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A big house with grey aluminum sidings.

Aluminum siding is a popular choice for homeowners seeking a durable and low-maintenance exterior siding option. Its appeal lies not only in its aesthetic versatility but also in its resilience against various environmental factors.

But just how long can you expect their aluminum siding to last?

This article delves into the average lifespan of aluminum siding, exploring the factors that influence its durability, offering tips on prolonging its life, and comparing it with other siding materials.

By understanding these aspects, you can make informed decisions about their siding choices and maintenance strategies.

1. What is the Average Lifespan of Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum siding, known for its durability and resistance to rust, typically offers a lifespan ranging from 20 to 40 years. However, this longevity can be significantly influenced by the quality of the material, the installation process, and the local climate.

Properly installed and well-maintained aluminum siding not only enhances a home’s curb appeal but also provides robust protection over decades.

The back of a house with aluminum siding installed

2. What Factors Affect Aluminum Siding Lifespan?

There are several factors that can can impact the longevity of aluminum siding, and understanding these can help you ensure their siding lasts as long as possible:

Climate Variability: Areas with harsh winters, salty coastal air, or high humidity can all accelerate the aging process of aluminum siding. The material, though resistant to rust, can experience oxidation over time, leading to a powdery residue on its surface if not properly maintained. Regions with salty coastal air or high humidity can speed up the aging process of aluminum siding. Although this material is resistant to rust, it can still undergo oxidation over time. Without proper maintenance, this oxidation can result in a powdery residue forming on the siding’s surface.

Physical Damage: Aluminum is relatively soft compared to other materials, making it susceptible to dents and scratches from hail, debris, or accidental impacts. These imperfections can compromise the protective coatings, exposing the material to further damage.

Chemical Exposure: Certain chemicals, whether from industrial pollution or accidental spills, can react with aluminum, causing corrosion. You should be cautious about using harsh chemicals or cleaners near their siding.

Installation and Workmanship: The lifespan of aluminum siding is also heavily dependent on the quality of its installation. Improperly installed siding can lead to issues like buckling, warping, or gaps, which can allow moisture intrusion and lead to further damage.

A small house that has aluminum sidings installed for many years.

3. How to Make Aluminum Your Siding Last Longer?

Aluminum sidings require regular maintenance and preventive measures:

Regular Inspections: Conducting annual inspections can help identify and address any emerging issues before they escalate. Look for signs of wear, such as chalking, fading, or denting, and ensure that the siding is securely attached to the house.

Gentle Cleaning: Use a soft brush or cloth and a mild detergent solution to clean the siding at least once a year. This can remove dirt, pollutants, and any substances that may cause the aluminum to deteriorate.

Immediate Repairs: Small problems can become significant issues if ignored. If you notice any damage, arrange for a repair promptly to prevent moisture penetration and insulation problems. This can also save you money from an expensive replacement in the future.

Protective Measures: Consider applying a protective coating or paint every few years to shield the siding from UV rays and create weather resistance. Choose products specifically designed for aluminum to ensure compatibility and effectiveness.

A house with new aluminum sidings

4. Aluminum vs Other Materials’ Lifespan

Let’s explore the average lifespans of some common siding materials to help you make a more informed comparison:

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is known for its affordability and minimal maintenance requirements. It can last between 20 to 40 years, depending on the quality of the material and the conditions of exposure.

It resists moisture and pests but can become brittle and fade in color over time due to prolonged exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Wood Siding

Wood siding offers a classic aesthetic and can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years if properly maintained.

The lifespan heavily depends on the type of wood, the quality of the new installation, and regular maintenance, including painting and sealing to prevent rot, pests, and water damage.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is a durable and fire-resistant option that can mimic the look of wood, brick, or stone. It typically lasts about 50 to 70 years with proper installation and minimal maintenance.

Additionally,  fiber cement is resistant to termites, rot, and fire but can be susceptible to moisture absorption if not properly sealed.

Steel Siding or Metal Siding

Steel siding is extremely durable and can last over 50 years. It is resistant to fire, rot, and pests and can withstand severe weather conditions without corroding or fading.

However, it can be susceptible to dents and scratches and requires medium maintenance to prevent rust.

Brick Siding

Brick siding is one of the most durable siding materials, often lasting over 100 years. It provides excellent insulation and requires very little maintenance.

While the initial cost can be high, its longevity and the minimal need for repairs or replacements make it cost-effective over time.

Stone Siding

Like brick, stone siding is incredibly durable and can last a century or more. It offers a unique and timeless appearance, excellent insulation properties, and resistance to fire and pests.

Stone siding requires minimal maintenance, although it can be one of the most expensive siding options.

Stucco Siding

Stucco siding is popular in arid climates and can last between 50 to 80 years when properly applied and maintained. It is resistant to fire and pests and provides good insulation.

Regular maintenance is required to repair cracks and prevent moisture penetration, which can significantly reduce the lifespan of siding.

Composite Siding

Composite siding, made from various materials including wood fibers, sand, and cement, offers a balance of durability and aesthetic appeal. It typically lasts 30 to 50 years and is designed to resist moisture, rot, and pests.

Like other siding materials, its lifespan can be extended with proper maintenance and care.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Siding

Aluminum siding panels.

1. Denting and Damage

While aluminum siding is durable, it is not immune to impact damage. Significant dents, bends, or distortions in the siding panels can compromise their integrity and aesthetic appeal, indicating it might be time for a replacement.

2. Corrosion and Rust

Although aluminum is corrosion-resistant, it can still suffer from oxidation under certain conditions. If you notice any rust or corrosion spots, especially where the siding may have been breached or is in constant contact with moisture, this can be a sign that the siding is failing.

3. Fading and Chalking

Aluminum color fades due to prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays. If the siding appears dull and the color looks significantly washed out, or if you notice a chalky residue when you run your hand across the surface, it’s a sign that the protective coating is degrading.

4. Loose or Warped Panels

If your aluminum siding panels are no longer laying flat against your home and are instead warping or bulging, this can indicate that they are no longer providing adequate protection. Loose panels can also be a sign that the fasteners are failing.

5. Conclusion

While the initial cost and aesthetic preferences are important things to look at among various factors in choosing a siding material, understanding the lifespan and maintenance requirements of aluminum sidings is crucial. It’s also recommended to consult with an exterior contractor in your local area to determine the best siding options for your home.

It offers a compelling blend of durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic versatility, making it a worthy consideration for many homeowners.

By taking proactive steps in care and maintenance, you can extend the life of their siding, ensuring that their investment continues to enhance their home exterior and curb appeal for two or three decades.