Aluminum Siding or ACM panels for Building Facade

alumtech bond acm panels or aluminum siding

Construction material suppliers and manufacturers are developing various types of products and materials for the current building industry. The building facade, a cladding system, is the crucial element of any residential or commercial facility that exterior designers and architects focus on for creating attractive and aesthetic designs for their clients. Thus, manufacturers provide various cladding systems with unique characteristics. Due to the importance of energy in the current era, metal wall cladding systems have become the most famous building facade materials in the market. Metal wall claddings come with various materials, including steel, copper, CORTEN, aluminum, etc. However, aluminum metal wall claddings are the dominant products in this industry, including aluminum plate systems, ACM panels or aluminum composite panels, and aluminum siding. However, most people will be confused when choosing Aluminum siding or ACM panels.

Moreover, manufacturers create walling systems with aluminum in two main categories: aluminum siding and aluminum composite panels. It is essential to mention that some other products such as aluminum longboard sidings and aluminum wood sidings are practical and are combined with traditional materials for people who prefer classic looks for their buildings. This article will help you choose between aluminum sidings or ACM panels for your next project.

What is Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP or ACM panel)?

The first Aluminum Composite Panels or ACM panels were produced and invented in the 1960s by various companies. ACM panel cladding systems consist of two exterior layers of aluminum sheets and one core substance. The traditional aluminum composite panels did not have fire-resistant characteristics due to the highly flammable polyethylene core. However, after the growth of technology, ACM panels manufacturers managed to use FR (fire-retardant) core for their new materials, making them fire safety construction materials.

There are generally three types of facilities in the building industry: type A that features more than four floors, type B has three floors, and type C consists of less than two levels. ACM panels are practical for all types, but they are most efficient for classes B and C. Aluminum composite panels (ACM panels) are available in various colors and sizes. The standard dimensions of ACM panels in Canada are 3mm, 4mm, and 6mm.

Pros of ACM panels

  • The primary material of ACP cladding systems is aluminum, meaning they can be fabricated into any desired shape due to the material’s flexibility.
  • In addition to the flexibility ad lightweight characteristics of ACM panels, they are durable and rigid cladding systems. Thus, they can last for decades without having any damages.
  • Aluminum composite panels feature an easy installation process as they are lightweight and have a defined workflow.
  • Most people choose their construction materials from the prices that are available. Thus, Aluminum composite panels cost can benefit builders.
  • Composite panels are versatile as they feature different colors and finishes.
  • They are UV and chemical-resistant.
  • Modern aluminum composite panels are perfect sound insulation solutions,
  • ACP panels are 85% recyclable, making them environmentally friendly materials.

ACP Cladding Materials Cons

  • In extremely harsh weather conditions, ACP materials are susceptive to dent.
  • While installing ACM panels, the contractor and the builders should seal the cladding boards properly and make them waterproof.

What is Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum siding cladding is a construction material that has been used for cladding systems for decades. These functional materials are the perfect choice for locations that have mid to low temperatures, such as Canada. The primary material in aluminum siding claddings has remained the same from their first day of production. However, construction material suppliers started using various cutting and new fabrication machines for cutting, shaping, bending, and installing. These sheet metals are developed through a process that has less impact on the environment than other traditional cladding systems. Manufacturers roll pure aluminum with special devices and store them or send them to the construction site. To have a vision about how long these materials can last, you can easily find that the existing buildings in Canada have had their siding applied since the 1970s.

Pros of Aluminum Siding Materials

  • Aluminum siding materials are cost-effective materials and are highly affordable.
  • These construction materials are 100% recyclable, and they will not end up in a landfill.
  • Metal wall claddings with aluminum are energy efficient and great insulators during cold and hot seasons.
  • They are considered low maintenance materials, and unlike other materials, they do not require regular cleaning.
  • Aluminum siding panels are durable and can last for a long time.

Aluminum Siding Cons

  • Aluminum contracts and expands due to temperature change which can cause popping noises can be annoying for occupants.
  • As aluminum is a soft metal, sidings made from this substance are susceptible to dents and scratches.
  • These aluminum cladding systems consist of painting coats worn out after years of rainwater and sunlight exposure.
  • Current architects prefer ACM panels to aluminum sidings because traditional sidings are out of style, and creating contemporary designs will be hard.

How to Remove Aluminum Siding?

remove aluminum siding

Aluminum siding is a building cladding material that is primarily used to cover a house with the intention of protection and insulation. Different types of aluminum siding are available. The most common types of siding include wood, aluminum, and vinyl. However, for installing a new cladding material, you should know how to remove aluminum siding that is currently used as the cladding system of your building.

What are the Aluminum Sidings Cladding Systems?

Aluminum siding is made of aluminum coil stock, which is covered by painting and enamel to have a nice design on residential structures from an esthetic point of view. It has a wide range of colors which last for many years. Then it is baked for durability. Aluminum siding creates a long-lasting protective cover for your exterior view of your home.

The majority of designers prefer to utilize aluminum siding due to the advantages and popularity over other exterior cladding materials. It is flexible and versatile to be in desired size and shape. It was common in the 20th century. Nowadays aluminum siding is installed on numerous Canadian houses across Canada.

Follow Step-By-Step Instructions to Repair or Remove Aluminum Siding Without Damaging:

Aluminum siding provides benefits for homeowners. . On the other hand, maybe you need to change or repair aluminum sidings. Removing aluminum siding is much easier than most people think But “How do you remove the aluminum siding without damaging?”

Aluminum sidings used for a house has numerous advantages, but it also has disadvantages. It can be damaged in various types of weather conditions. You can remove the damaged siding and change it without destroying the rest of the pieces.

Storms and rain can dent aluminum siding and damage it. So, it requires scrapyard is much easier. You can remove it quickly and make the house unwrapped. Removing aluminum siding is not troublesome. It can be laborious work, but it is not a particularly complicated process. Getting the first piece of aluminum siding out of the structure is essential in removing it. You can work systematically to remove other sidings as you need for replacement or repair with the first piece of aluminum siding free.

Step 1

Before you begin to take damaged aluminum siding away, you should have essential information. Cutting aluminum is really risky, so it’s necessary to wear special gloves and glasses while doing the project. Also, it is not needed to remove the complete panel; it is better to remove only the damaged part and change the old siding panel over the new one.

Before you start your project, peel back a corner of the siding panel to check what is underneath. So, having enough information will help you plan your project.

Step 2

Find the damaged part of the aluminum siding. Aluminum siding can be sharp and cut you. So, put on your work gloves. You will have to use the utility knife to cut the damaged part of the siding. If you cannot cut with the utility knife, you can use a screwdriver and hammer. Cut the vertical lines by the utility knife 5 cm from the top of the siding panel.

Step 3

When you cut vertical panels, you can begin cutting horizontal siding panels. You can use tin spins to do this task. Tin snips come in a variety of forms that can be used to cut the metal. Then you should cut a panel across the damaged piece of siding again, and leave about 5 cm of siding at the top of the panel. This is the place you want to install the new piece of siding.

Step 4

After finishing removing the pieces of aluminum siding panels, it is needed to measure the space of the new siding board. Then, you must attach the new aluminum siding panel over the place where you cut away the damaged one. When the new panel is set and dry, it is possible to paint the new aluminum siding panel to create matching with the rest of the panels.

Why do Architects Prefer Using Metal Wall Cladding?

Metal Wall Cladding

Metal Wall Cladding Systems have proven their capabilities in the construction and building materials industry. These building facade products hugged the complexities of architects for a long time. This is because building designers appreciate metal wall cladding systems for their flexibility and wide range of finishes. However, due to these building facade products’ considerable strength, architects are challenged to specify them for the suitable envelope. The possibilities for different designs, methods of installation, forms, and fabrication procedures are limitless. Additionally, metal wall claddings are manufactured with various materials, making them available in different forms, including ACM panels or Aluminum composite panels, aluminum siding wall claddings, stainless steel metal facades, etc. Various factors allow designers and architects to create a modern appearance for contemporary buildings by utilizing metal wall cladding.

Metal Wall Cladding Systems

Industrial metal panels or materials are most suitable for the rain screen cladding systems, where the primary mission is to protect the facility from external damaging elements and a striking exterior finish. Due to the beneficial physical properties of ACM panels and other metal wall claddings, they can be bent, cut, fabricated, installed, and attached to the building’s structure in different methods. Each method provides unique benefits in terms of aesthetics and functionality. The following are some of the methods architects and designers prefer to use for metal wall cladding systems.

  • Standing Seam: This system is one of the famous building claddings in the construction industry, which features strong folded attachments between each of their boards. These boards are specially produced to allow architects to create modern exterior designs and building facades. The standing seam systems come with various materials, including aluminum composite materials, steel, galvanized steel, zinc, and CORTEN steel.
  • Snap-Lock Systems: The snap-lock cladding system is the more straightforward alternative to the design above which is used for displaying ribbed profile and do not require special tools and equipment for the installation. The design is uniquely done for allowing boards to snap together with an easy installation process.
  • ACM panels: Another famous and practical metal wall cladding systems are ACM panels or ACP materials. These building materials consist of two sheets of aluminum and one fire-retard core substance. Due to the various benefits of ACM panels, architects utilize them in most modern commercial buildings.
  • Interlocking System: The only system which offers a smoother and dramatic appearance is the interlocking system which consists of an express joint. This type of metal wall cladding system has various widths and involves horizontal, vertical and diagonal installing processes.
  • Cassette Panels for Buildings: Cassette panels are the best choice when creating a building facade with large cladding areas. One of the systems, which is known as the open-joint panel system, is appropriate for being used with panels that are large in length. The manufacturers utilize various bending machines to bend the cassette panels and fix them to an aluminum framework with invisible clips. The flat and contemporary look of these metal wall cladding systems satisfies almost all current architectural requirements for commercial and residential constructions.
  • Custom Metal Wall Claddings: Manufacturers provide custom metal wall cladding systems for projects that require unique designs for the building’s facade. They develop new strategies by altering an existing cladding and create something new. However, demanding custom wall products can increase the overall cost of the project.

Performance Factors

Despite the various metal wall systems designs and finishes, the main reason for using these building facade products is their functional characteristics and performance factors. These cladding systems protect the building from different damaging elements and help the facility to survive for decades. Additionally, other practical performance factors are making these metal wall cladding suitable for the current construction industry.

  • Durability: Metal wall claddings are often more durable than other building materials such as Wood sidings which are also perfect materials that architects admire. Architects and designers determine their building’s requirements, and manufacturers create protective coating and utilize the most durable substance equivalent to the location’s conditions. For instance, ACM panels can last for decades without any damages if appropriately maintained.
  • Fire Resistance: Current building codes and standards demand fire-resistant construction designs. ACM panels (aluminum composite panels) are highly resistant to fire due to the fire-retardant core manufacturers utilize for producing them.
  • Acoustic Property: Most metal wall cladding systems, including ACM panels, are perfect insulation for the building. These materials damp the sound vibration by sending it down to earth through the structure of the facility. However, these building facade systems have limited sound insulating properties between the internal and external areas. Thus, the metal supplier should calculate the wall ratings, factoring in the weighted reduction in sound or transmission classification of the exterior panels.

How Much do Various Types of Metal Cladding Systems for Building Cost?

Metal Cladding Systems Cost

The cladding system of the buildings is the primary factor making the city look brilliant and different from other cities. Architects focus on creating aesthetic building facades with varying wall materials to provide eye-catching sight for the facility for pedestrians walking past the area and the occupants. Moreover, manufacturers produce different types of metal cladding systems in a wide array of finishes and styles to help architects and builders provide structural support, attractiveness, and increase energy efficiency for the buildings across the country. Thus, over the past few years, different types of metal cladding systems, in particular, have been gaining popularity in Canada and the USA.

The durability of traditional brick claddings are well-regarded, but they do not offer considerable flexibility and room for customization as metal cladding materials do. Metal panel systems can be fabricated or cut into a variety of modern designs and shapes. Additionally, these contemporary building materials are easy to paint and can add extra beauty to their appearance.

The current advancement in facade paneling systems and application techniques has brought rain-screen wall products into the construction industry. These practical cladding systems are created with extra layers of metal sheathing featuring waterproof characteristics and empty air space pockets between the panels and the interior wall system. The beneficial properties of rainscreen systems made them the perfect solution for keeping the moisture away from the internal structure, allowing the facility to dry quickly and maintain its finish and beauty during heavy downpours.

Types of Metal Cladding Systems and Their Cost

Currently, metal cladding systems for buildings come in a wide range of materials, including Aluminum Composites, Aluminum, Zinc, Copper, Steel, Galvanized Steel, etc. Landlords and homeowners decide the materials depending on the project’s safety, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. However, the cost for different types of metal cladding systems will primarily affect the choice of the building’s facade. Each of the sheet metal panels for the exterior projects features unique characteristics, styles, and costs. Thus, knowing their difference will help anyone to choose the most suitable material for the new or renewal projects for both private and commercial facilities.

Aluminum Composite Panels & Flat Aluminum Sidings

Due to the beneficial physical properties of Aluminum itself, manufacturers use the material for developing various building materials, including cladding systems for the industry. Aluminum cladding products lines the external systems of over 60% of the commercial and industrial construction projects.

The products made from Aluminum are incredibly lightweight, making aluminum sidings easy to fabricate and install for the project. Another beneficial characteristic of aluminum sidings and ACM panels (aluminum composite panels) is that they are corrosion resistant and immune to rusting. These materials form a dense oxide layer when exposed to humidity and air, providing a natural coating against rain and moisture. Aluminum building materials often last about 40 years if maintained properly. Thus, they manage to be more costly than other cladding systems. However, higher-quality ACM panels having fire-resistant cores can be pricier. The price range for flat aluminum sidings is 4$-10$, and ACM panels are 15$-30$ per sq. ft.

Zinc Metal Cladding Systems

Zin metal cladding systems offer a unique look to any building’s facade, and, as such, the exterior products are slowly gaining popularity among architects. Like aluminum cladding materials, zinc generates an oxide layer that protects the facility against external elements, lasting for up to 100 years. These building materials are also entirely recyclable, making them environmentally friendly products. Due to the unique characteristics of zinc, this substance is more expensive than ACM panels and aluminum sidings. However, they are not as high-quality as aluminum composite panels. The price for flat metal panels of zinc is about 8$-16$, and the cladding systems metal panels cost varies from 22$ to 35$ depending on the dimensions.

Copper Building Facade

Copper panel systems for building facades do not require treatment artificially for preserving their surface from corrosion and rust. These metal cladding systems form a beautiful greenish patina on their own over time which designers appreciate in their projects. Copper materials are considered self-maintaining products as the produced oxide layer covers scratches and other forms of occurred damages. However, installing these metal cladding systems has challenges, and finding an experienced installer may be an issue. Due to the aesthetic qualities of these metal claddings, copper exterior panels are the most expensive products for buildings facades. The price for flat sheet copper is between 10 to 15 Canadian dollars, and the panel’s cost range is 25 to 40 dollars.

Steel and Galvanized Steel Metal Cladding Systems

Steel and Galvanized Steel metal cladding systems are generally the most affordable building facade materials. These cladding products offer an admirable life span of around 32-37 years. However, this substance is considered less durable and flexible compared to ACM panels and aluminum cladding systems. The price of steel panels is generally around 12 to 18 dollars.

How to Clean Aluminum Siding

Clean Aluminum Siding

It is essential to Clean Aluminum siding to maintaining the beauty of a facility and make it look fabulous like its first day of construction. Aluminum Siding is one of the most popular choices for building facades across Canada and the world. The durability and versatility of this cladding system are some of the many reasons behind its popularity. Aluminum sidings can last long if cleaned and maintained correctly. However, many homeowners who choose this type of cladding material do not know how to clean aluminum siding. For getting the most out of this product, it is required to invest some money and time to keep it looking like it is straight out of the factory. There are various methods available to clean aluminum siding, and each one has its unique advantages and challenges. However, all systems follow one principle, which is introduced in this article.

Methods used for Cleaning Aluminum Siding

Before choosing the appropriate cleaning method for aluminum sidings, it is essential to learn about techniques used for the purpose. The followings are a few of the practical cleaning systems that can wash the building’s cladding material thoroughly.

Rinsing: Like running a dishwasher on the rinse cycle before using the standard process to have better results, it is necessary to deliver a quick rinse before performing the metal siding’s primary cleaning. The rinsing can be accomplished with a well-directed stream of water from any source of water, especially from a hose. It is crucial to direct the spray in a downward direction over the cladding material. Suppose the spraying is done in the upward drift. In that case, it will cause water penetration under the material by gaining entry in the drainage holes located under the lower section of the aluminum siding. This can also happen in the ACM panel cleaning process. Most of the grime and dirt will fall be cleaned with a simple rinse. However, it is recommended to work from top to bottom.

Hand Washing: The easiest DIY method to clean aluminum siding is hand washing. By using this technique, homeowners can remove any dirt remaining on the building’s cladding. Utilize a bucket of warm water with cleaning solutions along with a soft-bristled brush and start scrubbing any grime existing on the siding. It is essential to clean with the length of the siding product, starting at the top and proceeding downward. For preventing the surface from drying out, it is better to do the cleaning in few meters from top to bottom and then do the rinsing. Wash dirt and soap off using a hose, directing the stream in a descending trail. If there are still stains on the product’s surface, it is required to use the mildew or pressure washing method.

Mildew: If there are stains caused by mold, it is practical to use a solution of one part bleach and four-part water and then spray the mixture on the spots. The cleaning method for removing mildew will often be required in more humid areas. Scrubbing with just a simple soft brush and water with detergents will not obliterate the mold thoroughly.

Pressure Washing: For more persistent stains, using a pressure wash to clean aluminum siding will be necessary. These machines can be obtained or rented at affordable prices from home improvement centers. Utilize a pressure washer that accommodated the mixing of the water and the cleaner together. Never use potent pressure due to the potential damages it can cause to the cladding material. This technique will remove every dirt, and it requires top to bottom workflow.

Choosing a Cleaning Method

The essential step to clean aluminum siding or other cladding products including ACM panels is choosing the suitable method for the material. As told, various systems can be used to complete the cleaning process with the best results. There are primary tasks to do before starting the process, which is as followed:

  1. Check for Rotting or Loose Panels: It is essential to remove or replace siding panels or recyclable ACP materials that show signs of damages or rots. Always nail and fix considerably loose boards. Always avoid using the pressure washing method until the fixing and repairing are done completely. Pressure washing can increase the instability and push water through the aluminum siding and soak into the building’s structure. If the homeowner is not confident with the DIY repair process, it would be best to contact a trustable siding contractor.
  2. Check the Aluminum Siding for Mildew: The second thing to check is to look for green, grey, or black stains while examining any grooves and the bottom of the cladding when the owner decides to clean aluminum siding. This step is essential for the area of the building that does not get much sunlight. For destroying and cleaning mildew, using the most potent cleanser is required. Even pressure washing will not prevent decay from growing back quickly.
  3. Look for Chalking on the Siding with Paint Finish: The last step for choosing the best method to clean aluminum siding is to put work gloves on and rub gloved hands on the surface of the cladding material. Consider using the pressure washing technique if there are signs of chalking, dirt, or grime on the gloves.

Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part II)

Rainscreen Construction Principle

Rainscreen Construction Principle basic idea is to have an exterior surface or cladding layer that can break the force of sideways, wind load, water movement, resulting in preventing water penetration into the building’s structure. For most of the buildings, from modern to traditional ones, water is the biggest enemy. However, producing a complete watertight cladding system is challenging. Thus, manufacturers started working on the rainscreen construction principle decades ago to provide better protection for the constructions in the city. Rainscreen comes in different styles and types. One of the most popular types is the ACM panels or ACP materials used widely in the modern era. These particular products offer numerous advantages along with their waterproof characteristics.

In the rainscreen construction principle part 1, we discussed the basics of these practical systems and their structure that engineers designed for better watertight characteristics. This article covers essential information about this principle that anyone in the building industry must know.

Rainscreen Construction Principle Types

The rain screen construction principle is based upon two distinct and separate barriers on the building’s cladding. The outer barrier controls most rainwater while the inner leaf performs multiple functions, including moisture and air barrier, insulation, and the structural wall. The outer section allows the water to penetrate through open joinery, and the volume of the penetration depends on the design principle. This is where two distinct types of products come into the picture: the Drained/Back-ventilated and Pressure-equalized/Compartmented systems.

Both rainscreen systems are available in ACM panels cladding materials and different siding for the facade. They use the principle of controlling water leakage without stopping it from penetrating through the exposed outer surface completely. However, the internal design of both systems functions differently based upon the approach. Moreover, the Rainscreen construction principle has been generalized and consolidated into one unified product in specifications combined with both types’ characteristics. For complicating and confusing matters, the water, and air resistance standards from the traditional building cladding systems are applied to these modern designs and specifications of the exterior material’s exposure. Placing the water and air tightness codes on the outer surface of the barrier contradicts the underlying fundamentals of the Rainscreen Construction Principle. Now let’s get to the fundamental of each system.

Pressure-Equalized/ Compartmented Rainscreen

In this article, we focus on the Pressure-equalized rainscreen principle, which is very design intensive. Please read the third part of this article to learn about Drained/Back-ventilated systems for ACM panels.

Pressure-equalized systems are susceptible to design variations and deviations from their design principle. The openings in this system are created uniquely for both static and dynamic pressure equalization allowance across the rainscreen. The essential factor that separates this system from the D/BV principle is the design and the use of the compartmented method within the cavity. The reason behind the compartment is that the pressure equalization can only happen within limited periods and in the case of controlled volume behind the Rainscreen system. This equalization is essential due to the none-uniformity of wind loads, constantly changing across a single cladding of a building.

The vent numbers and their geometry calculation depend on the cavity volume, allowing sufficient airflow in and out of the internal equalized area quickly enough to respond to the ever-changing wind loads. This promotes the pressure differences between the ACM panels or other types of panels used in the system and the internal compartment pressure resulting in equalizing the air pressure on the external cladding and the inner sides of the building facade. If the conditions exist properly, forces causing water movement will decrease; if not, they will be eliminated.

The effective area of the vent holes in this type of rainscreen construction principle depends on three factors which are:

  • The airtightness of the air barrier on the inner section
  • The stiffness of the cladding material and its inner leaf
  • The volume of the compartments that make up the internal air space

The compartments are the essential elements of a proper pressure-equalized rain screen principle. They come with crucial properties, characteristics, and functionalities. Followings are the reasons why these elements play an indispensable role in the PE systems:

  • They control lateral and vertical airflow.
  • They size the volume of the space that the vent openings must be designed for facilitation.
  • The most crucial role of compartments is limiting water infiltration and controlling the water drainage when air-pressure disequilibrium occurs.

The characteristics above show that rainscreens with non-compartmentalized cavities cannot be pressure equalized. However, many of this system’s construction factors and elements are almost similar to the drained/back-ventilated rain screen construction principle. Still, they have several significant and essential differences, which we have discussed in the third part of this article.

How Can You Paint Aluminum Sidings?

Paint Aluminum Sidings

Aluminum Sidings are popular cladding material covering a wide range of applications from industrial to commercial construction projects. Due to aluminum siding’s various advantages, including extreme weather durability, minimum maintenance requirements, and aesthetics, designers prefer to utilize them instead of choosing other types of cladding materials. These sidings can last for a long period of time, but when buying a home with aluminum sidings facades, customers may encounter surfaces with peeled paint. However, this issue should not be a concern, and by using some painting supplies and elbow grease, painting these products will not be a daunting task. Thus, it is more cost-effective to paint the material rather than replacing it with a new siding. The painting process is relatively straightforward, and most homeowners can do it without professional assistance.

Equipment and Tools Required to Paint Aluminum Sidings

There are some few tools and pieces of equipment that are necessary to complete the aluminum siding painting process, including:

  • oil-based primer- for sealing any porous surfaces and allowing the paint to cover the aluminum siding better
  • acrylic exterior paint- for better bonding on the aluminum
  • synthetic fiber brushes- are the only brushes that are practical when working with acrylic paint
  • lambswool paint roller- can maximize coverage of the surface area
  • ladder- for reaching and having access to the higher parts of the cladding
  • plastic paint bucket- are helpful when using a ladder during the job since the painter can hang it nearby using its handle
  • plastic paint trays- are necessary for paint rollers
  • drop cloths- are used for keeping the area clean

Steps to Paint Aluminum Sidings

Some essential steps should be followed precisely when considering doing the aluminum siding painting without any help from experts, which we will introduce in this section. Each stage has its unique role in the process overall. Thus, if the painter perfectly finishes all phases, the aluminum siding will regain its beauty.

First Step: Prepare the Aluminum Sidings for Painting

Similar to any renovation application, painting aluminum sidings require preparation. This stage starts with scraping off paints that are already peeled by using paint scraping tools. Then it is essential to remove any noticeable mildew by utilizing a combination of ten parts water to one part bleach. If the aluminum siding is particularly dingy, it is better to buy or even rent a power sander to sand down the material. Experts recommend using eighty grit sandpaper for the first round, followed by 220 grit sandpaper for the second-round sanding.

Second Step: Apply the First Coat of Primer Paint Aluminum Sidings

The second stage is to apply the first coat of primer precisely. The painter must plan to begin the painting process when the weather is dry and mild for preventing rain, debris, and dust from destroying the finish. The process is more straightforward to do by using a paint roller and applying the primer evenly, rolling back and forth twice the roller for achieving a smooth surface. This procedure will take a few seconds per 0.09 square meters. It is crucial to work in one direction during primer applying, whether from left to right or right to left to maximize the drying time and help the painter work more efficiently.

Third Step: Applying the Second Coat of Primer

Now that there is already a first layer of primer, the painter must add the second coat. However, this must be done after the first layer is dried. Primer often takes about three to four hours to dry thoroughly. Thus, it is better to plan the process day accordingly.

Fourth Step: Start to Paint Aluminum Sidings

It is essential to use long and even brush strokes while painting from top to bottom during the process. In this way, it is possible to adjust any drips along the way. For better results, it is better to paint in the same direction as the aluminum siding, meaning if the product is horizontal, the painting course should be left to right, and if the siding is vertical, paint it up to down. If there is any sign of visible lines in the paint, the painter is doing the job too slowly. Taking breaks in between each side will ensure a smooth and finished surface.

Fifth Step: Add a Second Layer of Paint

After waiting a minimum of two hours, it is time to apply the second layer of paint. This stage can help the painter to correct any mistakes or flaws that occurred during the fourth step. For instance, any bumps present in work can be removed by using the sanding system. It is better to buy more paint than the painter thinks are needed. An extra gallon can be practical for additional coat or touchups, if necessary.

Sixth Step: Inspect the Work for Finding Issues

Once applying both coats of paint is finished, the finish must be left to dry for at least two hours. Then the painter must check and inspect the work, looking for spots that may be missed, drips, and bumps. If there is a sign of the old aluminum siding finish beneath the paint, consider applying one more layer of finish to ensure the process is done in the best quality.

How to Install Aluminum Sidings

aluminum sidings

The key to having a successful aluminum siding application is precise management and planning. Proper siding installation is ideal for ensuring the cladding product lives up to its reputation for quality. The method of applying aluminum siding and soffit is essentially the same for renovation and new construction projects. However, occasionally, individual instructions for different application is required. In every type of application, care and maintenance are prioritized to prepare the project’s structure properly. It is also crucial that the builders and installers review the local building standards and codes before taking the first step in installing aluminum sidings.

Measuring for the Ideal Aluminum Sidings

All facilities can be broken down into shapes of triangles, rectangles, and a combination of both. The area that requires sidings is determined by measuring the width and the height of the building, including windows and other portions. Then the installers should sum and total all the measurements for the demanding areas while not deducting the windows and doors. Including the doors and windows will allow for determining the waste factor. If these portions are substantial such as garage and sliding doors, some deduction could be necessary. For further assistance on measuring and choosing the ideal aluminum siding for the facility, customers should contact reliable contractors.

Installation Guidelines

Before starting installing aluminum sidings, it is essential to review several standard rules for siding applications. These cladding products, like other constructional materials, contract and expand due to temperature changing. The amount of expansion and contraction can vary depending on the building’s location. Thus, accounting and considering these factors is crucial for preventing the products from buckling and damaging, affecting the facility’s overall appearance. The followings are the rules which are critical for an appropriate aluminum siding installation.

  • The siding materials should not be stored in a location where temperatures exceed 54 centigrade degrees.
  • The panels that are already installed should have a free momentum space to move freely from side to side for preventing contraction and expansion damages.
  • Installers should push up from the bottom until the lock makes a complete engagement with the below part during the installation process. They should not force the products up or down when fixing them in position. Stretching the board upward can pull the natural radius out of the siding and cause friction increment of the locks.
  • It is crucial to nail in the center of the slot and avoid nailing at the end of it. This step needs precision to prevent permanent damages on the sidings. If the nailing should be near the end of a slot to hit a stud, the installer should extend the length with a particular tool, such as a nail slot punch.
  • Never caulk the panels where they meet the receiver of j-trim, outside and inside corner posts.
  • Another noticeable factor is to avoid stapling or face-nailing through the siding due to the expansion and contraction of the products with the outside temperature changes.
  • In renovation and residing projects, removal and furring of uneven old sidings will probably be necessary.
  • For new development projects, it is recommended to dodge using green lumbers as the underlayment. The stability and straightness of sidings depend on what lies under them.

Tools and Equipment to Install Aluminum Sidings

There are some essential tools needed for proper aluminum sidings installation such as hammer, fine-tooth saw, chalk line, tape measure, level, and square. Additionally, for protection purposes, using a safety glass is necessary. The followings are other essential tools that can become handy when installing aluminum sidings for any project:

Utility Knife: This tool can be practical in the installation process due to the easy fabrication process of the aluminum sidings. The utility knife can cut, score and trim the products.

Tin Snips: Using good quality tin snips and compound aviation-type supplies can help increase the speed of shaping and cutting aluminum sidings.

Snap Lock Punch: Punching lugs in the cut edges of siding materials can be done with a snap-lock punch. This tool is practical for the finishing course of the top of the siding and underneath a window.

Nail Hole Slot Punch: For providing an allowance for expansion and contraction, a hole elongation is needed. For creating the hole, installers should use a nail hole slot punch.

Unlocking Tool: The unlocking tool is utilized to replace or remove aluminum siding panels. For using this particular tool, the installer should insert the curved end under the end of the board and hook it into the back lip of the lock. The experts pull down and slide the tool along the length of the siding to disengage the coil and use the same process to relock the panels.

Cutting Aluminum Sidings

Following standard guidelines is essential when cutting aluminum sidings. Utilizing safety goggles is always critical for cutting and nailing procedures. As with any building project, installers should use safety equipment and follow safe development disciplines. In cold weather, the cutting operator must install the fine-toothed blade backwards on the saw for a cleaner, and smoother cut with a circular saw. Avoiding closing blades entirely at the end of a stork can result in a cleaner and neater cut when using tin snips. Then the fabrication continues with a utility knife or a scoring tool with scoring the siding face up with medium pressure.

Is it Cheaper to Replace or Paint Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum Siding materials have become efficient options for deciding the perfect cladding product for the facility. Depending on the building’s location and other factors, this type of siding can be an excellent choice. Aluminum sidings are available in various finishes and gauges for different projects. These exterior panels come in both vertical and horizontal formats to allow designers to have complete freedom in creating the overall appearance of a home. They provide excellent insulation and corrosion-resistant properties and save the building owner a considerable amount of cooling and heating costs over their life span. These panels are insect-proof, waterproof, and fireproof, along with their various advantages, meaning that they will maintain their beauty and essential characteristics without severe damages. Thus, they are typically low-maintenance options and require lower care than most other siding types.

Homeowners that already have old sidings are always thought of Replacing or Painting Aluminum sidings and choosing the best option for the purpose. Both methods, replacing and painting old sidings, are the most popular options for upgrading exterior cladding materials or repairing the cladding. Before making the final decision about the house’s exterior, it is essential to know the fundamentals of both methods.

Painting Method

Painting the existing Aluminum Siding is an efficient way to transform the look and feel of the facility. However, it is imperative to remark that it is a significant undertaking and is almost physical and costly. But the method has its unique advantages as well.

Pros: The first advantage of painting the siding is that the method is way cheaper than replacing it with a new vinyl material. However, this method comes in sacrificing long-lasting beauty, energy efficiency and overall maintenance. The cost of painting the product is 60% less than replacing it with other materials. The great thing about painting them is that the homeowner can do the job without hiring and paying someone else to do it. When the homeowner decides to replace the product with other materials, it is essential to keep in mind that there are limited products available in the inventory. With the paint color customization, it is possible to pick a wide range of finishes to customize any hue to match the existing products. Professional painters utilize the appropriate shade to prevent further damages to sidings, including collapsing and buckling from additional heat absorption.

Cons: The cons of painting the aluminum siding starts with the requiring prep works. The homeowner must wash the cladding material thoroughly. Any dirt left behind on the old materials will make a considerable mess and damage the painting equipment. The process can consume a ton of water. Thus, it requires hand washing methods which are time-consuming. The subsequent preparation is to prime the material, vital for sidings that are porous and pitted. Then the painter should start the process with a hand paintbrush or a paint roller which higher the risk of making the cladding look even worse than it was. The most substantial drawback of this method is that it is a short-term solution and will not last long.

Replacing and Old Aluminum Siding

After knowing the Pros and Cons of Painting and Old Siding, it is time to introduce the advantages and drawbacks of Replacing the Existing material.

Pros: Many new materials for replacement cost a significant amount of money. However, manufacturers managed to create cost-effective products for homeowners who decide to achieve the best results with lower expenditure on their siding products. The key is to find contractors that offer affordable and reasonable quality aluminum sidings. It is essential to know that replaced material do not require painting and a regular maintenance process. They do not fade from sunlight, and they come with warranty thus even it is damaged due to different factors they can be renewed. However, low maintenance does not mean zero care, and atmospheric dirt can collect on the product over time. Hard rain can splash mud onto the material, but the good news is that it is easy to clean the new aluminum siding. They can add more charm than the painting method, and it is multidimensional. Unlike paint, this solution is long-term and can provide 5 to 25 years of service. It is possible to add an underlayment to increase the insulation properties and energy savings by replacing the damaged and old siding. Replacing method allows the homeowner to add details such as scallops and shakes to enhance the exterior and increase the luxurious appearance of the facility. They are easy to install and do not consume lots of money and energy, and provide safety on the ground.

Cons: The primary drawback of replacing method is its cost. At the same time, replacing old sidings is more expensive than painting. The look of quality siding is priceless, and the new exterior material will provide aesthetic appeal for decades. Factors that play a role in the higher price of the replacement methods include quality and length of the product, aesthetic upgrades, warranty and installation, area of the project, and the removal of the old products. However, it is essential to remember the cost for this method is a return on investment. It is a fact that the average return on investment on the replacement is 76.7%.

Complete Guide to Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen panel is one of the most efficient ways to improve the construction’s envelope’s cladding system. It is a suitable building solution to fit into the modern sustainable, and good-looking architecture trends and provides more accessible installation systems than other cladding materials. Rainscreen systems mainly focus on insulation and moisture resistance properties. They prevent the rainwater from penetrating the facility’s structure, eliminating the risk of condensation-related issues such as mold and dampness. When the water ascertains a way to infiltrate the system, many problems may occur. Damp walls often lose thermal energy and lower the efficiency of the facility. Thus, every building requires a plan for installing a Rainscreen. The most remarkable thing about these materials is that they are practical for refurbishments and new-build projects while being cost-effective and require lower maintenance.

Before Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen requires preliminary steps to ensure if the system is suitable for the particular projects. It is essential to check with architects and local building codes before the procedure starting point. Following all construction codes that apply to the building zone is necessary. Builders should test the material’s sustainability for the projects since various factors and variables can exist during the installation process. Manufacturers always provide instruction for their products for different types of projects which is viral to follow. When the installation instruction differs from the standard codes, it is better to contact the contractor and check if it is still suitable to use Rainscreens for the purpose. Here is the list of before-installation steps that can help individuals in their project management.

  1. The first thing is to calculate the number of requiring cladding materials depending on the net finished dimensions.
  2. The characteristics and properties of the Rainscreen siding must accommodate the local weather conditions and climate.
  3. Using the end seal for covering the ends of existing grains on the new fabricated or cut panels is essential.
  4. The last step depends on the demands of the homeowner. If the homeowner expects permission, it is better to check local building codes and provide a report to ensure the project’s road map.

Steps of Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen whether it is Aluminum composite material or other industrial product, contains standard steps for achieving a better result. If the process is done with precision and by following the steps, the product can be at service for a long time without requiring regular maintenance. Here are the main steps for installing Rainscreen panels for a project that are essential to follow.

  1. The first step is to prevent moisture intrusion with house wrap installation in which following the vapor barrier instruction is essential.
  2. The next step is installing the baseboard, also known as furring strip, using constructional supplements such as stainless screws. During the baseboard installation, it is crucial to ensure the product level.
  3. Along with attaching the furring strips, they need to be aligned vertically on the baseboard’s top with 0.3 meters distance on the center.
  4. This step requires starter clip installation, which includes hidden siding fastener kits on the board. After installing the clips, they should have perfect alignment with the furring strips. Using a chalk line reel for creating a level line can be helpful.
  5. After using a level for ensuring the first board alignment, it is time to install the first Rainscreen Siding board on the clips’ top section.
  6. Designers always recommend placing the hidden siding fasteners into the groove section of the cladding.
  7. Experts drive the stainless-steel screw through the clasp into the strip at a 45-degree angle.
  8. The last step is to use a rubber mallet to align the cladding materials properly, and then builders should set the proceeding siding boards on the top of the fasteners. It is good to have in mind that two pieces of sidings abut against each other, using two pins can be helpful.

Other Factors to Consider During Rainscreen Installation

While installing the buildings on the buildings, some essential factors are considered to provide the panels’ maximum efficiency. Wavering these factors can decrease the system’s quality and can cause further damage to the structure, which will end up in repairing and expenditure increment.

Allowable Shrinkage: Installing a Rainscreen requires installation tightly for each board to leave the minor gaps between the products if shrinkage happens. Mediocre shrinkage needs to be measured. However, this factor varies depending on installation site, method of use, and climate.

Cutting and Drilling: Using special tools such as premium carbide saw blades are recommended for cutting due to the rugged nature of Rainscreen panels. It is better to use point drill bits or foster bits to provide cleaner holes on the boards.

End Sealing: Most manufacturers ship their Rainscreen products with the end grain sealing process with clear wax, perfect for preventing any end checking and conflicting movement.

Finishing: Due to the physical properties of Rainscreens, most of the oil and water-based finishes do not dry appropriately after being applied. It is better to test different product samples on various boards to find the most efficient finish for the demanding project before starting the installation process.