landfill. Some manufacturers produce only 100% recycled siding, while others use a significant amount of recycled materials in the production of their siding.
Waterproof and Rust
If you live on the coast or in another humid region, aluminum is the perfect choice for you. It does not rust and will not absorb moisture the way wood does. It will not swell in humidity, nor will it dry out and shrink in heat. The only mildew that will grow is on debris allowed to build up against the siding.
A number of different patterns and textures are available for aluminum panels, many imitating the look of wood siding. The panels can come pre-painted in the baked-on colour of your choice, or you can opt to paint the siding yourself.
Metal is insect-proof. This single feature may make it the most popular siding choice in areas with infestations of carpenter ants and termites.
It is non-flammable meaning it will not ignite, making it preferable for areas with frequent brush fires since it will not feed fires. It will also not burn or melt. The enamel paint may become scorched but it can be cleaned and painted.
Most aluminum siding is manufactured from aluminum coil stock material which is often produced from recycled materials. The siding is coated with chemicals to prevent corrosion. The colour is then baked on, with a final layer imprinted with your choice of texture. This product is sturdy and not prone to cracking with age, the way vinyl can.
Here are some of the downsides of aluminum siding:
Dents and Scratches Easily
Aluminum is a soft metal that is easy to work with on the job site. However, this also makes it more prone to scratches and dents.
Metal will expand and contract slightly with temperature changes. This can create a popping or ping noise. Very high winds can also produce these pinging sounds. In addition, rain and hail can sound loud on aluminum siding.
While the texture of metal siding has improved drastically in the last decades, it still looks like metal. This is especially obvious when you stand close to the siding. Vinyl and fibre cement are able to imitate wood siding better than metal does. With its metallic appearance, it has a slightly industrial look.
When planning time to paint your siding, avoid rain and choose days that are forecasted, and the best temperature is warmer than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as most latex paint won’t properly dry in colder temperatures.
What kind of Paint to Use on Aluminum Siding
Sherwin-Williams aluminum siding paint Acrylic Latex is the best paint to use to paint aluminum siding.
Aluminum siding on your house is great. It is waterproof, doesn’t rot, and is corrosion-resistant. It can literally last forever! However, the same cannot be said about the paint that makes it look good. Weather and time will beat up the paint on your aluminum siding, making it fade, chalk and wear right down to the aluminum. Your once new-looking home is now a faded eyesore of its former self, bringing down with it your curb appeal and property value.
Since no amount of scrubbing and cleaning can bring the colour back to life, some contractors in Toronto will simply recommend replacing it all with new siding. Guess what thacosts,ts though? There are other options, such as painting aluminum siding. Let’s explore that a little more!
Can I paint over the aluminum siding?
The answer is YES! Instead of spending thousands of dollars, you can repaint your existing siding for a fraction of the cost and bring back that new home look and feel.
Painting aluminum siding, however, is much more complex than painting a room in your home. Here’s why it’s critical to hire a professional painter if you’re not prepared and educated to do it yourself.
Steps needed for painting aluminum siding properly
- Damage must be repaired. Dents and warped pieces need to be replaced without damaging the surrounding area. Any sagging or separation, especially where the roof meets the wall, should also be inspected.
- All surfaces must be cleaned or power washed. Depending on how dirty your aluminum siding is, you don’t want any dirt, grease, mould, mildew or bird droppings before you paint. It will compromise the life of your paint. A strong power washer is needed, and the spray needs to shoot down the way the rain hits the house to avoid damage.
- Fill in the holes. Aluminum flexes with temperature, so you need quality paintable caulking. If there are cracks or aluminum siding joints, exterior caulking can be used to avoid leaking inside your aluminum siding.
More important steps to take…
- But first you must prime. Here, you’ll want an exterior primer made for exterior aluminum siding. There are good 2 and 1 paint and primers which also work well for painting aluminum siding. But try to find the best paint for aluminum siding painting.
- Then comes the paint. You only want to use 100% acrylic exterior paint. You may need one to two coats depending on the colour and condition. There are several ways to apply the paint over your exterior aluminum sidings. Spraying is another way to apply the paint.
- Stop if it’s too hot. Never paint in direct sunlight as hot aluminum will gum up the paint. This is why speed, efficiency and planning are critical to achieving that perfect finish.
What about the paint colour?
If you’ve decided to go the route of aluminum siding painting, then, of course, you need to choose a colour! That can often be an easy feat. The exterior of your home makes such a huge impression. You want it to look unique while still blending in with your neighbourhood and its overall aesthetic. Choosing the right exterior painting colours is a big part of that. Another popular choice for 2023 is blue. Think blues like Blue Echo as they’re almost on their way to green, but still cool and sophisticated. Some of the top colours of the season when it comes to siding is gray. People really love going gray with their exterior painting on their homes because it’s modern while still remaining timeless. Check out Tyler Gray for a soft mid-tone gray. It looks great against white trim or even a nice muted black, like Black Satin. Lastly, an option that might surprise you for exterior painting this season is green. Think about taking inspiration from nature and tranquil greens like Richmond Green.
Painting aluminum siding with sprayer
Never start spraying in the middle of the siding. Angle the spray gun upwards to coat the narrow edge of each siding piece. To minimize overspray, use a smaller spray tip and turn the pressure down on the sprayer. Two coats of paint are best for durability.
What about the paint colour?
Replacing the siding of your house can be an expensive undertaking. Thankfully, homeowners seeking to jazz up their home’s exterior have an alternative: painting their aluminum siding. Not only does this save you thousands of dollars, it also boosts your home’s curb appeal, extends the life of your existing siding, and lets you customize your home’s exterior to suit your tastes.
Indeed, painting aluminum siding is a cost-efficient and effective way to elevate your home’s exterior without breaking the bank. And the savings you realize? They can be invested in other areas to enhance your home or saved for a rainy day. It’s a win-win solution on all fronts!
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If you’re ready to do some exterior painting, let our pro painters help! Home Painters Toronto has over 35 years of experience in home painting and renovation services.